Why Social Media Will Become Harder, and Other Talent Acquisition Trends

Jan 20, 2015
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.42.03 PMMillennials, generation Z, and social media: three predictions about how the recruiting and talent landscape will change. Read on:

As millennials enter managerial roles, workplace dynamics are sure to shift.

The millennial generation is one of aspiring leaders: globally, nearly 70 percent of millennials say that becoming a leader/manager is either important or very important. This has had implications for recruiters for many years, but now, as millennials are passing through the entry stages of their careers and actually becoming managers, it will have a significant impact on the workplace dynamics.

Millennials around the world are motivated to become leaders for different reasons — while high future earnings was the dominant theme globally in research we’ve done, others especially want opportunities to influence the organization. Interestingly, challenging work and decision-making power ranked lower on the list.

Understand the motivations behind leadership because this will impact how millennials actually lead. Millennial managers will be looking for opportunities to change areas of the business they feel are lacking. North American millennials are also highly interested in having the opportunity to coach and mentor others — so their management style will likely be much different from that of their managers. Simply put, as a new generation of candidates enter the workforce, they will face a totally different landscape than 5 or 10 years ago. While these changes could lead to positive developments in innovation and more open office cultures, they also open up the potential for friction among existing employees who might be resistant to the change.

Gen Z will bring completely new recruiting challenges and techniques.

For years, all we’ve heard about is the millennial generation — but now, as millennials leave school and advance in their careers, recruiters will inevitably shift their attention to Gen Z.

People have already begun speculating about what Gen Z is like, and how this generation is similar or different from the millennial generation. According to general data on this group, Gen Zers are more mature, more independent, and more diverse than their millennial counterparts. They are entrepreneurial and eager to make a difference in the world. They are also accustomed to communicating in short bursts and have low attention span.

Obviously, these are still preliminary conclusions — only time will tell how this group will shape up and impact the working world. Avoid generalizations, but some of this generational context might help to inform how recruiting techniques will need to change. A continued focus on leadership opportunities and entrepreneurialism will be important, as will an emphasis on the long-term mission of the organization. As technology continues to evolve, our communication will need to do the same — images will become more powerful than text, and the companies that communicate with students where they are will be most successful. This leads me to my last point …

Social media: The more you need to be active, the harder it will become.

We all know that talent is on social media — and if you’re not, you’re missing out on the opportunity to talk to a key talent pool. Employers know this, yet they continue to do the same things: thinking more content is better content, posting content that doesn’t resonate, and not understanding how candidates actually want to use social media for career content.

Here’s the problem: Facebook is crowded. It’s becoming flooded with noise. The average user has 1,500 posts queued up in their account each time they log in — and some especially well-connected users have up to 15,000! The amount of businesses and content on Facebook has made it an incredibly noisy space, and if you’re posting content, you’re fighting with other companies to reach the same talent (click on the waterfall images above).

To address this challenge, companies will need to become more and more strategic and deliberate in their social media efforts in 2015. Job content is not “thumb-stopping.” Your content needs to be real, authentic, data-led, and purposeful. Employers must use data to maximize the ROI on their social recruiting. This, coupled with smarter use of sponsored ads and targeting, will help employers to break through the noise on Facebook.

Some of the Related Conference Sessions at the ERE Recruiting Conference in San Diego:

  • The Future of Talent Acquisition, April 29, 4:15 p.m.
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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