Talent Strategy

Why Social Media Should Be Part of Your Recruiting Strategy

When asked why they do not use social media to recruit, many firms cite a lack of time or legal/privacy issues.  That’s fair.  Social media recruiting does take time and there are legal and privacy questions to deal with.  But those aren’t real obstacles.  They are excuses dressed as obstacles, and the sooner you address them, the sooner you can add this powerful strategy to complement your hiring portfolio.

Why-to

  • Access to passive candidates.  We know there are plenty of candidates who are not necessarily looking for an opportunity…but they are also not “not looking.”  They are open to the right opportunity should it come across their feeds.
  • See a resume without getting a resume.  Sites like LinkedIn provide you the opportunity to see what candidates have done and even personal recommendations from colleagues and supervisors.
  • Meet candidates where they are.  On average internet users have at least five types of social media accounts that they are active on throughout the weekdays and on weekends as well.  You are going to a platform that they are voluntarily using in their free time.
  • Screen for cultural fit.  While your social posting will grab their attention, if a candidate reaches out to you, you also get an opportunity to get direct insight into this person.  Does their social activity fit well with your company culture and ethos?
  • Cost.  Social media recruiting doesn’t have a direct cost, which means you can add it to help you recruit without having to come up with extra funds to access the platforms.

How-to

  • LinkedIn.  The undisputed leader in the category boasts that more than 90% of hiring managers have used LinkedIn at least once to make a successful hire.  You can use their Premium option to have access to even more functions, but you should start by making sure that your company profile is fully filled out and represents your firm well.
  • Facebook.  As with LinkedIn, the paid features of Facebook get you more access (you can run an ad advertising your positions) but you can add a “jobs” tab at no cost to your company page to make sure those arriving to the page have a way to find out what opportunities are available.
  • Show off your company.  This is the equivalent of the “selfie.”  These are ways to positively show special things about your company.
    • Culture.  Do you have special rituals or attitudes in your office that can be captured?
    • Events.  Whether it’s a company offsite or a community service project that the company is participating in, it’s great to see how people interact when they aren’t at work.
    • Workplace.  More than ever people want to work in places that inspire, not conjure up memories of cubicle farms.  Show people at work wherever they might be.
    • Quotes.  People really enjoy thoughtful quotes and smart connecting of such quotes to your culture will continue to communicate that your company is switched-on.
  • Use your staff.  The people who already work at your company are your best evangelists.
    • Tell stories.  You can link a job posting to a profile of someone who works in that department.  Candidates can find out what kind of people already work there and can even see someone they might work with.  You’re being open and transparent and people appreciate that.
    • Host a video AMA.  The hiring manager can get onto Periscope or a similar platform and discuss the job posting and answer questions for those who are watching live.  If you advertise the broadcast time well you can get a fair number of curious watchers on the broadcast and even if some key candidates miss it they can watch a replay of someone at the firm pitching why this might be a great place to work.
    • Harness the power users.  More and more you might find out that someone in the office has a large Instagram or Twitter following, or has a Youtube channel about something funny or obscure.  Don’t pass up an opportunity to possibly harness their following to share a job posting.  At the bare minimum, you should be consulting them about your messaging.
  • Don’t ignore the niches
    • GithubWe’ve discussed the importance of being involved in this community, especially if you are looking for developers.
    • Instagram.  It’s been reported that over 30% of job seekers have found a job through this platform.  Remember that the medium is the message and that a listing that works well on Instagram (well-captured photo or image) won’t necessarily work on a micro-blogging platform like Twitter.  Don’t blast post the same content on every social network.  Show your savvy by adapting your message to the platform.
    • Use hashtags.  #NYChiring or #devjobs are just two examples of great ways to get in on the conversation that is already going on.

People are hiring great candidates from social media and candidates are finding their dream opportunities through social media.  The question is, are you going to add it to your hiring portfolio or continue to fret that you don’t have the time to do so?  There are legal and privacy questions to address – but deal with them.  Don’t let that obstacle become an excuse.  Great hires are worth a lot – so monetize your time and start socializing with that possible new hire.

 


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Stephen writes about startups, hiring and career issues for VocaWorks.

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