Using Social Media to Recruit Gen-Y Workers

By tweaking your recruiting strategy, you could be attracting top Gen Y talent. Here's how.
September 13, 2012

Recruiters, who want to attract Gen-Y job seekers need to use social networks, and use them in the right way. This target demographic not only uses social networks to keep in touch with friends, but to manage their own careers. A recent Jobvite study shows that 92 percent of employers are using or planning to use social networks for recruiting this year. This is up by 3 percent from 2011 and 14 percent from five years ago. Some 93 percent of recruiters are using LinkedIn, two-thirds are using Facebook, and 54 percent are using Twitter. 71 percent of recruiters consider themselves moderate to exceptional at using the tools to find candidates, yet only 52 percent consider their recruiting programs to be "somewhat successful."

Here are some tips on how to use social networks to recruit top Gen Y talent:

1. Start with goals. Plan your social recruiting strategy before you start experimenting so that you can measure success. Your goals could be to increase friends, fans and connections, increase applications and resumes, and build brand recognition. Your social goals should align with the other methods you're using (i.e., career fairs, job postings, etc.) for recruiting so that you can compare them and see where to best spend your budget.

2. Establish a social recruiting platform. Every company should have a career site that has a blog and links to their recruiting presence on social networks. For instance, Intel has their Jobs@Intel Blog, where they have links to their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts and categories of posts where they provide career advice and insights. The bloggers are employees from around the world who gives their perspectives on what it takes to build a career at Intel. Another great example of this GE Careers, which allows you to search through their job postings, keep updated with their upcoming career events and learn about the company through the eyes of employees with video and blog content. By having everything in one place, it's easier for the job seeker to find you and for you to stay organized. In addition, you can promote your blog content through your social networks, which will build traffic.

3. Build your employer brand. The biggest opportunity for brands is to showcase their corporate culture for the world to see through images, video and text. Allow your current Gen Y employees to talk to perspectives about what it's like to work at your company, the perks and the daily routines. When you put your culture online, you end up attracting the right candidates and repelling the wrong ones. Gen Y job seekers will look at your culture and decide immediately if they would fit in, which saves everyone time. The Daily Muse profiles many companies who have open cultures such as NPR and Dell. If you follow @LifeatDeloitte on Twitter, you will gain insight into working at Deloitte by a different employee each week. GE's ITLP Blog discusses the many projects they are working on so you get a sense of what the program is all about.

4. Be responsive to applicants. If you ask Gen Y what frustrates them the most about the recruiting process, it's that they feel companies ignore them. This is a common feeling because many Gen Y applicants don't receive responses after they submit their resumes. Companies should respond to them on social networks when they have questions. It not only benefits applicants but it also creates goodwill. Two companies with "no comment left behind" policies are Sodexo and Intel.

For more advice and insights on recruiting top talent to your business, click here

Dan Schawbel is a Gen Y career expert and the founder of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting company. He is also the #1 international bestselling author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future and was named to the Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 list in 2010. Subscribe to his Personal Branding Blog for more advice.