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When we think of social recruiting, we tend to feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of managing multiple, social platforms and trying to keep up with FB likes, retweets and shares. Just the idea of “multiple, social” invokes feelings of anxiety, fear and the inability to know where to begin. It’s okay, you can say it…It’s overwhelming.

Social recruiting is a sourcing method that leverages a variety of social media tools- from Facebook to Instagram, LinkedIn to Twitter. Expanding the search across social platforms deepens your talent pool and opens the aperture to a larger, more diverse group of potential candidates. More importantly, social recruiting allows you to engage with potential new hires by establishing relationships earlier in the process. Engagement is key when trying to attract the right talent for your organization. The more time you spend interacting with candidates, the more likely they are to develop a deeper connection with your brand…your organization.

Social recruiting kick starts your pipeline efforts…while at the same time, building brand recognition and increasing visibility in the market place. This is an A+ strategy for HR!

As HR professionals, we’re tasked with not only managing recruiting but also benefits administration, performance management and sometimes, yes….even payroll. So how do we find the time to be social?

Your Story

It begins with your story. You’ve got a story to share…whether that’s your climb up the corporate ladder and why you love what you do…or the many reasons your corporate culture meshes so well with your career ambitions…or why your teams are so cohesive and goal oriented. It’s your story to share. It’s your personal voice that connects HR with the outside world. Without it, you’ll surely begin treading water in the talent pool…that can be deep and hard to navigate in the first place.

Candidates like to know what your organization is up to…what it stands for…how it gives back to the community. Your online presence and the rate at which you engage with your audience is the biggest differentiator when it comes to accepting an offer and making that next career move. In fact, I’ve known candidates to have multiple offers in hand and choose relationship potential with leadership, career growth opportunities and candidate experience over salary.

So, share your story. Tweet it. Facebook it. Post those things that will resonate most with your candidates and customers using social media platforms. Remember, social is free. You choose the platforms that work for your organization and then begin sharing photos, testimonials, jobs, events and even ideas that spark conversation. Encourage your employees to do the same.

Engagement

It’s all about the rate at which you communicate with your customers or candidates. How often you post relevant content…how often and how quickly you respond to questions, retweets or likes…and how often you adjust your process to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment. For example, let’s say you post a job on Facebook and you receive multiple questions regarding skill set, workplace flexibility and time to fill. If you choose to answer those questions several days later, you’ve lost the interest of those you hoped to attract in the first place. Once you start utilizing social platforms, you need to establish a consistent pattern of engagement and maintain it moving forward. If this seems difficult, calendar the time once a day to ensure you respond where needed, as quickly as possible. Keep in mind, your level of online engagement will drive the relationship. Hootsuite reported that “71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are more likely to recommend that brand to others. That compares to just 19% of customers who do not receive a quick response.” Realizing that referrals are your strongest source for the best talent, a quick and positive response will help strengthen your organization’s brand, reputation and culture…all while creating a successful candidate experience along the way.

Don’t Forget the Data

Metrics are important. They help to give a clear picture of what your recruiting process looks like and how it’s impacting the business. Metrics provide information that clarifies or supports a strategy that your organization is trying to implement and can help you determine if changes should be made and where.  For example, you may find through your social networking that candidates are more interested in your benefits packages…and this information could determine whether you need to re-tool your 401(k) or retirement packages or even re-evaluate flexible work scheduling and the Firm’s PTO policy.

However, keep in mind, the key to metrics is what you are actually measuring. The caution is this: measure the right stuff and then add it to engagement results (likes, tweets, shares, posts) to get a true picture of how social recruiting is benefiting the organization.

Not sure what the right stuff is?

Begin with performance indicators…these have the largest impact on the organization’s bottom line. Those indicators become your standard of measurement. These indicators are usually the following:

• Earnings Per Share (EPS)
• Productivity
• Profitability
• Customer Ratings

If we measure the wrong stuff, we get the wrong data, which means we end up wasting time on the wrong strategies that miss our target—improving candidate engagement and increasing new hires.

Social recruiting is your key to establishing relationships with potential candidates and customers.  It’s free, it’s personal, it’s quick (technology is fantastic!) and it’s a great way to increase visibility and brand recognition in the marketplace. Begin by choosing one or two social platforms, in addition to LinkedIn and see where that takes you. The options are endless and the results are worth it.

*This post first ran on the RPA (Retirement Planners & Administrators Inc.) blog. http://www.retirementplanners.com/rpa/news/article.html?id=8515

RPA is America’s Premier Full Service Retirement Plan Provider Since 1969 offering plan administration and design, compliance, payroll, and daily record keeping. Visit RPA for more information: http://www.retirementplanners.com/rpa/index.html

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