Social media engagement the 'game changer' in talent war

  • Malaysia ranks 4th worldwide for use of social media in career decisions
  • APAC attracts only 7% of global workers who are willing to be relocated
Social media engagement the 'game changer' in talent war

AS more Gen-Ys and millennials join the workforce, social media and online tools are emerging as the vital channels that organisations need to attract, engage and retain top talents.
This was the finding of the 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) by the Outsourcing & Consulting Group (KellyOCG) of workforce solutions provider, Kelly Services.
“The report found that an increasing number of employees use social media and online tools, such as online talent communities, as the medium to facilitate career moves,” said Anthony Raja Devadoss, vice president of KellyOCG, Asia Pacific.
He added that the phenomenon is more inclined in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region which stands out as a hot spot with approximately half (51%) the employees involving their social media network for employment decisions which is significantly higher than Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)  at 34% and the Americas at 30%.
Malaysia ranked fourth in the world in term of workers’ use of social media in making their career decisions. At least, 60% of the local workforce uses social media as a job search tool in comparison to the global average of 36%.
However, despite the preference of prospective employees in using social media tools, the KGWI survey found that only less than 30% of job positions in APAC countries are landed via online job boards.
“This opposing trend therefore warrants a re-think about how organisations engage the right talent. This is a pertinent issue as the worldwide talent gap continues to widen and projected to reach 81 million by 2018.”
“Today’s digital era presents both challenges and opportunities to the employers. There are greater opportunities than ever for employers to engage a wider pool of talents across industries, occupations, countries and continents,” said Devadoss.
He added that companies should consider integrating social media and online tools into their talent supply chain strategy in view of the growing importance of effective online and social media platforms to interact with current and prospective employees whether for branding or recruitment purposes.
Talent supply chain strategy is a proactive management approach to securing and optimizing talent at competitive rates and with minimized risk.
The rise of online talent communities
Social media engagement the 'game changer' in talent war Devadoss (pic) also highlighted that more online talent communities have sprouted as employees today become more willing to open up about work and workplace challenges.
An online talent community is defined as an interactive forum where individuals connect around particular skill sets or interests. Members include candidates, employees, alumni and others related to the group’s interest.
The KGWI survey found that current participation in talent communities is highest in APAC (25%) followed by the Americas (19%) and EMEA (10%).
“With a more open and networked business environment, employers have the chance to showcase available opportunities and become the preferred employer. This can improve the quality and speed of talent acquisition as well as retention rate.
“The concept of online talent community is still relatively new in Malaysia, but forward-thinking employers recognise it as the next generation of sourcing and social recruiting,” he added.
Devadoss noted that not only have online and social media approaches gained in popularity, they have also raised workers’ expectations that these concepts should be incorporated into their work life.
“Companies need to learn how to adjust to a ‘new normal’ as generations with different viewpoints enter and exit the workforce.
“Social media provides a competitive advantage but it is not the cure or the ultimate arsenal in the talent war. It’s crucial for developing a hybrid strategy that takes the best elements of social media and alternative online methods together with traditional channels to attract, engage, and recruit talents,” he added.
Other key findings of the survey for the APAC talent market include:

  • APAC attracts only 7% of global workers who are willing to be relocated in contrast Europe stands out as the choice of destination with more than one-third (34%) of workers have nominated.

  • However, local workers are far more willing than the global average to give up higher pay and/or career growth or advancement to learn new skills (66% versus 57% globally) and for a greater work-life balance (65% versus 52% globally).

  • More than 80% of APAC candidates prefer to apply for jobs via digital /electronic resume or application. Online job boards are somewhat more relied on in APAC (27%) as compared to Americas and EMEA (24% and 26% respectively).

Devadoss added that a comprehensive talent supply chain management will offer a holistic view of talent and enable companies to understand what attracts and motivates all types of talent around the world – not just the talent they have, but the talent they hope to have.
“Address your company’s workforce challenges or gaps by evaluating your talent needs and how they fit into your company’s human capital needs,” he said.
The 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) is a global survey conducted and developed by Kelly Services with nearly 230,000 respondents across 31 countries, spanning industries and occupations to better understand the worldwide labour market.
The read the full report [PDF] click here.

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