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Top 2011 Social Media Trends

Top 2011 Social Media Trends

By: Matt Charney, Monster Social Media Engagement Manager

In 2010, social media entered mainstream HR best practices. As the lines between talent management and brand marketing blurred, the recruitment reality became clear. Social media marketing will expand as a powerful (and necessary) tool for successful talent acquisition, development and retention. But now that it’s here, what’s next in social media hiring?

With the rapid, real-time evolution of tools and technologies, predictions can be challenging. Thus our list of social media talent management trends focuses on already emerging themes.

11. Social CRM: According to a recent HR Marketer survey, the top marketing and PR tactic for HR practitioners was direct e-mail marketing; 78% of respondents utilized direct e-mail marketing over the past 12 months, with over 50% planning to increase these efforts in 2011. 

Leveraging your current CRM campaigns to showcase your blog’s best content or provide links to your social profiles creates a virtuous cycle, driving new connections and followers to your company’s online talent communities while leveraging those same networks to capture new leads for future campaigns. 

10.  Mobile Matters: 2010 evidenced extraordinary growth of new recruiting strategies, with mobile-based recruiting leading the charge.

CITA-The Wireless Association projects that 270 MM US residents use some sort of mobile device (89% of the total population); a recent study conducted by Mobile Recruiting News reported that 95% of Smart Phone owners would “consider job seeking on their mobile.” 

This represents a trend that employers will start to capitalize on 2011, equating to improved candidate/applicant flow, better communications between employer and job seeker and improved return on recruitment advertising.

9. There’s an App for That: Smart phones like Android and the iPhone, not to mention tablet PCs like the iPad, have created a market for apps that’s expected to grow to 17.5 billion by 2012. 

2010 saw the first wave of applications from employers and HR vendors that target job seekers. Many were focused on just-in-time hiring initiatives such as job posting syndication and app-based resume submission.

2011 will usher in proprietary career applications that focus on longer term initiatives, including applications that focus on extending employment brand and developing a passive candidate pipeline through targeted content and communications.

The year should see the growth of B2B apps created specifically for recruiters and talent management professionals that facilitate real-time, secure, on-the-go access to CRM or ATS systems.

8. Location-Based Technologies: In 2010, Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places evolved from the margins to the mainstream; while the jury’s still out on these competing platforms, increased consumer acceptance of location-based services should impact employers in 2011.

These services provide an ideal solution to broadcast a company’s presence at career fairs, networking events, campus visits, etc., by synching employers’ Twitter and Facebook accounts with their online network “in real life.”
7. Social Media Talent: More companies are investing in dedicated internal social media subject matter experts to oversee their efforts, creating a significant market demand for experienced social media professionals in 2011. 

A recent Altimeter Group report on social media career paths suggested that these roles can lack definition or clarity, with tactical internal support and ‘help desk’ responsibilities often superseding more important initiatives. 

This challenge requires that organizations place an increased emphasis on learning and development. With many companies already implementing social media policies for employees, 2011 should see the creation of formalized training for current employees. 

Such training and support creates a professional development opportunity for employees while instilling best practices. It also allows new social media hires to do meaningful work that builds company brand and business.  And that’s a pretty powerful recruiting message. 

6. Platform Integration: A significant trend and recurrent theme in 2011 will be the increased consolidation, integration and optimization of social media with existing HR tools and technologies. 

With the rise in cloud computing, more ATS and CRM platforms are becoming web-enabled to automate and standardize social media activity within the talent acquisition workflow. Many social networks and emerging online recruitment solutions also offer integration with HR information systems, creating a single point of access for recruitment activities and seamless search across internal and online databases.

This ‘portal’ approach improves recruitment analytics and reporting efficacy via standardized tracking across sites and systems, resulting in increased information- sharing and more effective resource allocation within talent organizations.

With many recruiters facing pre-recession level workloads and post-recession level resources, this should be the year that systems and social collide.

5. Social Recruiting & Contingency Workers: As the economy shows post-recession signs of life, many employers are undergoing a significant workforce composition transformation, eschewing the traditional employment model in favor of contract, temporary and contingency workers. According to a recent Aberdeen report, 20% of the US workforce now consists of contingent workers, up 20% year-over-year. This trend is expected to eventually grow to an estimated 30-50% of all American workers.

While most talent organizations continue to outsource hiring and placement of their contingent workforce largely to third-party agencies and vendors, employers will increasingly migrate this function in-house. This will require corporate recruitment to develop differentiated processes, policies and strategies for contingent workers. 

Expect to see social media emerge as one of the most visible manifestations of this shift in focus, with many companies creating a social media strategy that includes communities, recruitment advertising, candidate engagement and employer branding campaigns, specifically aimed at attracting contingency workers. 
4. Social Search: Social and search collided in 2010, with global search engines reconfiguring their algorithms, placing a premium on social profiles and activity when generating results. 

With candidates and customers continuing to use search engines as their primary tool for finding information online, in 2011 employers will increasingly turn to technologies which transform these search activities into passive candidate acquisition. 

Talent organizations will increasingly align their job posting and social media activities (now commonly siloed) utilizing behavioral targeting to deliver targeted job ads and employer messaging.  This will maximize increasingly scrutinized (and limited) recruitment advertising spend by creating campaigns that build both active candidate slates and passive candidate pipelines.

3. Compliance: The recent National Labor Relations Board decision that extended worker rights to Facebook broke new ground, establishing an important precedent for employee social media guidelines. 2011 should see a flurry of other rulings and test cases, codifying and clarifying the legal ramifications of social media for employers. 

These changes will likely task HR professionals with ensuring proper usage and implemention of internal controls necessary for compliance. This will lead to a demand for third-party expertise, including HR consulting and employment law firms.

2. “Glocalization”: The growth of global recruitment and multinational teams, coupled with the challenges of real-time monitoring and engagement, will lead to the migration of day-to-day social media activities and market-specific employment branding and community management responsibilities away from corporate headquarters to front line practitioners, following a shift already underway at employers such as Pepsi and Cisco. 

This increased autonomy at the local level will increase flexibility, response rate and efficacy on the front lines while allowing for standardized metrics, resource allocation and strategic planning enterprise-wide. 

When it comes to social media, 2011 will be the year of “thinking globally, acting locally.”

1. Going Virtual: The one dominant theme of the evolving social media landscape can be summed up in one word: virtual. For talent organizations, this means winning the war on talent in 2011 won’t be determined by face time, but in real time. 

Whether connecting with candidates via Twitter, using smart phones to access HR systems, or interviewing over Skype, virtual technologies are beginning to touch all areas of the recruitment process, a trend that will gain momentum in 2011. This is one prediction that’s already become a new recruiting reality.