Leveraging the power of social media in your recruiting strategy

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Posted by Mindy Fineout

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May 20, 2011

Methods of recruiting have changed significantly over the years. The industry has matured from cold calling and resume database searches to using social media as a recruitment tool. Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have had a significant impact on the recruiting industry.

In the infancy of social media, the challenge was to identify how these sites could be used as effective tools. There were challenges working with human resources to ensure that all company policies were being followed and that compliance rules were met. And, as it often is with new technology, corporate response was slow. However, as corporate policies were created and implemented, recruiters became more apt to use social media.

Recruiters found that the social media tools allowed them to reach out to passive candidates in a way that both candidates and recruiters found new and exciting. Using social media tools, recruiters are able to reach specific groups based on their interests, Facebook likes, LinkedIn group participation, or blog posts. Plus, the candidate pool is immense. Facebook alone has over 500 million users internationally.

Twitter was more challenging for recruiters to figure out. There is not a definitive way to target users. Twitter is not as mainstream as Facebook. The ability to tweet your message with less than 140 characters proved challenging. Companies eventually learned to embrace this tool and created tweets with job openings, company information, and industry insight. This was extremely successful for companies that already developed name brand recognition.

LinkedIn has been extremely successful in connecting candidates, recruiters and companies, and has become one of the most popular recruiting tools for professionals in the past two years. Recruiters have the ability to view candidate profiles, which is essentially a virtual business card with details. Candidates can network with recruiters, view company profiles, and see available job postings.

The benefit for recruiters using social media has been significant. Social media sites allow the recruiter to engage potential candidates in an open format and allow recruiters to respond in a focused manner. It also allows the recruiter to develop a more personal and meaningful relationship with candidates. These sites allow the recruiter to become "real" in the candidates' eyes and not perceived as the person behind the curtain waiting for them to apply.

Looking back at the past three years, social media has proven to be a helpful tool for both recruiters and candidates. The appeal of the hands-on approach or the direct-to-the-point communication (with sites such as Twitter) have developed into successful recruiting techniques.

This post was written by former Seamless Workforce contributor Donna Vespe.

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Topics: HR Strategies

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