Five ways to use social media when recruiting

by Nicola Middlemiss06 May 2015
Social media has seeped into every aspect of our lives so there’s no reason to think it shouldn’t have an important role to play when it comes to recruitment – here, one industry expert explains how other HR professionals can use the tool to their advantage.

“Social media is a huge part of our lives,” says Jessica Miller-Merrell, “from work to family to dating and everywhere in between. It’s become ever present.”

Miller-Merrell is a workplace and technology strategist specialising in social media – she says that, in the past ten years, online platforms have become a major part of how people interact and employers can do far more than they once could.

“The strategy for using these tools has evolved,” says Miller-Merrell. “It’s become more complex and involved. It’s adapted to the ebbs and flows of each network’s popularity. It’s gone from being seen as a tool to get the word out to being seen as a place to build relationships, share resources and listen to what the workforce is saying.”

Miller-Merrell says that as technology evolves, employers are able to find exciting new ways to foster relationships and improve recruitment efforts - here are five ways she says HR managers can make the most of social media.

Social media sourcing 

“The plethora of social networks out there allows you to not only engage with candidates but also monitor their professional activities, research their expertise and habits and even see what events they attend, both online and in person,” explains Miller-Merrell.

“Getting to know a potential candidate before they ever walk through the door can lead to better hiring decisions.”

Real-time focus group

“If you’re not using social to listen to your candidates, competitors and current employees, you’re missing out on valuable, free research,” she warns. “Get out there and see what people are saying about your company, what your competitors are offering and what potential candidates want.”

Employment branding

“Your employment brand is the public’s view of your company as an employer, and these days it’s based largely on your social presence,” says Miller-Merrell. “It’s your job to shape and influence that brand, so use your social presence to build it.”

Developing a strong employment branding strategy is important but Miller-Merrell suggests starting with three simple things: consistency across all channels, perfecting the tone of your messaging and creating a network of people who are advocates of your employment brand – such as current employees.

Engagement 

Engage your social networks with video broadcasting apps like Meerkcat and Periscope, advises Miller-Merrell.
“Remember though that while these are great tools, you don’t own the network but are just renting space,” she adds. “To have more control over your community, consider a talent network just for your company.”

Job distribution 

“Candidates want to talk to recruiters, not just follow an account that only blasts out new career site job opportunities,” says Miller-Merrell. “Use your social networks as a way to engage in discussions about job postings as well as discussions outside those specific job opportunities.”
 
Jessica Miller-Merrell’s original article on the ways in which employers can use social media in hiring and recruiting can be found in full, here.
 

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