Social media is changing the face of recruitment and making it a lot easier for employers to identify and build relationships with the right talent and vice versa. But, large amounts of money is still being spent on recruitment consultants and job advertising.

What if you didn’t need to jump and react every time you had an opening? What if there was a pool of talented people with the right credentials just waiting for an opportunity to work for your organisation? What if you didn’t have to pay a hefty commission to a recruitment consultant or big fat advertising fees to find the right candidate?

And what if you could do all this using your existing employees, networks and communication channels?

Most proactive, innovative, curious and talented people in most sectors are using social media in one way or another to keep their finger on the pulse personally and professionally. And if they are not, they know and talk to people who are. Even if they are not job hunting, ambitious people will have an eye on who they may want to work for in the future.

This is where employer branding comes in. By using your own employees to provide an insight into what your organisation is like and by being open and transparent about your company culture and values, you can build relationships with talented individuals who could become future employees.

Think about what motivates talented people nowadays

Bradford University School of Management’s Dr Dave Spicer carried out research into ‘What motivates now?’ in 2008 and 2010. He found a shift from employees valuing good wages and working conditions to being more concerned with job satisfaction, security and being appreciated.

An attractive salary and benefits package with the promise of a big private office alone is no longer what motivated, passionate people are looking for. They want to feel like a valued member of the family. Savvy people who have a career strategy will be looking around at which employers have the right cultural fit for them before they actually decide to start actively looking for a new job. So make sure you are an employer of choice for the people you want to attract.


Great place to work


Don’t wait for a vacancy to come up to start thinking about recruitment and succession planning

I once helped a client recruit for a really exciting comms role for a fantastic brand. For a role like that, you would expect to be flooded with applications from enthusiastic, talented people desperate for a rare opportunity to work for them. The problem is, people looking at traditional job adverts are those looking for jobs because they have been made redundant, are miserable in their current role or need to relocate. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t good candidates but it certainly limits the talent pool to choose from. If you wait until you desperately need to fill a role, you are much more likely to ‘panic recruit’ whoever comes along.

Many employers welcome speculative applications from people who may be interested in working for them at some point on their websites. But this is likely to result in lots of untailored CVs from job hunters looking for anything and everything. You need a clear recruitment and succession planning strategy that you communicate to the outside world not just on your website but via LinkedIn and Twitter as well so that you can build relationships with talented people.

On their graduate recruitment micro-site and Twitter feed, Walker Morris tell a story about what it is like to work at the firm, focusing on opportunities for progression, a supportive culture and variety of work. This is exactly what appeals to the millennial generation. And it means that when they are flooded with applications for graduate training contracts, they can see straight away who has picked up on what they were trying to communicate and demonstrated that they are a good fit.

Use your existing talent to attract new talent

The only way to really give potential employees an insight into your company culture and values is through your existing employees. Identify your rising stars and make them into ambassadors. Give them the autonomy and freedom to blog, tweet and connect with people on LinkedIn and encourage them to offer a candid insight into their day-to-day jobs.

Grant Thornton actively encourages its graduate trainees to blog about their experiences (see their ‘spilling the beans’ blog) and even gets them involved in devising their graduate recruitment strategy. But they also encourage senior partners to use Twitter and LinkedIn to build personal profiles that position them as experts in their field. This shows others that Grant Thornton trusts and values its people, which both helps to retain its expert advisors and attract others in a sector that is traditionally very ‘closed’ and ‘faceless’.


Whether it is training your people in how to use social media to tell the outside world about your company culture, generating content about your organisation that will attract the best talent, or researching and identifying who you need to build relationships with before vacancies come up, we can help. Email for a free hour long consultation on how you can become an employer of choice in your sector.