With well over a billion social media users worldwide, social media has become a tool that empowers both recruiters and potential employees.
Tight labour market conditions and global competition to attract the best and brightest candidates means that social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are increasingly becoming essential recruitment tools. Below is some advice based on AMP’s experience using social media as a way to be more targeted and strategic with recruitment.
Have a plan
In order to succeed with social media, companies and organisations should take some time to understand exactly what their needs are and what they are trying to achieve. LinkedIn has more than 200 million members in 200 countries. Potential candidates, or even potential customers, may only interact with your company for a few seconds on LinkedIn, which means that first impressions count. Companies also need to project and position themselves correctly through social media in order to target the right candidates.
Get the message right
It is important that you get your message right and be consistent online across all external touch points. Your company’s profile on Facebook and LinkedIn should be consistent with the way that your company is portrayed on your website, in newsletters and tweets. Getting your messaging right is key to attracting the most suitable candidates that are the best fit for your organisation.
Your people are your best brand ambassadors. When considering applying for a job, many candidates will search the profiles of their potential managers or colleagues through social media sites. While you obviously can’t edit your employees’ profiles, you could suggest that they spend a little time regularly updating their profiles. People who are proud to be working with you should be proud to say so!
Complement, don’t replace
Social media should be used as a complementary tool, not a quick fix replacement to your recruitment needs. It should be one element of your human resources strategy, which may also include using external agencies, building up capability internally and online advertising. If you get it right, you should be able to cut down on recruitment costs.
Going into social media half-heartedly is a mistake. It takes a lot of planning and thought to get it right. If you don’t have the in-house expertise, then spend the time and money to train or hire someone who can help grow your presence. Alternatively, you should seek external advice. There’s a big difference between using social media and using it effectively.
Tips for candidates
Lastly, here are some tips for candidates:
· Maintain your profile by keeping it up-to-date and relevant. After all, it is your public CV.
· Build up your LinkedIn profile by getting involved with professional online groups and communities. This will help you make connections and grow your network.
· Endorse others’ skills and talents on LinkedIn. Doing this not only helps your network, it also means that others will probably return the favour.
· Keep your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts professional. Recruiters are increasingly using these tools to gauge your personality.
Shaun Philp is head of human resources at AMP, which delivered savings of more than $1 million in recruitment costs through a more targeted and strategic approach to recruitment, including greater use of social media platforms, in 2012