While social media seems to be infiltrating nearly every bit of your lives, what about work? You might be surprised at how savvy recruiters and human resources professionals are when it comes to using social media for recruiting, sourcing, and workplace branding at your organization.
A transformation is happening in the way senior leaders and HR professionals view social media. Its a tool and channel used to reach and engage an active consumer audience, a potential future employee. The field of employment branding is leading the way. Seen as the new employer marketing resource for the workplace and recruiters, talent acquisition teams are developing talent funnels and candidate engagement strategies with social media and technology in mind. What does your online properties say about you as a professional, as an individual, and your work expertise and portfolio?
Using Social Networking in Your Job Search
Having worked for a number of well-known Fortune 200 companies, I have often found that job seekers, particularly those that work in the digital space, place their personal online brand as a secondary need and focus putting their employer’s activities and social media properties first. Instead, your personal profiles and blog should be a priority if you want to attract the right attention in being seen as a leader, innovator, and a top candidate in your next career move. There must be a balance between your employee’s reputation as an individual and your company’s corporate Twitter account. Without an online presence beyond the corporate digital brand, you, as the individual cannot be sourced, evaluated, or even found. This is especially important since an astounding 93 percent of employers are using social media in their recruitment strategies this year.
The strategies for social recruiting are complex and targeted to an audience using a variety of methods and strategies with social media and Internet marketing in mind.
LinkedIn, the Professional Job Search Network
A favorite choice for recruiters and HR professionals alike is Linkedin. Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruiting Survey found that 93 percent of recruiters using LinkedIn. Companies are taking advantage of features like company profiles, recruiting search and sourcing features as well as Groups to direct job seekers to open positions.
Since Twitter and Facebook remain viable sources to drive candidates to open positions, job feeds are becoming a popular method for recruitment. Companies are using job-posting feeds to automate job postings from their ATS or applicant tracking system to social networks. An ATS is the online portal where a candidate applies for a job opening. This strategy is strictly one way and leverages SEO and keywords to direct candidates to positions.
When it comes to recruiting there are two types of candidate search 1) Just in Time Recruitment and 2) Strategic Search. The Just in Time Recruitment strategy happens when we need to fill a position right away so recruiters are using sourcing and online search tools to find specific job seekers to fill often very specific and competitive positions. Recruiters source social networks and profiles either using individual using keyword search or tools like Remarkable Hire, which allows for recruiters to search multiple social networks and online communities in a single search. The strategic search focuses more on building talent networks for when future positions become available. Recruiters are always courting, building relationships, and driving potential hires to company-owned and custom-built social networks and properties. This allows them to anticipate hiring needs helping them cut down on recruiting metrics like cost per hire and time to fill.
The idea of employer branding helps to establish a relationship with the job seeker in real time and on the social network where they prefer. By focusing on building a relationship with a job seeker on social media, employers hope to become the candidate’s company of choice just like social media is used in addressing customers in real time. Because in certain geographic regions like Oklahoma City where they are recession proof, the job market for companies to hire top talent is uber competitive. The competition is fierce for specific industries like developers, engineers, and programming. When the job seeker begins their active job search, which is increasingly becoming more passive as job seekers are always looking for the next big thing, employers want the job seeker to think of them first. The employer that invests in a major presence on social media wins the war of talent.
Many job seekers, certainly those in social media, are often surprised when I explain the very complicated strategies in play for recruiting and hiring with social media. Companies like Rackspace have seen triple digit increases in web traffic after the launching of their career blog, RackerTalent.com, and a decrease in the number of candidate that apply for individual open positions.
Social media for recruiting and hiring is not a one size fits all. Employers like Starbucks have found success filling open job positions and recruiting on Instagram while companies like AT&T focus on a number of different platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and creating their own talent network. Even international companies like Sodexo and IBM are using social media in combination with pay per click and search engine optimization strategies to improve their quality of hire and target specific qualified job seekers with the goal of less not more candidates per application. Every location, country, and social network dictates different strategies and options, but the overall goal remains the same – hire better, faster, and smarter using technology.
Job seekers need to be aware of this move by employers to leverage social media with what they refer to as “social recruiting” to fill, hire, and recruit for positions. All online properties, networks, and communication channels are opportunities to reach out to employers to learn more, build relationships with recruiters and land their next job not solely because of a resume but using social media.
Social Media Job Search Tips
As a job seeker, how you use these social platforms and social networking is up to you but know that recruiters, hiring managers, and human resource professionals are using sophisticated tools and strategies to monitor brand mentions, sentiment, and evaluating each individual platforms percentage of applications and source of hire. Knowing this just might give you the advantage you need as you plan your job search and your online brand on social media.
Article by Jessica Miller-Merrell
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