By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Your company’s CEO may not spend her day Tweeting or check Instagram during her daily commute, but chances are, she sees it as a highly valuable tool in hiring at your company. In fact, it’s likely that she even places it above marketing materials and your company’s website. That’s what a recent study by Universum revealed after they talked with CEOs, HR and recruitment managers and marketing managers and directors. When asked how important social media was in employment branding, thirty-eight percent of recruiters and HR professionals said that social media was extremely important, followed by 35 percent of CEOs and surprisingly, only 31 percent of marketing managers.


What the numbers mean
As a social recruiting advocate, I find the numbers both encouraging and somewhat lacking. The fact that more than one-third of CEOs see social media as the most important channel for employment branding is huge! I can remember the days of fighting an uphill battle many years ago as I tried to incorporate social into my hiring strategy. Today, many recognize its value. While we obviously have a long way to go, I revel in the fact that we’ve come a long way.
On the other hand, it’s discouraging to see that less than half of recruitment and HR managers don’t see it as the most important channel. Social is where the most innovative, and arguably successful, recruiting has occurred in the last several years and it’s here to stay. Recruiters must realize that this is where candidates are engaging, so we’ve got to meet them there. However disappointing this number might be, it is understandable. Recruiters are not spending their time focusing on employment branding but instead on simply finding qualified candidates. Building your employment brand on social is a worthwhile investment, but an investment many don’t feel they have the time, resources or skill for.
In the case of less than a third of marketing managers and directors seeing social media as the most important channel for employment branding, I think there’s a disconnect occurring. In the same way that many recruiters aren’t equipped to develop a robust employment brand, many marketers don’t know why a robust employment brand is important. They can market products and services, but they’ve never been recruiters. So while they may see social as a vital part of their overall marketing strategy, they may not understand how an employment branding campaign can fit in that strategy.
Moving forward

There are a few ongoing struggles that occur between recruiting teams, executives and marketing professionals that contribute to the confusion of what works, what’s worth the time and what’s a passing fad. However, I think the strongest position for all to take is to become collaborative, each party learning from the others. We as recruiters need to understand marketing strategy and social tactics better, CEOs need to understand the value of today’s tools and marketers need a glimpse into the recruiting world. I believe that with a better understanding of all these concepts, recruiters will have the room to work creatively and be supported by their organization, both in spirit a


Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.

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