Developing a Social Recruiting Strategy
In my first piece on this platform, I gave a working definition of social recruiting as “the effective use of social media networks by employers/recruiters to attract, source, engage with and hire candidates”. I also noted that social recruiting is a growing trend in human resources today and corporate Nigeria needs to wake up to its reality by joining the social recruiting train (please check online on The Punch website if you missed that part of the discuss). Today, we would take this discussion further by exploring how a social recruiting strategy can be developed by employers/recruiters.
Before employers/recruiters can actually leverage social media in their recruiting efforts, the very first thing to do is to define their social recruiting strategy. This strategy serves as a guide on how they plan to use social recruiting and it answers the question of which social media network can be useful to them. It must be understood that each social media network has its purpose and likely target audience to be reached. Once, firms understand each social media network, developing a social recruiting strategy becomes easier.
The list of social media platforms are endless and I plan to highlight the popular ones – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Blogs — which can be used as a recruiting tool for employers/recruiters:
Facebook is unarguably the world’s largest social networking site today. Few months ago, the number of Facebook users crossed the one billion mark! Simply put, Facebook helps connect people with friends and others who work, study, and live around them. Facebook is really the definition of social as you can share ‘almost’ everything on it. I don’t need to say much on Facebook as many of you can actually lecture me on Facebook. On Facebook, an employer can have a profile account and a company careers page. Recruiting can occur through traditional postings on the company careers page, or through more innovative methods such as using Facebook Ads to target desired candidates. Although Facebook is thought of primarily as a personal networking site, many recruiters and hiring managers are leveraging its wide reach and large audience for influencing potential candidates.
I usually describe LinkedIn as ‘Facebook for professionals’. Funny definition right? Yes, its intentional so you know how to connect the dot on why join another social network when I have a Facebook account. If you are a professional and you want to be known for what you are good at, then you need a LinkedIn profile today. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Opening a LinkedIn account gives you the opportunity to access over 200 million professionals who use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities. LinkedIn allows recruiters and hiring managers to target both active candidates and passive candidates (those not currently searching for a new job), post jobs on LinkedIn jobs, interact through LinkedIn Groups and allows employers to leverage their already existing personal and professional networks through its platform. Recruiters spend most of their time here sourcing for talents. So you need a LinkedIn profile so you can be found easily!
Google+ is one of the relatively new social network introduced by the ‘all-powerful-search-engine’ known to man – Google! Google+ launched in 2011 and currently has over 253 million active members. The network leverages on Google’s brand for its reach as it has a “killer” feature which gives its users overall web identity above all other social networks. With a strong focus on user profile development (versus only status updates and sharing), Google+ is a natural resource for recruiters and employers. Recruiting with Google+ involves candidate search and sourcing. It should be noted that the “Circle” function within Google+ has strong potential for use by recruiters, as they can share jobs with highly specific groups of professionals and not clutter up their main social stream with job postings. With Google’s backing, I foresee Google+ becoming a force to reckon with.
Blogs are gaining ground as an emerging and rapidly growing social communication medium. There are over 15 million blogs, and this number is increasing by the seconds. There is a very real and powerful place for blogs in a social recruiting strategy. If done well, blogging can save recruiters/employers time and money; inexpensively generate brand awareness and word of mouth marketing; and do a more effective job at employment branding than your company employment website. Blogs have the potential to take communicating with potential candidates to an entirely new level while driving business results. They can be one of the most effective tools in your recruiting arsenal. What is your reason for not having a recruitment company blog today?
Twitter, to many, is a ‘hard-nut to crack’, they just don’t get it. In simple terms, Twitter ‘forces’ you to learn how to communicate and share insightful ideas in tweets, which are no more than 140 characters. Actually, Twitter is the ‘simplest’ of the social networks. Twitter gives recruiters and hiring managers a platform to interact with a variety of candidates through short, personal messages. It also helps them get to know other recruiters and employers and share resources and information with one another. With Twitter’s 140-character messaging, recruiters and employers can share job openings and career resources with their followers and target the message accordingly. Twitter’s hashtags (#), lists, direct messaging (DMs), and search features make it a valuable tool for finding and interacting with candidates.