And candidate supply is not keeping up with demand: the company estimates there are about seven qualified HR professionals in the workforce for every one job. However, in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and Boston, there are only five candidates per job.
While there are still plenty of companies that do not require social media skills, it has become a preferred skillset in the industry, says Bentley University adjunct professor Alyssa Hammond, who lectures on social media. “It depends on the candidates they’re reaching out to, because more seasoned candidates may not be online as much as millennials are. So I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker (not to have social media skills), but it definitely enhances the skills of someone in HR because at some point you’re going to be recruiting someone younger.”
On a wider scale, Hammond predicts ubiquitous mobile accessibility is going to be HR’s next significant technology trend. However, she says it’s unlikely that most HR professionals will ever be required to know how to code, despite the volume of public discourse around coding.
Don’t send the same message on different platforms
“It’s very easy to fall into a pattern of one-size-fits-all in terms of messaging because you’re strapped for time and you’ve got deadlines,” says Hammond, “so you put out this message on social media and expect it to resonate with everyone, and that’s not going to work.” Instead, be deliberate about each platform you use and recognize the varied purposes of each in order to make the most of your messaging.
Find your audience
While age can be a definitive factor for some social networks, factors like industry sector also tend to influence which networks a candidate may frequent. A great message is impotent if it’s not published using the right channels. “You also need to really understand who you’re trying to connect with because they may not be on Facebook; they may be on Twitter or LinkedIn,” says Hammond.
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Throughout 2013, demand for social media skills amongst HR job openings grew 39%, according to Wanted Analytics, which looked at the language of all positions posted online to determine the result. Since 2009, HR position advertisements explicitly requiring social media skills have grown about 900% to one in 20.