by Dave Mattson
The world of recruiting changed drastically with the introduction of social media. New tech companies could now compete with established corporations in their recruiting strategies. Having endless connections in your industry became less important. Instead, the focus shifted to knowing how to recruit using social media. With more than 500 million people on Facebook and 100 million on LinkedIn, social recruiting has quickly surpassed traditional methods for finding the best candidates.
With this shift, it is important to have a guide to navigate the ever-changing landscape. Use this tool to start your social recruiting search and connect with hundreds, even thousands, of the most qualified candidates.
Social Recruiting Benefits
Connecting with the best candidates in your industry is the most important way to stay on top of the competition. Although social recruiting should not replace your routine hiring methods completely, you need to include social search tools to enhance and improve results. Social recruiting provides several benefits you will not get from traditional recruiting avenues:
1. Identify hard-to-reach candidates. Many good employees are not actively looking for jobs. Using social media allows you to reach out to these passive candidates.
2. Save money. Check out boards on social sites like Facebook that target candidates in relevant industries. These boards are free and allow you to post on pages that pertain specifically to the job description. Instead of spending money to post on increasingly cluttered and spammy job boards, try sharing on trusted social networking pages.
3. Reach higher quality candidates. People responding to job postings on social media are usually early adopters and more tech-savvy, giving you access to candidates who are more highly qualified in comparison to those still submitting paper resumes.
Once you understand and appreciate the benefits of social recruiting, you can begin mastering the techniques for finding new candidates online.
Step 1: Understand Corporate Goals
You need to understand company goals before you begin your search. What is your company trying to accomplish through this new hire? Is the goal to fill a current position, to transform the position to fit a different objective, or to take on part of an overworked employee’s duties? This pertinent information will allow you to craft the position description you post on social sites.
Step 2: Evaluate Talent Gaps
Next, you should examine which qualities are missing from your team. Identifying the talent gaps will help you build the framework for the hiring information you will send out on social sites.
This will also help determine which social sites to use for posting the position. There are plenty of ways to search for employees with specific skill sets. For instance, if you are looking for someone that excels in web design, you should begin by posting in technology groups on social sites like Facebook.
Step 3: Create an “Ideal Employee” Model
To create an ideal employee model, include make-or-break details for candidates, plus qualities and skills you would like to see. Answer questions like:
- Which social networking site would this employee use most? For example, a salesperson may favor LinkedIn, while a marketing employee could spend more time on Twitter and Facebook.
- What software knowledge does the employee have?
- How many years has this person been in the industry?
Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to narrow your search and focus on a few social sites. The social media environment has become cluttered, but by answering basic questions about your ideal candidate, you can create a targeted game plan for your candidate search.
Step 4: Verify Your Company Has a Solid Brand Image
No one wants to work for a company that has a bad reputation. A good candidate research your company before agreeing to an interview. They want to ensure that the fit will be right both ways. Consistently monitoring and adjusting your brand over time keeps the company image fresh and on-message. Keep an eye on any social sites where your brand may be posted and be ready to implement damage control if complaints arise. A positive brand makes job candidates eager to apply and join your well-reviewed company.
Step 5: Get Help from Your Social Media All-Stars
Every company has employees who are passionate about social media. They understand every update and know how to navigate the vast social landscape. Use their skills to get the most out of social media sites and glean valuable knowledge from their experience. These employees can help you focus your efforts to target the most qualified candidates out of your social recruiting recruits.
Step 6: Share Valuable Content
The best potential candidates are eager to learn more about their industry. To show that you are a thought leader in your industry, utilize social media sites to share valuable content that your company creates. By producing quality content, you will earn the respect of the most engaged people in your industry and position your company above less active competitors.
Step 7: Engage with Potential Candidates
In addition to showing you are a thought leader in your industry, you can use the valuable content created in the step above as an effective recruiting tactic. People that reply and start a discussion are likely to be the best candidates. They are passionate enough about their jobs to search out new knowledge. Collect their names and contact information to use in future recruiting efforts.
Use social sites to start a real conversation with potential job candidates. Ask questions that convey transparency and honesty. Candidates want to work for a company that has a real personality and cares about employees. By putting an honest, human voice behind the company, you become approachable and gain candidate trust.
Step 8: Use Social Networking with Caution
A word of caution for recruiters using social networking for recruiting: some argue that social recruiting encourages hiring discrimination. By viewing potential employees’ comments and pictures on social media, you have the ability to eliminate candidates long before face-to-face interaction. Be sure your company follows transparent hiring practices.
Once you have collected the contact information for the best candidates, you can always reach out for future positions. Create a file with this information and continue reaching out to potential candidates. Showing your interest and engaging with these people helps maintain visibility of your company brand, even if you aren’t hiring.
By following the steps of our social recruiting guide, you will have your pick of the most qualified and knowledgeable potential employees in the social media landscape.