Are social networks the future of executive recruitment?

Companies are increasingly using social networks to approach potential candidates.

Recruitment difficulties intensify

While a very dynamic executive employment market is positive news from a macro-economic point of view, it is not without its problems for companies looking for skills on a more pragmatic level. The volume of professional and managerial recruitment has risen sharply, exceeding the pre-crisis record levels, with almost 310,000 managers expected to be hired by 2022. However, of the companies with 10 or more employees that have recruited at least one executive, more than 6 out of 10 have encountered difficulties in finding the perfect candidate, who they see as increasingly rare. The lack of applications and the mismatch between those received and their needs are the main stumbling blocks they continue to encounter, not to mention the sometimes-fierce competition between recruiters, particularly in the IT sector. Reflecting these difficulties, the average time taken to recruit a manager has continued to rise. It now stands at 12 weeks, compared with 11 in 2021 and 9 in 2020.

Finding managers where they are

Companies are deploying increasingly proactive sourcing strategies to approach potential candidates, and social networks are clearly gaining in importance. They are now the second most common recruitment channel used by companies, behind job advertisements, whereas in 2020 they were only the 4th. Companies of all sizes are using them more and more to advertise their vacancies (68% in 2022 vs. 62% in 2021) and also to contact executives directly (54% vs. 50%). This greater use of the direct approach via social networks is particularly prevalent among SMEs with 10 to 49 employees (52% in 2022, +9 pts in one year). However, this practice is not yet as widespread as in large companies (67%).

Clearly express your needs and differentiating advantages

Posting job offers on the company website (career page), on a job board or on a professional social network is still the most common practice used by recruiters. However, this is often more complicated than it seems, especially when recruitment is a one-off activity within a company, and this is particularly the case for VSEs and SMEs. That's why we advise them on how to better identify their skills needs, prioritise them, and make the difference with elements that they don't necessarily think of highlighting (quality of life, teleworking, diversity and interest of assignments, interactions, etc.) to attract profiles that are increasingly in a position of strength but whose professional expectations are evolving and to which they can respond.

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