“Social Media Recruiting” is a hot topic in HR today. Every management software company and professional social media network claims that it can expand the reach of your job postings and attract more applicants. But recruiting revolutions don’t happen overnight. Social media can be a powerful tool to amplify your online voice, but only if this new tool is used in a smart and effective way. So check out these simple “Dos and Don’ts” of social media recruiting, to expand your reach and your applicant pool in the right way:
- Leverage Your Existing Communities. Social media is designed to share information that users find relevant and useful. According to a recent CareerArc Group survey, 72% of companies use social media to advertise their jobs. Whether you are trying to share jobs on Facebook,Twitter, or LinkedIn, if you have a thriving online community of users who are committed to your brand, social media can be the perfect outlet to find new applicants who already have a personal interest in your company.
- Target Specific Individuals. Social media allows you to search for passive job seekers that may not even be on the market. These sites allow you to view assimilations of a candidate’s work history and relevant skills and experience. Additionally, through the rise of geo-location, social media sites now allow you to share messages with users in targeted geographical areas – so you can reach out to job seekers, with the right skills, in your neighborhood.
- Use New Communication Platforms. Once you’ve identified a quality candidate you can encourage them to apply via social media messages. Whether it’s a private message via Facebook or an InMail via LinkedIn, companies can use social communication tools to reach out and provide initial contact with potential employees.
- Don’t Heavily Invest Funding. CareerArc Group’s recent survey also revealed that 74% of companies invest less than 10% of their hiring budgets into social media recruiting. Although this number has improved from the 2012 survey (previously 92%), it still shows that social media is more cost effective as a free supplement to traditional recruiting techniques using unpaid advertising channels.
- Don’t Appear “Spam-y” or Insincere. Take the time and craft your social media messages with your audience in mind. Repeatedly posting about your open position will overwhelm and annoy your audience. Also avoid overusing #hashtags or canned “We’re Hiring” messages. Use this opportunity to highlight your growth as a company, rather than forcing your social media audience to read the classifieds section.
- Don’t Alienate Your Current Audience. You’ve taken the time to cultivate a community of followers who are interested in your brand and its product / messages. If you abruptly change the topic of conversation completely, they will lose interest in your company and unsubscribe. So focus on working your job postings into the existing conversation.
Overall, social media recruiting is most effective when it mimics traditional networking techniques. Increasing applicant flow is all well and good, but if your incoming applicants are unqualified, you are only creating more HR headaches. So don’t use Facebook and LinkedIn to broadcast your message to unqualified individuals, use it to connect with fresh talent and find qualified candidates on a one to one basis.