We already talked about ways job seekers can take advantage of social media to get a better job than through usual channels or to build a stronger personal brand. This week, we’re looking at job searching from the recruiter’s point of view, as we’re trying to discover how social media can benefit recruitment agencies and HR departments.
A big part of the whole recruitment process has already moved online: sourcing potential candidates benefits a great deal from the existence of LinkedIn (if we only look at the top-of-mind network for jobs). And even if this method is still complementary to traditional recruiting software tools or applicant tracking systems (like Monster or Career Builder), we shouldn’t overlook social networks’ power of providing access to complex sets of data that can get you the right candidates, not just the ones that apply to your job.
People are not passive in their job seeking routine anymore, so why should your company be? Your potential future employees keep up with available jobs through social channels, and that’s exactly where a recruiter should look for talent. The first contact point between a good candidate and your organization should not be left at the odds of formal job postings.
1. Get potential candidates’ attention before you have a position to fill
You shouldn’t only be thinking about social media when you’re looking for a new person to hire. Instead, you can improve your company’s online presence (while at the same time sourcing for potential candidates) by building an employer’s brand. Get customer mindshare as a top recruiter for a specific industry, or as a go-to place for career advice. In time, this might matter more than the money you invest in advertising for a position.
Setting up a social media presence for your employer brand will help you connect with business professionals and increase the credibility and transparency level of your organization in front of candidates. Track and manage all your company’s social media assets (LinkedIn Company Page and Groups, FB Page, Twitter account, Google+) by using a social media suite that will allow you to manage all your accounts from the same dashboard and sort out the “must-have” from the “nice-to-have” candidates. Then make sure you have a constant involvement in social outlets that can get your expertise known.
2. You don’t need a social media recruiting campaign to create buzz
If you’re looking for the right talent to join your organization or a client’s business, be aware that this whole process has become more interactive than ever: instead of posting the job, then waiting for people to send in their resumes, you can employ a different strategy:
1. Get the word out about available jobs by writing about it on your company blog, sending tweets (don’t forget the hashtags) and posting on your Facebook Page. Being able to post to a variety of networks from a single tool is certainly useful to get your message across. Aside from using social platforms to communicate the positions you have to offer, the fact that all inquiries and mentions are gathered under the same roof means that you can answer people’s questions in real-time and help them with their application, should they have questions.
2. Make the search even more interactive by creating an infographic, a video about the company seeking a new employee, a FB app for candidates to upload their resumes (you can go as far as using Vine, the looping videos platform, for social recruitment). Have you thought of looking for candidates through Pinterest? It’s how Carousel decided to look for a Social Media Community Manager and Blogger.
3. Look at your candidates’ online activity: this doesn’t mean you should overlook or diminish the importance of the traditional resume, but rather use what you find to enhance their profile with more career parameters. A professional blog or a carefully-curated Twitter feed can reveal more about your candidates than a clean, down-to-earth resume that is more like a rehearsed speech than an impromptu one. When you’re scanning LinkedIn profiles, take a look at recommendations and endorsements as well as job descriptions and education. Even Klout scores can bring a little extra information to the table.
4. Be proactive: use Facebook’s new Graph Search to look through your network of contacts for people someone might recommend. Look for people carrying on conversations in your area of interests on Quora, LinkedIn recruiting or alumni groups. Directly approach candidates that seem like they fit and let them know you have an open position. Make better use of your stakeholders to get your job offerings known across a larger audience than the one you have available, by asking people to share your listing within their own social networks. In uberVU, you can directly reply to a message, assign a task to someone else in your organization, or tag it for future reference.
5. Take advantage of Big Data: filter available candidates by slicing through the tons of information you find on social networks with an intelligent social tool that will let you select a specific language, country and even town. This way, it will be easier to find the right prospects and you’ll even be able to target your advertising with the right keywords. You can go as far as doing complex keyword searches to source out people that are unsatisfied with their current job. In the example below, displaying a breakdown by country of all English mentions may help a recruiter understand what candidates to leave out of the search given the geographical limitations of the jobs they offer.
3. Social recruiting is an ongoing effort
Social media has the power of transforming job hunting into a more personal process than ever before, but that’s only if you keep at it by getting involved in the social space. You can stay engaged with potential candidates that are valuable, even if they are not currently looking for jobs, and you’ll never have to start the search from zero again. Look at how LinkedIn works: it loops in a network of professional acquaintances, but it keeps you on your toes by letting you know what they’ve been up to and what their interests are. That’s the same thing you should do with your network of people: let people know you exist even if you don’t have any ongoing campaigns, engage influencers (it works a lot better if you use an intelligence software that highlights who these people are) and reach your audience with relevant posts.
Use social analytics to track the performance of your recruiting campaigns. Which social networks produce the best line-up of candidates? What’s the best direction to expand your business? Which influencers helped get your message through to your audience? These are answers you can only get by monitoring and reporting on your actions.
Being creative is not just a buzzword, just as recruiting is not a 9 to 5 job. Sourcing candidates through informal methods can say a lot about your company as an employer or a recruiter, so think big: get a celebrity endorsement, create an internship recruitment program, improve your candidates pipeline through social interactions, develop thought leadership programs. Maybe these actions won’t get the best candidate right at your doorstep, but building a better shortlist is a much easier task with a creative utility belt.
You need 3 things for successful recruiting: jobs, candidates and a connection between the two. And social media might be the best way to create that connection.