Social Media: A Great Recruiting Tool When Used Properly
Posted: 04-08-2015 06:10 AM
Synopsis: An overview of how to use social media to recruit highly qualified employees.
Over the last decade, the internet has changed how human resource professionals and recruiters look for job candidates. And with the popularity of social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, many have begun to use these networking sites as a means of finding talented individuals to fill open positions. Although these sites provide an excellent way to reach a large pool of candidates, if not used properly, the result can be a costly lawsuit. This is especially true when using a candidate’s social account as a part of conducting background checks.
Seeking Candidates Using Social Media
The internet lets a recruiter reach thousands to even millions of candidates with just one post. Therefore, recruiters who fail to use social media will be at a disadvantage in today’s market. But to use this handy tool, you will have to be aware of the nuances and restrictions that can lead to potential problems or pitfalls. One easy way to reach potential candidates is to simply post a job ad on your Facebook or LinkedIn page. Although lots of people will likely see your ad, many of these individuals will not be interested or have the skillset for the job. Still however, it is worth the post as they may know someone who is interested or qualified.
Begin using Facebook by creating a company profile and developing a following. One key to reaching as many people as possible is to have a large pool of fans or followers. But to do this, you will need to both draw and keep people interested by posting meaningful material. Consider becoming interactive and engaging your audience with stimulating conversation. Ask industry specific questions such as those requiring problem solving. Solicit managers to write brief posts on industry trends or future developments that will gain the interest of professionals in your field. And don’t neglect posting on community boards on Facebook to network with professionals within your region or locale.
Tweet about your job opportunity using your Twitter account. This post will be available for all of your followers to see. However, a much easier way to post jobs might be working with a twitter search engine such as JobCritters.com. Through this site you can more easily post and manage multiple job postings. As with Facebook, use Twitter to announce industry news or share product updates with followers. Again, keeping your audience engaged is crucial to your success on social media sites.
Also use sites like Pinterest to communicate with individuals interested in your product or brand. For example, if you are an architectural firm, you can build a large following by posting pictures of inspiring buildings from around the world. You can also pin videos of projects to attract architectural students or future architects. Or post pictures of your staff involved in community projects or team building activities. This will almost always get the attention of prospective employees. With Pinterest you can further create different boards for individual functions or departments allowing you to tailor your pins to a specific audience. Always provide a link to your company job board no matter what you are pinning. After all, the purpose is to attract talented candidates to your organization.
On LinkedIn as with any other social media site, it is important to have a quality well-written profile. This is even more important with LinkedIn as it is the most used for employee recruiting. Along with having an attractive profile, it is just as important to keep the information on it current and up to date. Additionally, use this platform to post relevant articles or links to industry related materials. And, participate in LinkedIn groups to foster relationships with others in your industry or neighborhood. This will make future recruiting efforts a breeze as you will have many contacts and potential leads. Along with linking to current employees, be sure to connect to retirees or past employees as they can also be a great recruiting resource.
Using social media as a tool for recruiting will not be effective overnight. Instead, it will take some time to build a solid following and strong presence on these sites. But doing it properly however will keep you in constant contact with a pool of qualified candidates thus improving your recruiting success.
Finally, no matter the social media site you are using, always be careful to use the proper keywords or hashtags to get good placement on search engines.
Using Social Media to Screen Candidates
It is not illegal to visit a candidate’s Facebook or Twitter page to see what they’ve been posting. But using information from these sites to decide whether to interview or hire someone can be risky. Therefore, if choosing to use this source as a way to screen candidates, you must clearly understand the law governing this action. Most important is to understand a candidate’s rights concerning postings related to religion, age, gender or sexual preference. Ignore any postings that may disclose or allude to this personal information. Remember, you are looking at these postings to determine how they might fit into the climate of your organization, not to delve into their personal lives. Consequently, a better option might be to wait until after the interview when you can use social media to validate what you’ve learned in the meeting along with what is printed on their resume, cover letter or job application.
What Valuable But Legal Information Can You Expect to Get From Social Media
Because using social media can be so tricky, you might think it not even worthwhile. Nonetheless, social media affords you an opportunity to gather valuable information that can be helpful in the job screening process. For example, when reviewing their social media profile, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the candidate show a real interest in a career path relative to the job or do they express interest in another career field?
- What kind of community or civil service activities is the candidate involved in?
- How does the candidate present themselves on social media? Are there lots of inappropriate tweets or irreverent postings?
- Have there been public rants or complaints posted about their boss or current employer? This could be a red flag for you.
- Most important, does the information provided on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter confirm or conflict with what you’ve learned about the candidate on paper or in their interview?
Other Social Media Sites
Most of your peers will be looking for candidates using core sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Nonetheless, there are many other networking sites, some even more conducive to your recruiting efforts. This includes community as well as industry-specific networking sites.
Don’t wait until you are looking to fill a position before you get involved on community or industry oriented networking pages. Although Facebook and other social media sites may have community or local groups, depending upon the size of your city, there may also be a networking site dedicated to professionals within your local area. Industry specific social networking sites like iShade.com or Lawyrs.net are also growing in popularity. Therefore, when looking for someone in a specific profession, you don’t want to overlook these sites.
Finally, if you have a large enough company, you may wish to designate an employee to develop and post social media content. You will also want to find a way to measure your success on each social networking site. Which site is most active and which is attracting the most qualified candidates? Whatever site is most successful for you, this is where you want to invest the most time and effort. If however a site is yielding very little results, possibly it is not worth continuing to post or be active on that site.