Working the Social Network: 5 Ways to Leverage Your Recruiting

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As an HR professional, mining Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with candidates is likely an integral part of your day.

But similar to you, candidates are relying heavily on social media to learn about potential employers and opportunities, engage in dialogue about jobs, upload profiles and apply to or share positions within their networks. As with consumer experiences, they demand information that is engaging, relevant, targeted, and easy to access.

This participatory environment means HR teams must adapt to ensure their social recruiting processes are designed to help facilitate sharing of content, jobs, and other employment messages to meet these changing expectations among employees.

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Leveraging social tools to enhance recruiting

Here are a few tips on ways HR pros can leverage social tools to strategically enhance recruiting.

  • Reach high-quality passive and active candidates – As new social networks emerge, companies have more sources than ever before to find the talent they need to meet business goals. Ensure jobs are posted, shared, and liked on social networks to facilitate the broadest distribution of open positions to the highest quality sources of external talent.
  • Optimize connections – Personal networks tend to have individuals with similar backgrounds, experiences and interests. Take advantage of these relationships to promote credibility and brand reputation. Digital introductions are powerful; use external networks to identify internal connections and get the word out about jobs and opportunities.
  • Make the most of internal referrals – Social recruiting and collaboration tools can provide insight to hiring managers and recruiters on right-fit candidates from inside the enterprise. Internal referrals are typically higher quality and can result in a faster time to fill. According to the 2012 Jobvite Index, the average application-to-hire time is 29 days following an employee referral, compared to 39 days for an online job board applicant. Use social collaboration platforms to connect and maintain relationships with high-performing and high-potential internal candidates while increasing awareness of relevant internal opportunities.
  • Encourage internal mobility – Social tools can help facilitate internal mobility and illustrate to candidates and employees that there is a future for them in the organization whether that’s across locations, departments or functions. Social tools can also help organizations mine existing right-fit talent for open positions.
  • Communicate value – Social platforms are a perfect vehicle to communicate the value employers bring to the employment relationship. Whether that’s introducing a new benefits program, flexible work opportunities or openings in other departments or regions, organizations can use social tools to go beyond sharing opportunities to engaging employees and keeping workplace topics top of mind.
  • Social networks aren’t only relevant to recruitment — they can also help engage and retain candidates once they become employees. The emergence of “Generation C”— a phrase coined recently by market research firm Nielsen, where C stands for connected—helps explain why social collaboration is increasingly critical to HR departments’ success. According to Nielsen, Generation C is a group of workers mostly in their 20s, 30s and 40s characterized less by their age and more by their expectation that consumer technologies, expanding beyond basic email, be part of their professional and personal lives. As a result, social collaboration and communication is a valuable tool HR pros can use to engage with employees where they are most comfortable.

Ellen Julian is senior product marketing manager for talent acquisition products at Peoplefluent®, a leading social human capital management technology company. Prior to Peoplefluent, she served various sales enablement, research, and marketing support roles at Monster Worldwide, and also founded the corporate learning & development and HR & talent management research practices at International Data Corporation, a premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market.