Social media is a great avenue for recruiting because there are so many different platforms available that speak to different audiences. and you can often find a platform that is tailored to reach exactly the type of prospect you are looking for. The world of social media is dynamic, and each individual platform features a variety of tools that you can use to enhance different steps of the recruiting process. The information below should give you a valuable glance into the function and purpose of each platform and help you with incorporate some simple strategies into your overall recruiting plan.
- Linkedin. This social media site is designed specifically for the business community, which makes it a natural choice as top contender for online recruiting. The purpose of the site is to help registered members establish and build networks of people they know and trust as business professionals.
A member’s profile page focuses primarily on his or her work history, professional qualifications, education, experience, recognitions and achievements. This platform is a great place to get started because it is designed specifically for a professional community and offers many tools tailored to supporting the recruiting process. We take a more detailed look at LinkedIn strategies later in the book.
Whether or not you are using LinkedIn already, take a few minutes to explore the site and think about one new way you could use this tool to enhance your recruiting efforts. Discuss your idea with a colleague, and develop the first step for testing your new idea!
- Facebook. One of the most widely used platforms, Facebook is seen primarily as a social network. A registered member can create a profile that shares primarily personal information, along with some professional experience. Members can upload photos and videos; send messages to family, friends and colleagues; and share daily status updates.
While this tool may not seem like a natural fit for the recruiting process, it can be a great way to create an online brand for your organization and start a conversation with individuals who are interested in what you do. On your business page you create, you can share articles with valuable information, pictures of employee events, blog posts about your industry and even recruiting opportunities. Think of it as a “backstage pass” that allows followers to get to know your organization and its culture, values and vision.
Spend some time exploring different business profiles on Facebook, and observe how companies are using this platform to create an online brand. Get together with another colleague and talk about information and photos or event details you could highlight on Facebook to help individuals get to know you better.
- Twitter. Often referred to as the “water cooler” of social media, Twitter is a very fast-paced platform that allows you to share quick updates about what your organization is about, what your employees are doing and what is going on in your industry. It is nice to think of Twitter as a place to share “small talk” among individuals who are getting to know you as an organization. Each post on this platform can serve as a sound byte that will share a small piece of information about the company that will capture potential candidates’ interest and draw them into a deeper conversation with you.
Twitter may not appear at first glance as the right place to start your social media recruiting efforts, but it is a wonderful place to start conversations. Many think of Twitter as the cocktail-party equivalent of face-to-face recruiting and networking. If your organization can become active and create a presence here, these short conversations can eventually supply you with an endless feed of potential candidates you can then invite further into the recruiting process.
Creating a tweet in 140 characters or less is not always an easy task. Browse Twitter to find examples of great tweets that share valuable information in a unique way. Think of information you would like to share on Twitter and practice writing tweets that can connect to an article, blog post or photo. Once you have a little practice, you will become a pro at the 140-character tweet!
- Instagram. For the visual person, Instagram is a fantastic place to start networking with individuals and sharing an actual picture of what your organization is about and what you stand for and value. This site allows members to upload and edit photos and videos. Like Twitter, this is a very dynamic platform that is best used to share small pieces of information. But, just like the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” On this site, sharing one photo of employees and their families enjoying themselves at a company-sponsored event can speak volumes about the climate of your organization and the value you place on family life.
Many people like to think of Instagram as a gallery where you can display the highlights of what life is like in your organization. While many do not use this platform as a direct source for recruiting, it is an excellent platform to build your online brand and identify potential candidates who are attracted to your organization’s vision and values. And because Instagram links very easily to other social media platforms, it is a tool that can be used to naturally funnel these prospects through to your established recruiting process.
At your next company event, focus on taking photos (or find someone else who is interested in doing so) that will reflect your organization’s climate. Review the photos with a colleague to select the most interesting ones. Practice uploading them to Instagram and using the editing tools to create attractive and unique effects that capture attention. Take the opportunity to share the story of the event in pictures!