As social media networks continue to rise in prominence and increase in users, we are increasingly seeing these channels affect every aspect of our lives – from helping us plan events, through to discussions forums on difficult topics. For the recruitment sector particularly, we continue to hear about the emergence of social networks as a means to reach potential employees – yet, whilst we are seeing a shift away from the traditional forms of recruitment, largely aided by the popularity of smartphones and tablets, top talent is still showing some reluctance to fully commit to alternative recruitment channels. We found in our recent Innovation Imperative report, which surveyed over 4,000 employees and 800 professionals worldwide, that 49% of candidates were more likely to consider a job if advertised in an innovative way. But it’s guaranteeing this consideration turns into an application that can prove a challenge.

Looking into 2014, the study also found that online social communities such as LinkedIn and Twitter look set not to be the most influential platforms for attracting talent in the year ahead. Professionals expect online professional communities (34%), online bespoke communities (23%), and mobile campaign (19%) to all take prominence over online social communities (16%). Whilst social media can be a form of engagement, it may still not hold the power to see the recruitment process the whole way through, acting more as a launch pad to get the conversation started. And in any case, it is usually a way for recruiters to contact potential hires, whereas online professional and bespoke communities are very much a personal choice for the candidate to join, making them much more likely to be the target audience.

Whilst HR technology continues to move to the forefront of the recruitment process, unlocking access to a huge network of potential talent, with other more mature options available, there is still a way to go before candidates will see social networks as the primary method for job application.

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