Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Using Social Media for Recruitment

The face of job recruiting has changed—and it’s not just a little Botox and brow work, either. While newspaper classifieds and employment websites used to be the go-to resources for recruiting, social media outlets have also become key players.

Traditional media can still prove to be a fruitful form of recruitment, however employers are increasingly turning to social media to find new hires. According to a recent research report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 76% of companies said that they do use or are planning to use social media sites for recruiting. More than half of the employers responding said that social networking sites are an efficient way to recruit candidates. 

There are many benefits to using social media for recruitment. Messages sent over social media channels may be perceived as being more authentic or have a higher level of credibility and believability than traditional corporate mechanisms. Also, the relatively low cost of sending messages over social networks may allow your firm to increase the number of messages that it can afford to send. Together, these two factors may result in more effective messages that directly increase quality applications.

Candidate quality is also a benefit of social media recruitment. Those who frequently use social networks may be the highly desirable “early adopter.” These people are engaged and in-tune with the latest trends, are not afraid to learn new programs, and are more technically savvy (increasingly important in our digital world) than other candidates.

Another draw is the link-ability and sharing capabilities of social media sites. It’s super easy for friends to see a job opening post and share it with family and friends quickly. Additionally, presenting your job openings in a creative way allows companies to show more about their personalities as organizations, which in turn helps potential candidates get a feel for whether or not the culture is likely to be a good fit. 

A more honest conversation, company exposure, and attracting certain types of people are all possible when utilizing social media. However there are a few tips to know before jumping in and tweeting your heart out. First, it’s important to recognize and understand the three main social media outlets that are most conducive for recruitment. These sites include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Secondly, it is important to understand the unique audience of these sites, and what to look for when evaluating candidates on social media sites.

The Main Sites of Social Media Recruitment

The easiest way to recruit is to tweet jobs you have available.  That being said, it’s also easy for those tweets to fall through the cracks of the incessant Twitter-chatter. To make your job posting tweets standout you can use hashtags (#). Hashtags are a way to filter, search and find information on Twitter. For example, if you posted “Company X is #hiring! We’re looking for smart #interns,” then someone can search #hiring and #interns on twitter, and you’re company will show up in the results. 

When you find a potential candidate on Twitter, it’s important to evaluate their Twitter skills. Especially if recruiting for a social media-related position, it’s important that the candidate is familiar and utilizes the site effectively. Rather than reading their skill on a resume or cover letter, recruiting on Twitter allows you to see their real-world skill. You can evaluate their activity to see how often they tweet, if there is a good balance between following and followers, how big their network is, and their quality of tweets.

If your company has a Facebook, make sure that it is up to date and relevant first. You can then post job openings for your fans to see on your company page. This is free and gives your fans an exclusive chance to apply. This is a good thing as your Facebook fans are most likely passionate about your company (otherwise why would they be your friend?). What better pool to choose from then a group of brand fanatics and agency supporters?

You can post a job on LinkedIn, although there is a fee associated with this. I would recommend using your network activity box (also known as the status box) to broadcast you’re hiring. It’s free and simple. It works similar to a Facebook status update; “New opening for project manager.  Contact me for details.” When you find someone that peaks your interest, evaluate their LinkedIn profile. How complete is this persons profile? Does it look neglected or incomplete? Do they have recommendations from peers, managers and colleagues? Are they members of relevant groups? Do you have any connections with this person? You want an “expert” in the field, and this is an easy way to tell how engaged they are.

In conclusion, recruiters are increasingly reaping the benefits of utilizing social media sites to fill job openings. And it’s no wonder, when you can gain brand exposure, create buzz, source candidates and evaluate their potential and real-world applicability with social recruitment. 

Ashley Haugen is a Gustavus Adolphus College alumna. She has had Marketing experience working with such organizations as the LOFT Literary Center, the Gustavus Marketing Department and the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. She currently is a PR associate at Axiom Marketing Communications.
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1 comment:

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