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How to use social media for hiring

Monty Majeed
19th Sep 2016
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According to a Statista survey conducted in April this year, Facebook has 1,590 million active users, WhatsApp 1,000 million, Twitter about 320 million and LinkedIn a 100 million users. Social media is a goldmine for marketers as they have access to a large pool of audiences of various ages and nationalities. But it is not just marketers who can take advantage of this large audience base, even hiring managers can. Social media plays a crucial role in the hiring process today with over 94 percent recruiters using LinkedIn to recruit new candidates, 79 percent of job seekers using social media to find new jobs and about 13 percent of social media users saying that the information they posted on social media helped them get a job.

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This phenomenon of increasingly hiring candidates through social media is now termed as “social hiring”. It is not just hard for job seekers to reach out to employers but also vice versa. Studies have found that talented, skilled and intelligent millennials value professional development more than employer loyalty. This means that everyone is looking for a job today, or for the sake of clarity, everyone is looking for a “better experience” today.

Brands today need to thus make their hiring policies and work culture attractive enough to lure millennials to join them. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, about 40 percent of companies use Twitter to source talent, 54 percent recruiters rely on Facebook, 8 percent use Google + and YouTube and 4 percent use Pinterest to post jobs. As a hiring manager, you must be updated about the ways in which these platforms can be leveraged to build a lucrative brand image and zero in on the best talents. Here’s how hiring managers can achieve this:

Create a talent brand

A company’s brand is not the same as its talent brand. Talent brand refers to the image a company or employer creates of the workplace for potential hires. Make your company’s mission, vision and culture known and take care that it is consistent. Make your workplace look like one that anyone would want to work at. The best example for this is Google. Everyone wants to work at Google because it is widely known that they provide their employees with a fun working atmosphere and interesting perks. One of Google’s most famous recruiting rules, according to Great Place To Work, is to hire someone smarter than the manager. The company also talks a lot about its unusual perks like free gourmet food, well-equipped sports complexes, on-site laundry and custom-made work stations. With such a large audience at your disposal, it is easier to create a talent brand these days.

Involve existing employees in the process

The first person one would speak to if they wanted any information on working in a company would be an existing employee. People take the words of those who already work there seriously. According to a Monster.com survey, 65 percent of respondents said they would consider an opportunity for a new job if they learned about it from a personal connection. So encourage your employees to talk on social media about their work culture and why they love working for their employer. Coming back to Google, employees here are given a referral fee for recommending new talent and apparently 50 percent of the company’s new recruits come from referrals. Similarly, give your employees a reason (an incentive) to evangelise the talent brand.

Now let’s look at how hiring managers can use specific social media networks to target potential hires:

LinkedIn

Being a professional social network, LinkedIn already has provisions to post jobs. But this can turn out to expensive for small businesses or startups. If your budget doesn’t allow you to use the premium features, fret not. Start by creating a good network. Join groups that might have potential candidates. Be active in group discussions. Once you have a big-enough network, you can simply post about your openings on the status box. This will ensure that all your connections and groups will be notified of this message.

Facebook

You can start by using Facebook Directory to search for users, pages, groups and applications that are relevant for your search. In Facebook Marketplace, jobs can be posted for free, the only limitation being it cannot be targeted towards a specific audience, like with the Facebook Ad. Make sure that your brand has a Facebook Page and it has enough followers. Also, it would help to join job search pages in your area of operation and post on them. Finally, you can use Facebook Ads to filter your search.

Twitter

The best and most organic way to hire on Twitter is by tweeting about your opening. If your company handle doesn’t have enough followers, make sure to expand your network by building relationships with job candidates and clients on the site. Use hashtags for your tweet to be found. Search for the most relevant hashtags for your job posting and use it in your tweet. For instance, many recruiters use the #NAJ hashtag that stands for ‘Need A Job?’.

Social media sites can be also used to infer an initial image of a candidate. Take a look at their posts, tweets or recommendations to get a peek into their ideology, working style and preferences. Using social media for hiring is one of the most economical ways to attract top talent to your company.

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