The rise of SOCIAL RECRUITMENT: Time to reinvent how you attract talents!


Is our traditional approach towards hiring still effective?

You create a nicely written job posting, find a suitable job board, post your job and then…you wait and pray for the perfect candidate to apply to your company. That is the usual approach that talent acquisition specialist in organizations adopts for most of their roles on a daily basis.

For the more enlightened ones, they will probably take on a more proactive approach by utilizing platforms like LinkedIn to work on a Boolean search. As much as this seems much better than the wait and see method, it demands quite a bit of effort and you will typically be engaging “cold candidates” who are either not looking out or requires a fair amount of selling.

As for organizations with more resources or are feeling desperate to fill urgent roles, they will head straight to engage recruitment agencies. You might end up paying an arm and leg for some roles, or at least having to fork out a sizable percentage of the candidate’s annual salary. Seems like money well spent, isn’t it? Pay upon success and you manage to fill the role that has been haunting you for months.

Question is, the 3 mentioned approaches while being the staple and standard ways of securing talent in the market, are they the most effective? Well, it can be argued that it depends on the situation. That said, I reckon that there must be something else that we could do to tap on other resources and ensure that it is much more cost-effective.

Harnessing the potential of social recruitment in today’s digital age

Since founding People Mentality Inc, an employer branding agency, about a year ago, I’ve been working with many HR Tech providers to solve HR issues for organizations of varying sizes. During which, the concept of social recruitment was one that stood out when it comes to tackling the hiring challenges.


What is social recruitment? A simple example would be your company’s internal referral program. Organizations take a proactive approach to provide certain incentives on a tiered basis, communicate the vacancies to employees and tap on their people’s social network to recommend a suitable candidate for the role.

Why is this effective? On one hand, the employee referring their friend has their reputation at stake. Whoever they refer is a stamp of confidence that they are giving to the hiring manager and organization so there is a certain level of pressure to make sure they get it right. On the other hand, the candidate who eventually accepts the role also bears the expectation of performing because they had the endorsement of their friend who is an existing employee. If they were to perform poorly, not only would they look bad, their friend will be seen in a negative light as well. In principle, that’s why an internal referral program is an effective channel when done right.

That said, the social network can be further broadened beyond the existing degrees of connection. Wanted.Jobs, for instance, serves as a social recruitment platform for organizations to post unlimited jobs while building a dedicated employer page. It also expands on the referral concept by bringing social referrals to people outside of the company’s employees, increasing the potential reach and the virality of the job listings. By adding a reward factor, it incentivizes users to share relevant job listings with their social networks, especially with friends they think will fare well and get the gig.


Considering today’s digital age where you have many Millennial job seekers as well as the proliferation of social media, I can easily see why such a model works out so well and has a high hit rate, especially amongst the younger folks out there. Gone are the days where people have to prepare a very long and detailed resume, submit it online and wait forever for a recruiter to come back to them. What works today is really to move fast, leverage on network and feedback while gathering information through first-hand account of influencers and friends. While being relatively cost-effective, that’s where a proactive search can take place and be an integral part of the hiring strategy.

Closing thoughts

While traditional approaches in recruitment still work, it is evident that they are possibly not as effective as before. Or should I say, there are new ways out there that can get you quality hire at a more affordable rate if you know what leverages you have and which platforms to tap on.

It is easy for us as HR practitioners to adopt the safe approach and manage the processes the same way as long as isn’t broken. That’s ok if we are looking to be replaced by technology over the next couple of years. If not, it is high time to relook at what we are doing, reinvent our approaches and stay ahead of the game to remain relevant in this digital age.

Start by changing your mindset and you will be surprised by how that works wonders.

People Mentality Inc is a HR Consultancy firm in Singapore. We netted the HR Rising Star 2016 award and APAC Top 10 HR & Employer Branding Consultant 2020.

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