This is a guide on how to get started with recruitment via social media. I believe that posting vacancies on career sites no longer is the most efficient method. The best candidates can be found openly around social networks instead of in a CV-database. It is common practice to have a digitized resume and most of us from Generation Y have professional relationships with people we’ve never met, based solely on online interaction.

Why use Social Media to attract talent?

Recruiters tend to prefer hiring people that are connected to their personal network, because they are often more reliably good employees than people who are found on Monster, Workey etc. This is because someone has vouched for them, or have a friendly relationship to them, which makes them want to prove themselves (or not make their friend look bad). That is one reason why social media is so good as a tool for recruitment.

Adding social media to the hiring process can also help you:

  • Gain understanding of your internal culture
  • Raise awareness of your company and position your firm as a thought leader
  • Bridge generation gaps in your workplace and help older employees understand the younger
  • Make recruiters’ decision-making easier

Define your social media strategy and policy

Set goals and define a 3-month and 6-month roadmap on how to use social media to promote your brand and attract talented candidates. There are a lot of specialists that can help you add value to public conversations, build reputation and buzz in order to stay in front of the hiring curve and get the best recruits. Decide on platforms, what to post, how to respond and who is responsible. Remember that the target group includes both current employees, potential candidates, customers as well as past employees. Workshop with employees on how to use social media and what is expected of them with regards to job vs personal life.

Introduce social networking internally

Introduce the HR department to social media in order for them to expand their network and engage online. Make sure you communicate their needs to whoever the social media owners might be in your organization (IT /PR/Marketing). Engage in knowledge sharing activities such as chats, podcasts, tweetups and conferences. Get training in corporate blogging in order to collaborate and inform around practices and methodologies of the business; and also to get colleagues in on the conversation. It is also imperative to work with senior managers to create a culture that supports this change.

Social Media monitoring

You will need a tool for monitoring the social web to gain a realistic picture of your company’s reputation and how to leverage it for best results. Suggested suppliers (depending on geographical location) are Silverbakk, Meltwater, Radian6, ConnyCom, Alterian and Retriever.

Create accounts

Now it is time to setup your social networking accounts and tools! Creating a basic Company profile on LinkedIn with blog and Twitter feed is simple. Setting up a Custom Company profile – that lets you add extra features, like recent blog posts, mentions in press,  videos and interactive polls, will require more advanced customization. You will probably need some assistance in distributing your blog posts, surveys, white papers, FAQ’s, podcasts to forums, newsrooms, Facebook and Twitter.

Find and attract talent

There is great value in scouting and searching for talent through online media. There are numerous niche portals and hashtags to follow. It can be a jungle, so hire a professional to teach you where to go, the demographics on social networks, how to interact with potential applicants, and how to develop a referral culture.

Build a talent pool

To enable a continuous and interactive dialogue with on-demand access you will ultimately need to create a talent pool using your social media platforms. This is also called Social CRM and is in essence a way of organizing possible applicants and/or former employees using web 2.0 tools. Read more here.