First seeing life on Twitter, hashtags have become a tool spread across many different social media outlets. Despite being around for some time (with simple tags existing for almost as long as blogging), many organisations are still unsure how they can leverage them and other social media functions to help their organisation, especially in the HR space.
The most obvious use for social media in the HR space is recruitment. Porter Novelli, a Sydney-based PR agency, made headlines for taking to Twitter and offering an entry level position to the ‘best tweet’ with the hastag #SocialCV earlier this year.
This resulted in a variety of responses: some legitimate and some insults varying from nonsensical to violent. While originally viewed as a failure, Mumbrella reported that Porter Novelli felt the results to be a success, not only giving the organisation great exposure, but demonstrating the erratic landscape of social media that an employee at the company must be ready for.
Organisations can also leverage social media for more all-encompassing employer branding (such as communication with alumni and future job candidates), as well as to engage their current workforce. For HR seeking a starting point at getting involved with social media, Lee Hawskley, managing director of ExactTarget Australia, outlined some golden rules when approaching the hashtag:
Be consistent, be simple. Hashtags don’t simply work on the basis of being a hashtag. If you post “#Recruitmentrampage” one day and “#Candidatecarnage” the next, both are likely to be forgotten. Adopt a simple and short hashtag users can quickly run a search for, and use it consistently to build buzz around it.
Build it up. Just as unrecognisable hashtags will have no one following them, the same is true for any hashtag on day one. It is important to start the campaign early, integrating your unique hashtag with more generic ones. For example, the first announcement of a new position being opened should include the unique, company-based hashtag (for example, #[companyname]recruiting or #hiringat[companyname]), along with more generic examples such as “#recruitment”, “#jobseekers” and any other industry-related tags. Invest some time into finding out what hashtags get the most searches to maximise exposure.
Give your followers a community. Especially relevant when attempting to get current employees engaged is building a community around your brand. “Providing a community hashtag such as #[brand]chat lets followers interact with each other and your brand by bringing together all your followers in one place,” Hawskley stated.
Don’t be too self-promotional. Social media users are wise to blatant (and not-so-blatant) advertising. Bombarding followers with constant self-promotion is a quick way to lose them, even among your current employee base. Hawskley recommends posting interesting and relevant content, but not always about your organisation. “Think about re-tweeting, replying to or adding followers’ tweets to your favourites. This shows them that you are open to two-way dialogue and value their input,” she said.