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Using social recruitment to attract top talent

These days, candidates are more informed due to the abundance of information about the company available online. Thus, social recruitment should be used strategically to achieve optimal business outcomes, write Karen Frenkiel and Julia Storie.

user iconKaren Frenkiel and Julia Storie 15 August 2023 Big Law
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With 49 per cent of Pitcher Partners Radar Report 2022 respondents finding it challenging to attract and retain the right people, coupled with a tight labour market, attracting top talent is more important than ever. Strategically using social recruitment in both offline and online channels is an essential part of attracting talent. And it is especially important today, given that candidates are more informed due to the abundance of information about the company available online.

So, how do you use social recruitment to attract top talent and achieve your recruitment strategy?

What is important to candidates in law?


To attract top talent, companies must demonstrate that they understand the people who are applying for roles. Across the legal profession, candidates cite flexibility, sign-on bonuses and paying out clawbacks, higher salaries, and financial stability as key reasons they are looking for a new role. While salary expectations are stabilising, the inflationary environment and potential for further economic impacts mean that candidates are seeking even more assurances that their salary will provide financial stability. Similarly, on the financial front, some candidates are moving to new roles to secure a sign-on bonus along with sign-on bonus clawbacks being paid by the new employer.

For younger people in Gen Y or Millennials (1981–1994) and Gen Z (1995–2012), their ability to research online and make a judgement based on a company’s online presence (or lack thereof) is a key factor in their decisions to apply for roles. Generally, the younger generations are looking for more than money. They want a compelling employee value proposition (EVP), benefits, and a workplace that suits their life and work. Further, they are looking for diversity in the business, with many people using the level of diversity at the executive level as a barometer to determine whether the company makes a demonstrable commitment to diversity.

How can companies strengthen their online presence for the recruitment process?

Posting a job advertisement on SEEK and hoping that people apply is no longer enough to attract top talent. Companies must think strategically and ensure their roles are advertised and communicated to a vast network. Not only is advertising roles across several online channels important, but having a strong online presence also builds a more powerful brand and EVP for the company, both of which are important to candidates.

There are four pillars to getting your social recruitment strategy right:

  1. Leadership presence
Your leaders should be involved and active on LinkedIn. This means they should use their profiles to post jobs and tap into their network. They can also build their profiles by writing content and establishing themselves as a thought leader in the market.

  1. Interns and graduates
To get visibility outside your online channels, your company should have a presence at local high schools and universities to attract talent to your early career programs.

  1. Paint a picture
People want to know what it would be like to work at your company. Therefore, you need more than just the job description in an advertisement. Think about ways to detail what working at your company is like. This could include sharing different parts of company life on your social channels and outlining what makes your organisation a great place to work in each job advertisement.

  1. Alumni network
If you haven’t already, your company should tap into your alumni network. This can not only attract alumni back to your firm, but it can also expand your network when you’re sharing job opportunities online.

Don’t forget about onboarding

The onboarding experience is a critical first impression for new hires, and it starts before their first day. Employees should feel like they are a part of the organisation throughout the notice period with their current employer. This requires keeping in touch with them and ensuring they remain engaged to reduce the risk they may accept a better offer in the interim. Once your new hire starts, clear communication will get a person’s journey off to a good start. If you haven’t already, you may consider having the new employee meet with someone from each business unit over the first couple of weeks in their new role to gain a broader understanding of the company and meet people across the organisation.

Use your social channels strategically to attract and retain top talent

As the labour market remains tight, it’s crucial for businesses to approach recruitment strategically. This includes understanding and identifying how the company will expand its online and offline networks. By reaching more people, from potential interns and graduate recruits to more senior lateral hires, your company has a higher likelihood of attracting top talent.

Further, understanding that candidates are well-informed and that your online channels play a significant role in demonstrating the culture of your company is important, especially as younger generations enter the workforce. Finally, once a candidate is hired, the onboarding experience also makes up a crucial part of your EVP. Making employees feel valued and welcomed before they start is a smart way to ensure that someone’s journey with your firm starts positively and is more likely to be a long one.

Karen Frenkiel is a principal consultant, and Julia Storie is a manager at Pitcher Partners.