As ever increasing numbers of employers turn to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in order to find the right person for the job, we take a look at the world of social recruiting and how you can make it work for you and your business.
To state the obvious, every individual working for your company should be an ideal match in terms of the working environment and the role they are performing. Frequently replacing and training new staff can be both time-consuming and costly.
It is therefore important that employers should use every tool at their disposal when sourcing new staff to ensure maximum productivity and longevity.
Whether you have visited the profile page of your local university careers office, have noticed the occasional Facebook friend appealing for job applicants for their company in your news feed or have been prompted to sign up to a recruitment service like Indeed or Monster after viewing its sponsored tweets, the chances are you will be aware that social media is now a significant aspect of the recruitment process.
Social recruiting is the term used to describe any activity which connects employers and staff via social media. Social media is a valuable tool in circulating information relating to openings and helping connect jobseekers with new opportunities.
It also gives employers the opportunity to become familiar with potential candidates and gain a sense of what working with them would be like.
As everyone strives to adapt to the increasingly technological face of the employment landscape, how can you make sure you stay one step ahead?
The Advantages of Social Recruiting
Social recruiting works because it does what social media does best; it circulates information quickly and efficiently.
It also allows you increased control during the recruiting process as you are given the opportunity to both source and investigate candidates chosen from a large pool of prospective recruits. Social recruiting affords you the scope to make more informed decisions when selecting your staff.
Where before you had to rely on the CV submitted in its traditional paper form, modern web searching mean that employers can obtain a more comprehensive overview of a candidate by looking at their social media profiles.
While this is undoubtedly useful, remember that one should tread carefully in order to avoid murky legal areas; the process should be fair for the applicant.
Ideally social recruiting should provide applicants with new opportunities as well as employers, for example, those that are engaged and proactive in recruitment channels may be deserving of more attention when it comes to making a decision.
Another great feature of social media as a recruitment channel is that it allows you to open a dialogue with candidates and the ability to engage with them throughout the selection process.
Not to mention, it’s cheap! Small things such as posting job opportunities in your company status updates can be hugely effective yet literally cost nothing.
Which Social Networks are Best for Recruiting?
In order to answer this question you need to figure out where the people are, specifically, those you need to improve your business. For maximum exposure you must develop a strategy which incorporates all the top social media platforms:
Facebook’s greatest asset in social recruiting is its massive coverage (the social network boasts 1.28 billion monthly active users as of May 2014). Individuals are increasingly likely to use the site to research a company and the site has become a potent recruitment tool.
Creating a page for your company means that fans and followers will receive updates in their news feed, including those relating to job openings. Build a strong network by adding existing and former colleagues, employees, suppliers and others operating within your industry.
Those with a known interest in your field are more likely to help you distribute information relating to openings and opportunities.
LinkedIn is a dedicated business networking site and is therefore your greatest social recruiting resource. It enables you to identify those with specific skill sets, has a specific area where you can post jobs for an appropriate fee (around £130) and allows candidates to submit their CV to you via the site.
LinkedIn gives you access to a wealth of CV-type data and business-relevant information. While looking at others remember that others are looking at you. Keep your company and personal profiles up to date and work hard to maintain a strong network by forging new links with those you come into contact with in business.
Become a part of any relevant industry groups and actively participate within those groups. Take care to respond to any enquiries and offer your advice and expertise freely to increase your exposure to industry talent.
According to VentureBeat, 51% of all job openings advertised on social media are made available via Twitter. Twitter has become an excellent platform for posting job openings on both personal and company profiles. There are specific tools available within the site to assist you in your search, such as Twitter Job Search.
This is a service which can be thought of as a free job board. By logging on, you can enter the details of the job you want to advertise. Your post will then be broadcast to a highly focused user base of jobseekers on Twitter.
Somewhat underrated, Google+ is fast becoming an excellent tool for social recruiting. As the largest available search engine, Google is unmatched in its abilities to connect people with the information they need. The company also runs YouTube, Blogger and the biggest free email platform in Gmail.
Google+ excels in its scope for user engagement in its communities and dialogue through commenting is massively encouraged. Another secret recruiting weapon it possesses is the quality of its multimedia tools; its content marketing and video conferencing abilities mean you can reach your candidates in new and exciting ways.
Which Tools Should You Be Using and How to Maximise Exposure?
In order to yield the best results, ideally you need to cultivate a multi-channel social recruitment strategy.
A survey carried out by Adobe in 2013 revealed that around 71% of us use our mobiles to access social media. As well as making sure your company is active across social platforms, make sure that the content you post is mobile and tablet friendly.
As well as the main social networking sites, there are certain digital tools available which may prove extremely helpful:
Tools like Buffer can be useful as they allow you to schedule your posts on social media. You can queue and distribute posts across your chosen sites in the way that best suits your company and its needs. Such services are time-saving and ensure that content is posted regularly and at times when it is sure to yield the most positive result.
Blogging tools like Tumblr can be useful in updating candidates and aiding them in their quest to get to know you and your brand.
People respond well to what they can see. Make sure that your recruitment campaign includes visual elements which help your company tell a story alongside text-based information.
Tools like Instagram and Vine are great because features like limited video time and visual appeal ensure that content seems modern and compelling. Using such tools can assist you in developing a brand identity.
The search tools on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are invaluable for connecting employers with people whose skills, knowledge, interests and experience match their openings. Go one step beyond by using advanced Google search strings to identify all the profiles on LinkedIn which match your search criteria.
This method has the potential to unearth promising new candidates you might otherwise miss.
Outside of the digital don’t forget what else you have at your disposal. Harness the power of your current employees by inviting them to announce job openings on their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. This brings you one step closer to forging new links with like-minded individuals.
It is also worth mentioning that helping others can go a long way. You could help your connections in their own campaigns by linking them with useful contacts of your own. Become a valuable resource yourself and people are more likely to remember you when the tables are turned.
What Comes Next?
There are three stages of recruitment: attraction, selection and retention. The process begins before the business has even decided to take anyone new on and only ends once the new employee is secure within the role (at which point your business may be considering its next move in recruitment).
Social media plays the part of attraction; it attracts candidates to the relevant role while simultaneously helping employers decide which candidates are attractive. First impressions count for everything and it is important to remember that this goes for your business as well as its prospective employees.
The next step is opening a dialogue with your candidates; arguably the most crucial point in the process. It is at this stage that you may decide to review candidates using both their resume and the information posted on their social media profiles.
Tread carefully here. While a person’s social media profiles may communicate a sense of their behaviour, it is ethically dangerous to use personal information to inform your decision.
Instead use professionally relevant information found on business profiles and sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to inform your decision, if necessary employing a third-party to pass on the business-relevant information to the person who will be making the final decision.
Facebook profiles are ethically problematic as they have the potential to reveal personal information which may negatively affect the decision to hire them, for example if the candidate is pregnant. You can still determine whether a candidate’s behaviour will match the ethos of your company.
Such aspects of the process are best left to the interview stages at which point you can direct specific questions at the candidate intended to highlight areas of suitability, or indeed, the lack thereof.
Once you have selected what the business feels to be the ideal candidate, it is simply a matter of monitoring your new staff to ensure you have fulfilled your task in the best possible manner. Evaluating your process will be of immeasurable value to you during your next recruitment drive.