Social media has opened up new opportunities for the world of recruitment. Where we once placed an advert in the local paper, reaching only those within our jurisdiction, we can now display a job role on our social media outlets and reach millions the world over in mere seconds. It’s simple. It’s advanced. It’s definitely more cost effective. So why isn’t every business advertising their vacancies in this fashion?
No one has to walk outside their front door anymore to find their ideal job. In fact, you don’t even need to get off your couch. If you have a laptop, tablet or smart phone at your fingertips, you can use your online networks to find a job role that suits you. Networking is a powerful job search strategy. For years it has instilled fear in the faces of many as they considered putting themselves out there, extending a hand and saying, “Hi, I’m Scott and I want to work for your company.” But fear not anymore people! From the comfort of your flannelette pyjamas, all you need to do now is click, like, hashtag, or follow and hey presto, you’re connected! And this is where a maze of doors called opportunity knocks is found.
Most people have a Facebook account, Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile. In the main these are the social media channels most utilised by the public to chat and gossip and perhaps relay the news that there is a vacancy at their place of business…I’m yet to see a Snapchat recruitment video! As each has millions of users worldwide, it’s not going to be difficult to reach the masses. But do these social media platforms align with your business’ brand? Will you be harming your trademark reputation if you send out job adverts via these frequencies? Do the people scrolling the hordes of communications represent the talent pool you are looking to select from? You need to ask yourself these questions and more before you take any action. If you don’t understand the various social media platforms, chances are your staff do. It will pay to discuss with your employees the best way to connect with would-be candidates to ensure you are not only reaching the right audience, but the message and the timing are also fitting. Yes, that’s right. I said timing. Posting on Friday night on FB (that’s short for Facebook!) could attract a very different response rate than posting on a Monday morning. Each social media channel has its peak traffic times. It pays to know what these are and Google will gladly inform you. Since the moment MySpace popped up throngs of data has been collected, analysed and cross examined. It is the age of information after all.
How you shape your communications is also something you need to seriously consider. What is your message? Of course it is a brand building exercise, but you’re not selling your product or service when advertising a job. Rather it is the opportunities one is exposed to when they come and work in your organisation. So sell the dream. It is also imperative that you get your message right to draw the right response, and that it falls within the parameters of your social media policy.
Professional online networking is a two-way street though, much to the delight of employers. Many of us post our accomplishments online through social media channels. A business owner or manager can quickly gain a thorough overview of the career achievements of an unsuspecting candidate nominee and what they could potentially achieve if they were to be persuaded to work for them. This is where LinkedIn has proven so successful for employers looking for great talent and employees looking to advance their careers. Touted as the leading business network worldwide, viewing others professional profiles and poaching them across to their organisation has become an accelerated trend since the introduction of the site.
There is however some scepticism about the use of social media to attract job applicants. And granted it will not suit all organisations, industries and job types. That is why you must first analyse the risks while weighing up the benefits. For those of you who do not understand how or why social media recruitment can work for you I’ll say just this, it’s worth exploring. Why deny yourself the option to cheaply and quickly fill a job role when you are so time poor? I once saw a role for a graphic designer filled in a matter hours when advertised on Facebook. I can’t imagine the same result would have been realised if the job role was for a neuro surgeon. Exploring the possibilities of social recruiting for your business can lead to some very exciting recruits, or it may lead you to the conclusion that you are best served by other recruitment methods. Regardless, it is an exercise worth undertaking.