Online recruiting is the most crucial digital space that today’s job seekers and recruiters need to master. The newest group to enter the job market is recent college graduates with a strong appetite for social media and the Internet. To land their first job, these young and talented grads unsurprisingly turn to the giants of online recruiting. To help companies attract top talent, we examine why social media analytics is a valuable tool for online recruiting.

The History of Recruiting (1940s-1980s)

Naturally, recruiting has been around for quite some time, but what did recruiting look like before the Internet existed?

The recruitment industry, as we know it, officially emerged in the 1940s, during the time of World War II. With soldiers away at war, companies experienced a need to fill vacant positions. They turned to third-party employment agencies who bridged the gap between job seekers and employers. Without the Internet, these recruiters relied on personal connections, cold calls, and posting on bulletin boards and newspapers.

The Emergence of Online Recruiting (1990s-2000s)

When the Internet arrived, recruiters began posting open positions online. This led to the emergence of online job boards, like Monster and CareerBuilder, and aggregation sites like Indeed.

To understand the impact of the Internet on recruiting, consider the fact that from 2002 to 2003 alone, there was a 40% increase in job seekers using the Internet to search for a new job. Over a decade later, in 2016, 58% of all external hires were sourced from Indeed.

In the world of Human Resources, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) arrived. ATS refers to analysis software used by over 98.2% of Fortune 500 companies to sort through massive amounts of incoming applications. However, ATS only analyzes incoming applicants from active job seekers, leaving one big chunk of the puzzle out.

Passive Job Seekers

70% of the global workforce is considered what is known as passive job seekers, or people who are not actively looking for new jobs. In general, you won’t find this comfortably employed population at job fairs. However, they can be found on the Internet with existing profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor. Therefore, recruiters are able to access information about an enormous pool of talent at the click of a button, including passive candidates.

Social Media Analytics Tools (Today)

Having such large amounts of data available on different job search websites requires the help of an appropriate social media analytics tool. Using a social media analytics tool can help identify engaged and talented candidates that match your job description. Consider, for example, today’s hyper-social college graduates. In addition to Instagram and Snapchat, these grads most likely have accounts on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, complete with their educational background and previous internship experience. Within this enormous pool of young and tech-savvy talent might just be someone you would want for your company.

The problem is that many companies struggle to reach the candidates they are looking for. For example, a single database has identified over 1,800 college majors across the U.S. How many of these majors are relevant to your company’s position? How many of these majors overlap with related majors? Which universities or programs are known for specific disciplines? Which majors and internships are attracting top students and why? Optimally sorting through millions of online job profiles will help you narrow down the candidate pool and identify the best potential employees.

What Other Insights Can Social Media Analytics Provide?

A social listening platform and audience insight tool can help recruiters identify what job seekers, both active and passive, value in the workplace and whether their interests align with your company’s mission. Figure out which candidates are most engaged with professional events related to your industry or in your area. What’s attracting (or not attracting) people to your industry or field? What are people saying about your workplace on review sites like Glassdoor? Get real-time information to manage your company’s reputation and attract top talent.

The future of recruiting and discovering new career opportunities is digital, for both job seekers and employers. To discover and contact talent, recruiters must navigate the digital world of online recruiting and understand who to target. Request a social listening platform demo to learn how you can expand your online recruiting strategies and find the best candidates.