Great businesses start with awesome employees. The challenge is to know where to find them. Today, savvy employers are embracing social media networking as part of their recruiting process! In fact, 91 percent of recruiters are actively engaging in social media recruiting. With the right social networking strategy, you can help your firm build its brand, market job openings and hone in on the best and brightest job candidates.
- understand the unique features and specific uses of each online community
- include your entire organization in your online recruiting efforts
- target passive talent as well as active job candidates
- recognize the brand- and relationship – building opportunity of social media recruiting
- keep an eye on your competition’s online hiring activity
- create online content without a strategy
- abandon traditional recruiting methods
- eliminate candidates based on their online profiles or posts
- underestimate the commitment needed to sustain an ongoing social media presence
- overlook the legalities of social media recruiting
Within the social media realm, there are many unique environments. Each online community has its own rules of engagement. Therefore, the content you create should be customized for the specific readership. For example, Facebook is built around friendly, active engagement; Twitter features quick exchanges in concise, 140 character tweets; and LinkedIn’s more buttoned-up environment calls for a concise approach targeted to specific groups of professionals.
Your staff can be a great messenger for your online efforts. They can help to share blogs, job postings or any “good news” with their own connections. Furthermore, social media employee referral programs allow your best employees to help recruit talented friends who are already somewhat pre qualified because of their established relationship. According to SHRM research, these referral programs lower overall cost per hire, speed up time to hire, improve employee retention and boost morale.
Sure, you can post available opportunities on job boards, but that’s not where the most specialized — and happily employed — talent can be found. Many of your best prospects are not active in the job market. That’s why social media strategists “push” strategic content that promotes a firm’s attributes, such as: great opportunities, higher compensation, and unique corporate culture.
Social media is a great forum for building corporate trust and respect. Some of the best social media recruiting strategies emphasize responsiveness, transparency and responsibility to the online and physical community. No matter what type of content you post, the tone and look should be consistent with your firm’s other advertising and promotional messages.
It’s vital that you stay abreast of your competition; after all, it is likely that you are targeting the same pool of candidates. Google Alerts, GlassDoor, Twitter, Indeed.com and LinkedIn are a few online destinations you can visit to evaluate your competition. Watch closely to see the comments their employees are posting, track new hires, and research your competitor’s salary information to stay at the forefront of your industry.
What are the objectives of your social media efforts? Who are you targeting? What is the overriding message or tone you are trying to convey? Where do your prospects “hang out” online? What does your audience need or want from your firm? With a solid game plan, your company will be poised to win the social media recruiting game.
Meeting face-to-face is still the gold standard to ensure the best “fit” for an individual and an organization. Recruiters should continue to network in order to sustain their pipeline and understand the soft skills of potential hires. Remember, it is impossible to make accurate judgments about a job candidate based solely on their interactions online.
According to researchers at North Carolina State University, social media screening may be eliminating good candidates from the talent pool. Furthermore, there are risks to employers if they access and act on information such as religious affiliation, sexual orientation, health or family situations. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against candidates because of these and other factors.
Many firms have at least one dedicated social media expert on staff to provide strategy, execution and analytics. It’s extremely challenging for recruiters to do it all — source, recruit, interview and negotiate. In fact, without dedicating the right manpower and effort to social media recruiting, your brand could sustain more harm than good.
Kick off your efforts by creating a social media policy with the help of an attorney familiar with employment law as it relates to social media. Furthermore, always let candidates know that you will be reviewing publicly posted social media content.
Today it is easier than ever to target talent using social media. In fact, with 73 percent of surveyed firms reporting successful hiring using social media in their recruiting mix, it is safe to say that your next best employees could be a key stroke away. A thoughtful strategy for securing a sound online presence is vital to ensuring faster, less expensive and more successful hiring.