Every business owner or manager will tell you that one of the biggest challenges in running their business is staffing. Hiring quality people is a difficult task for any type of business.
Times have changed in the recruiting world. It used to be that businesses placed advertisements in the career section of the local newspaper or attended a career fair. Candidates who were actively searching for work would look in those venues for possible jobs. Sometimes, word of mouth worked and you got a job because somebody you know or a friend of a friend was recruiting. Executive-level candidates might also be sought out by headhunting organizations.
Nowadays, social media is commonly used to help organizations find and hire staff. It doesn’t have to be a supplement to recruiting either. An effective social media hiring strategy can be one of the main components of hiring. Here’s how businesses are using social media for recruiting.
Rise of Social Media
We all know that social media burst onto the scene several years ago and has done nothing but grow at a rapid pace – both in number of sites and number of users. Studies cite that the average Internet user has more than five social media accounts. Those could include:
Social media sites have become our communities. People connect with each other and converse with like-minded individuals through these online communities.
Some of these sites or “communities” provide excellent opportunities for recruiters to find and connect with candidates in new ways. Candidates can be found that may not have been discovered with traditional recruiting techniques. Your company’s own social media presence can be leveraged to attract people to your organization.
Here are some ways to use social media for the benefit of effective recruiting.
Be Active on Social Media
To attract a new generation of employees, it’s important to have a presence on social media. LinkedIn, for instance, can help you attract candidates but also help you find potential candidates and reach out to them.
In order to be effective, ensure you have a complete company page. It’s your brand and it will showcase your company and your culture. It will also ensure your organization and any openings show up in search results. Job seekers will use this to find openings and learn about your company. The biggest benefit is to focus on LinkedIn, followed by Twitter. Facebook is not as effective, because most people use Facebook for pleasure and not for job seeking. But, it’s still worthwhile to have a presence.
You can use all of the sites to post jobs, and you can also use them to search for candidates. On LinkedIn, for example, you can use filters to do searches. You can look by location, for instance, or by years of experience. There are a variety of filters that can be used to actively seek out employees.
The reality is that people who use LinkedIn are there because they want to actively connect, network, and look for job opportunities. LinkedIn is probably the most powerful of the social media sites to use when it comes to finding and recruiting candidates.
Go Beyond the Big Three
Everyone thinks of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the big social media sites to use to reach employees. But, they aren’t the only ones to consider.
Depending on your industry, you can have some fun with Instagram or YouTube. Photographs and videos will always attract interest.
Perhaps you could build a video of employees talking about why they love working for your organization. Your CEO could describe the position and the kind of candidate you’re seeking.
Post photos of employees volunteering, or of company events. Encourage employees to share your posts. Think outside the box to attract a new generation.
Use Hashtags and Thought Leadership Articles
Obviously, sharing open positions is one way to use social media to recruit employees. But, go beyond that and participate in the right conversations to find employees.
Your organization can use hashtags to draw people to the conversations you want to have. You can also use hashtags to search for specific topics, and through that, find people who are knowledgeable about a topic for which you are recruiting – IT, for example.
Share content that shows your organization is a great place to work. Consider photographs, which attract followers. Be active in relevant LinkedIn groups. You can also post thought leadership articles about topics that will interest candidates.
Another tactic is to seek out trending hashtags on Twitter and link job postings to those kinds of conversations. You can also hashtag the specific location or city for which you are recruiting, if that’s relevant.
To go beyond simply posting a job and use hashtags or create relevant conversations, it’s important to:
- Research and identify the key terms you want to focus on
- Understand the audience you’re seeking and go to the relevant site to attract them
- Provide useful information to your audience
- Stay up-to-date, people won’t continue to follow if your posts are stale
Remember to INVOLVE Your Existing Employees
While it’s true that many organizations have strict social media policies, it’s possible to involve employees responsibly.
Encourage employees to share openings via their social media networks. Ask employees to share positive conversations about your organization. Ask employees for their ideas to generate interest in openings through social media. You’ll be amazed at some of the ideas that will come from those who use the platforms themselves.
Check on Prospective Employees
This is almost a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that you can use social media to not only find candidates, but to do an initial evaluation of those you do find.
You can use sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to learn a candidate’s education, experience, background, hobbies and social circles. LinkedIn provides you with a directory of professionals and they are even organized by company, job title, industry, and other categories.
Using social media, you can also learn about candidates’ attitude and behavior, good and bad. You may not be impressed by some opinions expressed by a candidate, but you may also be pleasantly surprised to learn that a candidate loves their profession, for instance, or will be a good fit for your organization.
Social media has opened new doors for recruiters, and also provides access to a new generation of potential employees. It’s important to consider the best ways to use social media when developing a recruiting strategy for any size of business.
About the Author: Daniel Ross is part of the marketing team at Roubler — workforce management and payroll software platform founded in Australia. Their mission is to change the way the world manages its workforces.