Can social media be used to recruit executives?

The nature of recruitment is changing, thanks in part to new trends in digital channels such as social media. 

People who thought Facebook and Twitter were merely the domain of cat videos and photos of nights spent with friends have been left in the dark by the corporate value inherent in these platforms. On top of this, dedicated professional networks such as LinkedIn have provided a similar domain specifically for employees and jobseekers.

Along with recruitment software, could these channels be the key to finding executives to lead your company?

Social media brings new recruitment opportunities

While these are certainly not traditional recruitment methods by any stretch, in an era of skills gaps and job market competition, social media networks can provide the perfect chance for companies and jobseekers to stand out. 

One company – fashion brand Lyle & Scott – took to the internet not just to recruit any employee, but their next CEO. 

The firm advertised its vacant CEO role with a tweet in 2013, marking a high-profile use of Twitter for recruitment. The example included a link that led to a site describing various aspects of the role and the ideal candidate, setting a precedent for executive recruitment in the process. 

Canadian executive search firm Caldwell Partners provided advice to those looking to use social media to recruit executives. One of the main advantages the company noted was the increased ability to find information through networks such as LinkedIn. Recruiters now have access to a wealth of information on a number of candidates, including job history and qualifications. 

How many executives are on social media?

According to PR agency Weber Shandwick, the number of CEOs with a social presence has increased two fold since 2010, so there are certainly more executives to reach with these strategies. 

Despite this, the firm's study discovered that only 28 per cent of CEOs worldwide have at least some engagement with social media. Not surprisingly, this rate is higher among younger CEOs.

President of Digital at Weber Shandwick Chris Perry believes there is value to corporate social media use the some CEOs are still yet to harness. 

"CEOs have the chance to strengthen the standing of their companies and lead their industries by taking an active and visible role in company-branded content," he said. 

"The proliferation of sources, the unpredictability of news cycles and the explosion of new, highly visual media formats can be a challenge to any company, but it's also a massive opportunity."

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