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The social media recruiting puzzle: 3 tips

In meeting with customers lately, the big conversation seems to be around social media and specifically, social media recruiting. “How can we turn all of our employees into recruiters?” and “What does it take to get a program going?” are typical questions.

The answers are not so easy, but they are not that hard either. I think the hardest part about getting a social media program off the ground is how comprehensive it can be. By that I mean that it is not a one-way, one-sided, one and done effort that we are used to. It’s a “conversation” and an “engagement” that requires time and some expertise (not about social media, but about a topic/issue). Ultimately, it’s about connections.

Making those connections can get you a good network of people who may be, or may know, potential employees for your company. Here are three questions to ask and some tips if you are struggling with the social media recruiting puzzle:

What’s your goal? Social media programs can be far-reaching, which means that it may take some time before the benefits come back around to you. It’s not: Post it and get a resume like a job board. It’s about making connections that make additional connections (and so on) that result in the attention or awareness of you, your company or your employees. From there, the connection can go anywhere – resulting in new audiences, new candidates, or simply new connections. Your goal should be around what connections you are looking to make, such as those interested in your company, your industry, your products or the skills you use.

What resources do you have? Let’s face it; social media can be a big time suck. It’s about both quality and quantity. By quantity, I simply mean that you have to put many things out there in many places to reach those connections. You also have to have some quality behind what you are doing. The engagement and connection comes from a shared interest, information or perspective (see the next bullet) on something. You need a team to help provide both the quality and the quantity required to see benefits.

What’s your perspective? First, have a perspective. One of the great things about social media is the ability to see and share many different perspectives. Many companies have fallen on their faces by simply trying to blatantly sell through social media, rather than trying to show their perspective or provide a sense of context for their company. What are you about? What things influence you and others in your business sphere? If you care about it, chances are someone who might work for you or do business with you might care about it as well. Share your perspective and look for those who share it or those who have a different perspective on the things you and your company care about.

So where does the recruiting come in? That’s a great question and anyone with experience in recruiting through networking can tell you that if it’s done right, you will attract people to you (connections) who can refer the right people or may even be the right people themselves. It’s about letting people discover you and your company; the people you want to connect with and hire.

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