Human Resource professionals are rapidly embracing social media as a recruitment strategy; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn sit at the forefront. At the same time, hiring managers are easing back on traditional employment outlets like job boards.
For those following trends in recruiting tools, this is encouraging. Forty-six percent of HR and recruitment professionals say they will increase spending in web-based recruiting software and social media recruiting; 36 percent are planning to scale on using job boards.
This certainly does not imply that job boards are going away anytime soon. It only suggests that businesses must quickly adopt a social media recruiting strategy to compliment job boards; this proactive approach ensures candidate procurement and recruitment efforts and command a better quality of candidates; it is something effectively incorporated into the organization.
The primary elements of your social media recruiting strategy:
- Cultivate a well-defined employment brand.
Job boards can let you present a level of employment branding; however, it rarely goes beyond physical appearance— the effect, feel and content of online placements on an area of your corporate website. The interactive nature of social media leaves the static composition of a job board in the dust. Without a comprehensive strategy to merge dynamic elements to your recruiting systems, your corporate brand will come off as dull and sluggish. Show confidence in your brand, or all your social media recruiting strategies will stumble—and reduce your available pool of talent.
- Define targets for your social media recruiting strategy.
Recruiting through social networks is much better than job postings of what your organization wants filled. It is about identifying the market of potential talent, while regularly bringing value to that audience. This requires a talent pool that is well-segmented to match the macro-level necessities of your firm.
- Identify your target audience; tailor hiring content to appeal directly to them.
This goes beyond employment goals. What are their interests, likes and dislikes? Will there be interns, professionals or people who are changing mid-career? Social media brings the action to a personal level; what is paramount is knowing the types of personalities you intend to recruit.
- Set goals for your social media outreach.
There is a remarkably good reason social networks are called “social.” The first principles are communication, involvement and interaction; both facilitating and contributing to online exchanges. This is not a passive medium. Business has options in how much contribution the company is willing to give. One helpful hint; take the first appraisal and add 20 percent. In fact, your original idea of time commitment will almost always need more.
- Determine which platform will suit your hiring plan and whether your efforts will be broad or narrow.
Remember, a wide net will need greater resources.
- Look beyond the obvious.
Everyone considers Facebook when entering social media networks, at least at first. An effective strategy would be to focus segments of the labor pool. Video Game developers are ideal places to start. Engage talent that program for PlayStation and Xbox platforms; they are a different culture than .NET programmers. A too-broad approach may cause you to be stretched too thin; a narrow multichannel focus could have better results.
- Prioritize, highlight and select which tools will offer the outcomes you want.
For the moment, start in your comfort zone. Blogging is an excellent way to control the dialogue; it is an easy way to communicate brand awareness to interested candidates. Facebook is more relaxed. Twitter is small, witty and concise snippets—think funny headlines—which give candidates a touch of the corporate culture.
Effective recruitment strategies build on the foundations listed above. With rising numbers of internships, freelance and contract workers, it would also be useful to consider temporary talent for your organization. A well-defined social media recruiting strategy will be invaluable, no matter what positions are available.
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