Dec 10, 2013

    Seeking work at a firm? Check its FB

    WITH their cost efficiency and potential to engage a targeted audience, social-media networks such as Facebook are fast becoming viable platforms for employers to seek out candidates for job vacancies.

    One such company to jump on the bandwagon is W Singapore Sentosa Cove Hotel, which has used Facebook and Twitter to publicise a recruitment drive and tapped on LinkedIn to source for talents.

    The hotel's director of human resources (HR), Ms Eileen Ang, said social media helps the firm reach out to a network of followers, who are already familiar with its brand and are likely to be avid supporters.

    This "definitely leads to a more positive attraction and retention of talents", Ms Ang added.

    A single tweet or Facebook update can also reach out to thousands of people, and this same message can be shared repeatedly, she said. The message can also be tailored to suit the company's brand, and it can be sent out at any time of the day.

    In April last year, a two-day talent audition attracted 800 job applicants, thanks in part to the strong publicity drive on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as newspaper advertisements.

    A group-level recruitment drive involving other Singapore properties under Starwood Hotels and Resorts was also held on March 6 this year.

    The one-day event attracted close to 300 applicants - the bulk of whom were graduating tertiary students - and it was publicised only through Facebook.

    Mr Josh Goh, the assistant director of corporate services at HR consultancy The GMP Group, said social-media recruitment can be cost efficient, especially if the employer has an established corporate brand and a strong social-media-network base.

    "Employers may even attract passive job seekers, which will significantly enlarge their talent pool," Mr Goh added.

    Social-media functions - like the hashtag, which allows users to filter and streamline their search for content - also give employers the advantage of reaching out to a more targeted audience, he noted.

    However, using social media for recruitment also poses its own set of challenges.

    Mr Goh said employers should not expect "overnight success" when they incorporate social media into their recruitment strategies.

    This is because a "conscious and continual" effort is needed to build up the company's presence and following on a social-media platform.

    Ms Ang said the virality of social media means job advertisements can spread quickly online, resulting in applications coming in fast and furious, requiring the HR department to react quickly.

    But in the hospitality industry, where competition for talents is stiff, it is necessary to "exercise creativity" to ensure continuity in the company's talent pipeline, she said.

    Social media becomes a platform to build relationships with people, and can attract talented candidates that are passionate about the brand, Ms Ang added.

    Mr Goh said: "While traditional media is used intermittently as and when there are vacancies to fill, talent attraction has to be a continual process in order to be effective.

    "Employers have to stoke engagement with fans and followers so that, when the opportunity arises, it is easier to garner applications, as there is already an established connection."