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While many companies have embraced social networks as platforms for brand promotion, there much fewer who use them as platforms for recruiting new personnel. That number is growing, however, and with good reason; the far-reach of social media can enhance a traditional recruitment effort, and give your business access to potential employees who you would have never been connected with otherwise. In order to get the most out of these efforts, it is crucial to develop a social media strategy before they even begin. When you take the time to develop a program that seeks out highly-qualified individuals, establishes a relationship and leverages peer connections, your recruiting efforts will become more productive and more successful.
All social media strategies, including social media recruiting, share a few key components. Ideally, this foundation should be set in advance. Getting everyone in the organization on the same page from the beginning will allow you to identify critical tasks and benchmarks, as well as build ongoing organizational support to keep the effort moving forward into the future.
First, have a discussion about your corporate brand. How should it be packaged as a part of your recruiting efforts? How would you describe your organization's culture, and does that flow easily into the social media environment? Can you make your brand more engaging or entertaining without compromising your core values or competencies? This isn't the time to re-think who you are as an organization, but a thoroughly considered and refined brand is an integral piece to any social media strategy.
Second, review and reassess your existing online presence. What do you have out there now? And what kind of organizational structure is in place to ensure that it is being refreshed and reviewed on a regular basis? Maintaining a strong social media presence requires commitment in terms of staff and resources - and for social media recruiting, even more so. That's because job-seekers will expect fast turnaround on your part, as well as ongoing conversations. Be sure that your online support system is ready for that level of interaction.
It's also important to define who it is you're trying to reach with your social media recruiting effort. Will a beginner do? Or do you only want individuals with 10+ years of managerial experience? You might even want to only hire individuals with experience in particular industries. One of the benefits of social media in general is its ability to reach very specific communities of people; use this to specifically target groups, and find the perfect fit for the open position.
Finally, use the right platform. Compare social media outlets. Each has its own unique benefits and limitations. Identify the sites that best fit your organization's culture, structure and approach to content, and include them in your social media strategy. Your recruiting efforts will be more focused and more productive.
Like most aspects of social media, job recruitment programs are still a young concept. There is an enormous potential there, however, for finding well-qualified job candidates who would have simply slipped through the cracks otherwise. All it takes is a well-constructed social media strategy and a little commitment, and you can be rewarded with enthusiastic and driven employees.
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