How to Use Social Media to Acquire StaffBy Charles Bretz | Posted 2010-02-04 Print
When you use social networks together strategically, they can serve as an excellent tool in your company’s hiring arsenal.
Social media is widely used among employees, but should talent-acquisition departments use these tools for branding, pipelining, recruiting and competitive intelligence? My answer: You bet! Granted, not every social network will perform each task effectively, but when you use them together strategically, they can serve as an excellent tool in your company’s hiring arsenal.
When you’re developing your organization’s social media and networking strategy, start by exploring the big three platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Experiment with using them, read the FAQs, and search for industry peers, competitors and industry leaders to understand how they use each site.
By exploring this issue, you will gain a greater understanding of what’s possible. In fact, your strategy may change as you realize how you can reach groups of people you’ve never been able to contact before.
LinkedIn is designed for professional networking, and some individual profiles may read like resumes. However, there are also thousands of niche groups to join, a job board and the ability to post jobs to groups you belong to. Your company can also create a page to connect current and past employees, as well as attract potential new ones. In addition, membership allows you to ask questions on the LinkedIn network, create polls, and post documents and presentations to your profile.
Keep in mind that this is just the first step in achieving a company presence in social media. You also need to establish a presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook is a multifaceted tool that, when it’s used correctly, can be one of the best brand advocates for your company. It gives you a variety of platforms through which to connect with potential candidates and existing employees, including fan and group pages.
Through these platforms, organizations can personalize communication by posting press releases, corporate videos, accolades and even the implementation of green initiatives—topics that are important to your potential talent pool. As your fan and groups pages grow, so does your network.
If you use Facebook to acquire talent, remember to keep it professional. When reaching out to potential candidates, keep in mind that they may not be expecting a recruiter to e-mail them, so keep your e-mails low key and low pressure. Interaction on Facebook is completely different from that on LinkedIn, where people expect others to reach out for career networking purposes.
Although many people believe Twitter is just for communicating random day-to-day activities, numerous professionals are using Twitter to share information and best practices and to provide guidance to others. In addition, many organizations and associations use Twitter to keep their membership informed of upcoming events.
Twitter can be a hub for recruiting and building a pipeline of talent by researching the followers of organizations that align with your company’s values and position qualifications. Additionally, many businesses have created Twitter handles (names) specifically designated to announce job openings and interact with potential candidates.
It’s important to remember that LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter just scratch the surface of social media. When you’re comfortable using these sites, move forward to incorporate YouTube into your mix (if you have corporate videos), as well as SlideShare for corporate PowerPoint presentations.
Diversity sites such as BlackPlanet.com and MiGente.com also have member-profile sections that are searchable and have a social media and networking look and feel. In addition, you should check out MyVetWork.com, which is a relatively new social network for veterans.
The key to using social media successfully is participation and patience. Measurable results take time, and you may be introducing your organization to individuals who have never heard of you, or identifying hard-to-find talent six months before you have a need. Since most companies face talent shortages at some point, incorporating social media and networking into your talent-acquisition strategy is paramount.
Your employees, future employees and competitors are interacting on social media and networking sites. Why not you?
Charles Bretz is a senior recruiter at CDW, based in Vernon Hills, Ill., where he helps to choose technologies and resources the company can use to find and attract talented workers.
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