How social media is used to build trust for recruitment

Petroplan prides itself in its use of social media to build trust and interact with job seekers in order to improve the candidate experience. Employers also benefit from this approach as applicants are positively predisposed to finding out about roles that Petroplan represents due to their commitment to keeping in touch with candidates early in the process to ensure a good fit. Even though taking the decision to move positions is more involved for professionals in the oil, gas and energy industry due to factors such as location, time away from families and work requirements (visas, work permits etc), social media has proven itself to be a great communication platform to be constantly available for contact, support and questions for the curious candidate.
This article covers not only the role of social media in paving the way for useful contact with recruiters by candidates but also the continuing importance of conversation beyond initial social media contact for applicants. Read on to see how we see the roles for social media and conversation in placing the right candidates with the most appropriate positions.

How has social media impacted on the recruitment landscape? Has it changed the way in which employers and candidates look for jobs? Does this vary by sector?

The evolution of social media has opened up the opportunity for two-way engagement between recruiters and candidates. From a recruiter perspective, social media provides us with another platform to directly engage with individuals who may be passive candidates. It also enables us to gather a more well-rounded initial understanding of a candidate, beyond simply reviewing a CV.
Social media not only increases candidates’ ability to be found by prospective employers, it also provides them with an instant outlet to express their opinions and engage directly about their experiences with recruiters. We believe recruiters should welcome this as feedback; this is a way the industry can sense-check that it is meeting candidate needs and that communication via social media is received in the way it was intended.
However, social media engagement between candidates and recruiters should be regarded as an early step in the candidate journey. Qualifying beyond the initial information shared online still needs a conversation, especially with regards to the specialist roles we recruit for in the oil, gas and energy industry.

How has this impacted on recruitment agencies, and how have they responded?

The nature of social media as a form of instant communication means recruitment agencies need to be nimble in how they respond to often public requests. In line with this, recruitment agencies have a responsibility to ensure that their own employees have a thorough understanding of how to use social media appropriately when addressing both candidates and clients.
Many recruiters use the tools from LinkedIn to engage with prospective candidates, which has a professional and structured feel. However, recruiters should use more caution and adapt their approach accordingly when engaging via less formal platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Is there still a role for human-to-human contact, whether face-to-face or otherwise? What are the risks of relying too much on social media?

Social media can be a fantastic tool for accessing the passive candidate pool, and this seems to be the preferred method for proactive recruiters. However LinkedIn, for example, in some sectors, is becoming overcrowded with recruiters and as a results top-level talent is beginning to find ways of hiding itself in order to avoid being constantly bombarded with Inmails.
We firmly believe that candidates value access to recruiters who understand their situation and welcome an in-depth discussion around the specifics of a given role. In our experience, human-to-human contact is what reassures candidates that we understand what is involved in a placement which, due to the nature of the energy industry, is often in unfamiliar or remote locations.
Whether these conversations take place via phone, video conference or in person, this human-to-human interaction gives both parties verbal and non-verbal cues that build trust and understanding.

Does the ability to build such real-life relationships help to give recruiters – and employers using their services – the edge over others who may rely on social media or online means of recruitment?

Social media is a valuable platform for engaging with candidates and often acts to reinforce their impression of the value of the recruiter. For recruitment professionals, it can be an effective tool for communicating with new and existing talent in an efficient way.
However, due to social media’s need for brevity it is never a substitute for the personal touch that face-to-face or conversations allow. The oil, gas and energy industry is a sector that is particularly reliant on personal skills such as team-building and leadership. Therefore it’s crucial that we, as recruiters, have an understanding of the personalities of candidates, which cannot be established through social media alone.

How important are elements such as meeting candidates in person, and formal job interviews?

Meeting candidates in person requires a significant investment of time from both candidates and recruiters. But this is a worthwhile investment because of the relationship and trust it enables both parties to develop. Face-to-face meetings also provide a further opportunity to balance the insight already gained through earlier stage recruitment methods, to ascertain a candidate’s likely fit with an organisation. In the latter stages of the application process, most employers still require a formal job interview to not only further investigate candidates’ skills, behaviour and values in a real social situation, but also to build their employer brand in the eyes of the applicant.

How is this likely to shape up going forward? What role do social media and human-to-human contact have to play in the recruitment of tomorrow’s staff?

We believe successful recruitment should use a combination of tools and channels during the course of the candidate journey and that the chosen communication methods relate to the depth of information required by a candidate. Social media is relevant throughout the process, particularly in early engagement and keeping in touch. However, when a candidate is engaged with a recruiter and focused on an opportunity – it’s good to talk.




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