Social sourcing is here to stay. The time when the best outreach channel was to post your job vacancy in a newspaper has long since passed. Newspapers were a sourcing channel when International Organizations wanted to receive applications by mail (NOT email) and the only way to reach out was by posting an ad on the office notice board or sending it to a newspaper. Organizations could measure results by comparing how many more applicants they got for a Communications Specialist posted in the national newspaper versus how many they got for a similar ad posted elsewhere. Something was measurable, but the result measured was far from reliable.
Today I can’t think of one single job that I would rather post in a newspaper than promote through strategic social sourcing.
What is social sourcing?
Social sourcing (also called social recruiting, social hiring or social media recruitment) is the term used for recruiting candidates through social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. These social media platforms hold large pools of talent and they open up venues for strategically tailored and targeted advertisements.
Why should I start to work with social sourcing? I don’t even have time to do what I am expected to do today!
Now that you know what social sourcing is, why would you want to use it at your International Organization to achieve gender parity? We recently asked more than 1,750 talents - all of whom were recruited as Junior Professional Officers to the United Nations - how they found their jobs. Only 9% mentioned newspapers. However, 100% included various online sources.
Recent studies show that 76% of all US Internet users are on social media, and 79% of job-seekers use social media in their job search. Some are actively seeking work via social media channels, but more often they’re coming across jobs passively. Passively means that potential talent with a certain profile gets a job opportunity posting in their social media feed. They have no plans to change jobs, but click on the post because it generates their interest. This is how you should work to reach out to your desired talent pool!
Although this is a US statistic, it is not a US phenomenon. This is a global pattern. Check out your own smartphone. Navigate to “settings” and scroll to “battery.” Check the percentage of total battery time you dedicated to social media in the last few days. The number may surprise you. And if your organization is taking the Youth SDG seriously, it is good to know that 86% of millennial job-seekers use social media.
How do we succeed in using social sourcing?
Recently we were asked by a client to help them source female talent to Syria, Yemen and Libya. The client wanted to build a roster of talent and increase the number of resilient Arabic-speaking female applicants ready to serve in crisis locations. Read more about it on our post How to source and recruit women to Hardship locations?. This is one of the more challenging profiles you can source. No newspaper in the world could do what we did.
Photo source: Chris Gladis - Flickr.com