How about using social-media influencers to attract talent?

Promotion of a product is way different from the promotion of an experience, and even more so, when it is about the experience of working in an organisation

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Social-media influencers are not just promoting brands on their pages these days, but also jobs. Companies which require talent in bulk, such as BPOs, are using these influencers to attract talent in droves to be part of their workforces. Why? Because each of these influencers has millions of followers.

A social-media influencer with over five million followers, tells HRKatha that companies have been using his platforms regularly to promote their jobs. These influencers put up audio-visual Instagram stories that work as teasers for job openings. In a day, these posts are viewed by at least a million of his followers, majority of them belonging to the 22-30 age bracket. How many of these views actually get converted into applications or jobs remains a question. Is it really a viable strategy for hiring?

“In the employer brand-building context, it depends on the organisation if it is in a major scale-up mode. In that case, the organisation needs to go out of its way to increase its workforce, and this would be an exceptional effort.”

Kamlesh Dangi, group head – human resources, InCred

Kamlesh Dangi, group head – human resources, InCred, believes that hiring social-media influencers to attract talent is a viable option that can be looked into under certain circumstances.

“In the employer brand-building context, it depends on the organisation if it is in a major scale-up mode. In that case, the organisation needs to go out of its way to increase its workforce, and this would be an exceptional effort,” says Dangi.

He feels that the use of social media by leaders, for branding, is a more efficient way to create a positive image, and hence, attract talent.

“I can see some companies using social media to promote some extraordinary developments or certain lucrative employee benefits that they may have implemented. Obviously, this builds a brand image but also helps attract talent,” he says.

Manish Majumdar, former head – HR CoE, Novo Nordisk, says that using influencers to attract talent can be an innovative way for companies to leverage social media in their favour, in the war for talent.

“While fighting for talent in an employee market, any edge over competition goes a long way. Finding innovative ways to attract talent is not a leisure activity, but a necessary one. In that context, it makes sense to hire social-media influencers to attract talent.”

Manish Majumdar, former head – HR CoE, Novo Nordisk

The war for talent in India is real. Organisations are constantly trying to outdo each other to attract the the best from the small pool of employable people. “While fighting for talent in an employee market, any edge over competition goes a long way. Finding innovative ways to attract talent is not a leisure activity, but a necessary one. In that context, it makes sense to hire social-media influencers to attract talent,” he says.

There is also a need to exercise caution while employing external influencers to attract talent. The image of the company has to be considered before approaching an influencer. “Hence, a recruiter must be cautious while choosing an influencer to attract the right talent, without diluting the brand value,” adds Majumdar.

Jitender Panihar, CHRO, MoEngage Inc., shares a different opinion on the issue. “When people are exploring a career opportunity, they generally tend to seek opinions from those who have in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience of an organisation,” he points out.

“Social Media Influencers just provide reach, which is more useful while promoting a product. However, one cannot compare experiences with products. People buy an experience or an opportunity when someone who has already lived it retells it.”

Jitender Panihar, CHRO, MoEngage Inc

Talent can be influenced to join a particular organisation only when the experience of working there is shared by someone who has already lived the story, rather than an influencer. The latter will not be able to convey the company’s message with the same level of conviction as a present or former employee. “Hence, for MoEngage, an employee who has been working with the organisation for some time is the perfect social-media influencer to attract hireable talent for the company,” declares Panihar.

Panihar reveals that MoEngage has internal talent influencers within the company. “We’ve identified people who have been in the organisation for a while — who can act as role models, and can be banked upon for advocacy campaigns, referral campaigns, or for creating visibility in the market.

Acting as role models on the inside, these employees can be used to attract talent from the outside.

Regarding social-media influencers, Panihar believes “they just provide reach, which is more useful while promoting a product. However, one cannot compare experiences with products. People buy an experience or an opportunity when someone who has already lived it retells it,” he enunciates.

Though this seems to be an innovative idea, and perhaps can be used in cases of mass hiring at the entry level, it is certainly not for niche or specialised talent.

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