Finding Talented Employees Through Social Media Recruiting
Author Name: TrainingABC
Posted: 08-20-2018 02:44 AM
Synopsis: Social media may be the best way to find a qualified employee that fits your organization's culture. Learn how this strategy can be a valuable tool to find talent in a strong economy with low a unemployment rate.
Recruiting is the lifeblood of any organization and it’s only getting more competitive—regardless of your sector. A low unemployment rate and a strong economy have only made it more difficult to find the best candidates in the marketplace.
Because of the competitive nature of recruiting, many organizations are thinking of different ways to find their next star employee.
In their minds, the era of posting a job to a series of job boards and hoping for the best is over.
Consequently, more organizations are using alternative, innovative ways to find their next employee, whether it involves heavily relying on employee referrals, using artificial intelligence to find strong candidates, or offering training resources on company websites to source future talent.
While all of these methods have varying degrees of success, there is one recruiting method that has become increasingly popular. That is recruitment through social media.
Social Media Recruiting
By social media recruiting, we are generally speaking about leveraging social networking websites to find your next employee. Those social networking websites can include the obvious ones (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) or some of the more esoteric websites (GitHub, HackerRank, or Stack Overflow, to name a few).
There are several significant advantages with social media recruiting. The first (and arguably greatest) is that social media platforms allow you and your organization to connect with candidates that you may not normally find through your normal recruiting channels. There may be instances where potential candidates haven’t heard of your organization or aren’t currently looking for a job. Having a consistent presence on social media allows you and your recruiting team to build tangible, authentic relationships with individuals who are interested in your organization’s work.
Social media recruiting also allows you to better screen for candidates that fit with your organization’s culture. You can not only see a candidate’s personal interests, but you can also see how those candidates behave on social media. A pattern of troubling tweets, for instance, may signal that a candidate does not have the temperament to fit well with your organization. That said, there are some legal considerations to consider when doing this, as we will explain below.
These are just some of the many benefits of searching for job candidates on social media. Ultimately, it can be less formal, more personal, and more insightful way of finding new hires at your company.
How to Leverage Social Media Recruiting
Recognizing the value of social media recruiting, it’s important to understand how you can best use social media to find your next top job candidate. While there isn’t an explicit playbook that you must follow, some strategies work better than others.
First, you’ll want to be strategic on which platforms you are using. Yes, your organization, in all likelihood, has some presence on the larger social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Those can be great places to find candidates. That said, if you are looking for technical talent, for instance, you are more likely to have success spending more time on platforms like GitHub and StackOverflow over other platforms. Understanding the roles that your company will need to fill—and where to find those candidates—is an important first step to finding a great hire.
Once you know where to look, you’ll need to keep your page active. All too often, an organization will get excited about the ways they’d like to use social media, yet those plans often don’t lead to action. We are all busy and it’s easy to put social media at the bottom of the list. Even though it does take time, it’s critical to keep posting to your social media pages, as prospective hires will more likely ignore a dormant page. On the other hand, a page with a regular stream of posts and correspondence with followers is more interesting and more likely to be followed.
But what content do you post to your page? Again, there are no hard and fast rules. You could choose to share interesting articles that you find on the Internet or a post from your blog. You could even start a discussion with your followers, asking them for their opinion on a poll you launch or input on a product that your company recently launched. The goal is to post compelling content and to interact with your followers, but beyond that, the sky's the limit.
By putting in the work before you need to search for new talent, you’ll put yourself in a better position to find a great hire. That said, how do you use social media when you need to find great candidates for an open position?
To start, you can post the opening on your profile page. Whether it is tweeting out news about the opening or posting it to your Facebook page, this is the easiest way to put your followers on notice. Beyond that, however, you may want to think about reaching out to certain individuals who have engaged with your posts and page. If you see a user making intelligent comments in response to your posts, think about inviting them to submit their resume to your company. Even if they are happy with their job, you can start building a long-term relationship with these impressive individuals, which may pay dividends in the long-run.
If you aren’t satisfied with your follower count and your pool of potential applicants, you can always rely on ads to spread the word about your organization and potential openings. This isn’t a bad strategy in and of itself, but you are likely to receive better results by building an organic follower count and engaging with followers over a long period of time.
While social media recruiting can be a great way to find your next hire, there are legal considerations that you must keep in mind.
To start, reviewing a candidate’s profile means that you are on notice of a candidate’s “protected characteristics” like gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disabilities. Because of this, you must ensure that you do not ask about these aspects in an interview or consider these characteristics when making your final hiring decision.
Along with this, you must be careful if you are using ads to spread the word about an open position. While social media ad targeting can be extremely powerful, the use of such targeting increases the risk that you are hiring based on a prospective employee’s protected class. In other words, it may appear that you are discriminating against groups that aren’t included in your targeting. Litigation is already ongoing on this issue—specifically, whether certain uses of social media ad targeting for recruiting violates the federal Age Discrimination Employment Act.
It’s also critical to audit your own pages to ensure that you aren’t violating any laws. For instance, make sure that your pages indicate that you are an equal opportunity employer and ensure that you and your employees do not make promises that can be construed as an employment promise or business opportunity.
This is not an exhaustive list of the legal considerations associated with social media recruiting. To learn more—and determine you aren’t violating any laws—you should speak with your organization's lawyer.
Join the Movement
Online social networks aren’t going away. They are our virtual town squares, where some of the world’s smartest and most talented people gather to exchange ideas and information.
Ultimately, social networks can play an important role in your recruiting efforts. While not a silver bullet in and of itself, social network recruiting can open your potential candidate pool and connect you with some undiscovered talent. In a world where hiring has become more and more competitive, it is worth your while to try it out.