- They call them influencers for a reason; these people are known to certain populations and demographics, and these influencers have the special skill of persuasion.
- Seeing your favorite social media celeb on Twitter, etc., advocating for a particular company might be more enticing than seeing a simple job ad for the company.
- In a Q&A, Erin Lazarus, SHL’s Head of Solution Architects in the Americas, she explained her opinion on the future of job recruiting by social media influencers.
You may not realize it initially, but it’s happening: You’re watching videos on TikTok or scrolling on Instagram and an influencer you follow is showcasing a particular product. This isn’t just happening solely with products, though — influencers are also talking about jobs now, too.
Companies increasingly are hiring influencers to showcase different job opportunities in hopes of recruiting more workers.
They call them influencers for a reason; these people are known to certain populations and demographics, and these influencers have the special skill of persuasion. These social media celebrities (whether micro or macro) know their audience, and they know how to market as well.
When companies hire influencers to recruit talent, this takes the somewhat boring edge off of the recruiting/hiring process. Seeing your favorite social media celeb on Twitter, etc., advocating for a particular company might be more enticing than seeing a simple job ad for the company. This might be especially true for Gen Z.
The question is, will this be a trend that will gain traction in the world of recruiting?
In a Q&A with Allwork.Space, SHL’s Head of Solution Architects in the Americas Erin Lazarus explained her opinion on the future recruiting using social media influencers.
Allwork.Space: How will influencers become recruiters for employers?
Erin Lazarus: First, let’s define influencers: influencers are people who have won the trust of their audience. They benefit from promoting themselves or products, and through their credibility, people listen, align to their opinions, and opt in. Relevant to influencers as recruiters, there are multiple types of influencers we are seeing emerge in this space:
- Content creators and bloggers. These are people who build their brand through creating content posted on social media.
- Industry leaders and thought leaders. These are trusted sources in their fields like writers of newsletters you subscribe to, hosts of podcasts you listen to, leaders in professional organizations you are involved in, and authors of books you’ve read. These influencers use social media as an outlet to share their ideas rather than social media as the outlet to build their brand.
- Small scale influencers. These are local, regional, or niche community and business leaders and have micro-influence, but their following allows companies to reach niche, specific, or otherwise hard-to-reach audiences, like women in manufacturing, or underrepresented candidate populations. This group is particularly important for increasing access to diverse candidate populations.
So, how do influencers become recruiters? In the category of content creators, Chipotle started an Instagram account called People of Chipotle. This account is designed to highlight the lives (personal and professional) of people who work at Chipotle through their own posts on the account. Their tagline is “Real food. Real people. Real Opportunities. Discover what it’s like to work at Chipotle.”
They seek to connect with broad and diverse audiences to promote their culture and encourage people to apply. In this case, they created their own channel to become an influencer.
ContraHQ is a freelance marketplace and has a TikTok account (@contrahq) with 162,000 followers. By posting snappy, casual, high-energy content that provides tips and addresses shared experiences about work as a freelancer, they have gained a huge following with their target audience: freelancers looking for work. Companies looking to find freelance workers can even sponsor their jobs through posts on this account.
In the category of thought leaders, Adam Grant is a great example of a thought leader and social media influencer. He has published several popular business books such as Originals and Think Again, and hosts the popular business podcasts Re: Thinking and Work Life. Through his prolific work, he has also established himself as a professional influencer on social media — with 1.8 million followers on Instagram and 800,000 followers on Twitter.
Companies can sponsor Adam’s podcast episodes, and when Adam Grant boasts about a sponsored company’s culture or ability to improve the workplace, not only are his followers more likely to remember that company’s name, but they’re also likely to go take a peek at the job board — who wouldn’t want to work for a company that their favorite author believes in?
Allwork.Space: In the future of work, do you see influencers being the main source of recruitment?
Erin Lazarus: Yes, I see influencers as being one of the multiple important sources of recruitment. This will be especially true for early career, digitally native workers entering the workforce. Just like TikTok has overtaken Google as a search engine for Gen Z, I believe we will see more companies leverage and create their own influencers to help them promote their jobs.
Companies who want to compete for the best and brightest talent know they have to go find that talent rather than wait for it to come to them. The best way to get the attention of their target candidates is through channels that are already capturing their attention. While outlets like job fairs, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. will continue to be a major player in the recruitment world, platforms like TikTok and Instagram will continue to blur the lines between personal and professional, and serve as an outlet for recruiters to reach candidates in their daily lives.
Allwork.Space: How are they able to recruit better than a regular job advertisement or product advertisements?
Erin Lazarus: The modern job market is noisy and messy. There is no easy or standard system to match people who would be a good fit to open jobs at scale. There are an overwhelming number of job titles for similar roles. Also, people don’t always know what they’re looking for. This makes hunting for a new job feel like its own full-time job. We search for jobs on Indeed, LinkedIn, through professional associations, on company websites, but importantly, through our networks.
So, when an opportunity is presented in the right moment by an influencer you already trust, why wouldn’t you pay attention? For companies, using an influencer to promote your brand and employee value proposition increases the signal of your open role — it helps you cut through the noise to reach a broader, more diverse, and hopefully more targeted audience.