The explosion in the popularity of social media, and its continued rise in attractiveness, is not just for personal use. Social media is used in a variety of business contexts, from promoting the business itself to selling products.
Social media can also be an effective tool for recruiting if used properly. Recruiting and retaining quality staff continues to be a challenge for businesses of all types, so any kind of leverage that can be gained should be utilized.
Social media can help in recruitment efforts, including finding and qualifying candidates, and even with retaining quality staff once you find them. But what are the techniques to effectively use social media?
Let’s look at how businesses use social media for recruiting.
Start Before the Hiring Process
Don’t wait until you have open positions to begin the work that will pay dividends. Be sure to have an effective online presence for your business, including effective social media profiles on the appropriate platforms.
When looking at where you want to devote your efforts, it’s important to take into consideration which platforms are best for your business, along with how much time you will have to devote to maintaining your presence.
The big three social media accounts for business are:
But depending on your business type, you can expand beyond that to consider:
Having a social media presence is not enough. You can’t simply “launch and step away.” That’s why it’s important to consider the time you have to devote to your social media presence and focus on one or two platforms to start.
Social media is all about expressing ideas, sharing information of value to your audience, and of course, interacting with people, so it takes effort on a regular basis.
When you do get to the point of recruiting candidates, they will be checking out your company’s profile on whatever social media platform on which you have a presence, so being fresh and engaging is significant for the long-term success of your efforts.
Nurture Your Company’s Social Media Presence
Once you have established profiles on your desired platforms, take time to engage in an appropriate activity. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Find and engage in the right conversations for your industry, with a mind to eventually recruiting. You can do this a few different ways: Be active in LinkedIn groups; use hashtags on Twitter to find conversations and engage in them, such as #(your industry)jobs or #(your industry)hiring; or, use search functions on Facebook.
- Use posts to highlight your company. This can include posts that promote your culture, share customer feedback, or communicate employee stories. People looking for work will be checking for organizations with which they want to work.
- Engage on the appropriate networks. Depending on your business, you may want to consider looking for industry-specific networks or groups within a network.
Utilize Employees to Support Your Cause
While building your social media presence, and once in the process of recruiting, utilize employees in your efforts if possible. It’s very likely that the vast majority of your employees have several social media accounts, and people are more likely to believe a friend or family member than a CEO or a faceless business profile.
While you may want to consider a social media policy in a large workplace, it is possible to encourage your entire staff to share openings and, in general, be a supporter of your organization on social media.
This can include asking them to share your company’s posts, or create posts about their positive impressions of the workplace.
As well, the individuals who are your recruiters can be encouraged to support your cause, promote openings, and create connections with candidates and potential candidates via social media.
Finding Candidates When You Have An Opening
When you do have positions that you’re looking to fill, use social media as one tool in your recruiting toolbox. When developing your strategy, it’s important to remember the benefits social media can add.
First, be sure that your profile pages on each platform are up-to-date. A completed brand page will show up on search results and will be the first place where jobseekers go when they find out about openings – or to look for positions.
Use social media to actively find potential applicants. Some of your strongest candidates may not even be looking for a job, so use the tools available to you to find them.
Filters on LinkedIn can help you search by for candidates by location, current or past company, years of experience, or other factors. Hashtags can help you find conversations relevant to your industry, the type of position, or the education or experience you’re looking for in an employee.
If you do find strong possibilities, reach out to them with a personal touch, not a copy-paste message that is sent to everyone. Personalize it by, for instance, mentioning why you think they make a great fit for your position and your business.
This tactic is probably the first one to come to mind when people think of using social media as a recruiting tool. It can be effective when used as part of the process, but you also have to be sure not to use social media as the only way to qualify a candidate.
Personal biases can play a role without even being aware, such as subconsciously qualifying based on gender, race, or religion.
But there are ways to use social media as part of your qualifying process. A face-to-face interview is always a good step to follow when you are interested in an applicant.
Here are some ways social media can help qualify candidates:
- Learn about the person’s talent and passion through their social media accounts. More often, people are blending personal and professional in their profiles. Through social media platforms, people often share their work, their ideas, and their passion for their career. If your position is one in which being tech-savvy is important, it may be essential that an applicant has an active online presence.
- Get resume details without a resume. Some social media platforms, like LinkedIn, are ideal for learning work and education history. Social media profiles often have plenty of nuggets of information about people.
- Learn about culture and fit. If your organization’s culture is an important component in hiring, it is possible to learn about the fit of a candidate through their social media profiles and considerations like their hobbies or interests. However, this is definitely one area where you will have to be careful not to disqualify a candidate based solely on their profile.
- Look out for bad eggs. Despite endless warnings about the public nature of social media, people still behave poorly online. You will be able to find out if people are negative to others, if they misbehave, if they have a bad attitude or other indicators that they won’t fit in your organization.
Social media continues to be an integral part of the lives of many people, and it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change. So it makes sense that businesses use social media as part of an overall recruiting strategy.
In fact, according to the latest stats, 98% of recruiters and companies are using social networks as a factor in their hiring efforts.
If you’re willing to do a bit of work, your business can also benefit from using social media in your recruiting efforts.
Author Bio: Daniel Ross is part of the marketing team at Roubler.com/au/ — a scheduling and payroll software platform founded in Australia. Their mission is to change the way the world manages its workforces.