The social and digital challenge for business today

Was on a call this week, with two leaders in business, a CEO and a head of people / chief human resource officer (CHRO).  They were from separate companies and the talk turned to recruitment and the CHRO said

If you're not doing social in a personal way, you will lose that candidate

I asked her what she meant.

She described the world today as a digital place to live.  She said that we all know that LinkedIn has been around for years and was always known as a job search site.  Many people's LinkedIn profiles are just that a CV.  But things have changed.

She went on and talked about the perfect storm of mobileinternetsocial media and Covid19, and how they had all changed society and changed the world of business

But what has this got to do with recruitment and retainment?

The CHRO explained that in her business they had tried to recently recruit people and they had got down to the final two and the candidate chose the other job.

As this started happening a lot, she decided to go back and ask the candidates why did you go with the other job?  Obviously this CHRO is passionate about her company and feels that their offer is better.

What she uncovered in the feedback was that the candidates (like modern buyers) are going online and doing their research.  When I mean online, I don't mean the company website, in fact job seekers didn't visit there as they knew what it would say and the answer would be totally predictable.

What they were doing was going on social, yes, sites like, glassdoor, was important, but job seekers know these are often stuffed with "fake" reviews.  Like the supposed Amazon employee Twitter accounts. (There is a great article here, that ranks the worse Amazon worker tweets.)

The modern job candidate

The modern job candidate is social media savvy, they look at the CEO and the leadership team on social media.  They look at the employees on social media.  From this we can work our a lot about a company, it's culture and values.

For example, in this blog "Is your business proud to be corporate spammer?" I explain how you can tell a lot about a company by the way it runs it's corporate social media.  This is a big 4 company.  You can see it's controlling, you can see it does not understand digital.

In this blog, I explain that many employees don't feel they have the skills to be digital "76% of workers do not feel prepared for working in a digital-first world" that said, your future employees are also looking to see that a company is digital and you will be allowed to be digital. 

In this blog, I explain how from looking at a company externally on social you can see what the internal culture of that company is about "Let me explain one of your digital weaknesses I’m coaching your competition to exploit so you lose more deals"

What was that CHROs recommendation?

The CHRO recommendation to make sure that you get the most candidates and stop wasting time getting people through to short list only to lose them, was so simple. 

Your employees needs to be personal on social media / digital.

It has to be a digital place to operate, where the employees work in a digital environment.

That's not about tools, or the latest SaaS system, it's about collaboration and using social internally. 

It was also about empowering your team(s) to share on social, to have digital conversations on social.

Employees need to be empowered to shared insight, to be empowered to share "life" content, be empowered to share human content.  That is what your candidates are looking for. 

Not sharing brochures, in fact that is a massive turn off to candidates as this makes your company look controlling and proves you don't understand social media.  

Check out this research, that shows that people come to social, to be social and not to read brochures

Having employees on social media today is critical. 

If you're not doing social in a personal way, you will lose that candidate, you will also lose your talent.

In Conclusion

Organisations that are not digital-first end up scrabbling around for what's left after the real talent has been gobbled-up by those more agile, digital businesses.