Rise Performance Group

Social Recruiting: The New Era of Attracting Top Talent

By Sarah Watson

As we move into a new era of recruiting, the age of the resume may be drawing to a close. Social media is becoming increasingly popular as a way for recruiters to find the best possible candidates for open positions. According to a recent survey by Jobvite, 92 percent of recruiters are using social media to find new talent in 2012. The survey reports, “Social recruiting has become an essential resource in the war for talent as competition is fiercer than ever.”

It’s common knowledge that recruiters will check Facebook accounts. Any college student looking for a job knows that their profile must be clean and free of typos and questionable photos and posts; however, that’s only the beginning. Recruiters want to see candidates who have a strong web presence. Many report checking applicants’ Klout scores, Twitter followers and connections on LinkedIn. More and more, companies are getting creative with the way they post jobs and follow up with applicants. They want to see creativity, innovation, and the ability to address their organization’s challenges at the same time.

In an article for Forbes, Jeanne Meister describes MasterCard’s recent use of social media to recruit a new employee. She writes, “The process involved engaging on MasterCard’s Facebook page, uploading a resume via LinkedIn, and following MasterCard on Twitter for further directions. The campaign represents the future of recruiting, where the process demands that applicants showcase their skills-and in the process makes them stronger candidates.”

So, how can your organization use social media to recruit top talent? Here are just a few of the many ways your organization can use social recruiting to attract your next great employee:

  • Post an opening – Posting an open position on LinkedIn or another of your organization’s social networks is arguably the fastest, easiest, and most cost-efficient way to get it in front of thousands of qualified candidates. It costs around $200 to post a job for 30 days on LinkedIn, which is almost nothing when you consider how many individuals will see it. If you don’t have the budget to pay to post jobs, you can get your opening out there in other ways as well. Join relevant groups and post your job to those discussion boards. You can even post the opening to your company’s profile page, and those you are connected with will be able to see it. The more people you connect with, the greater potential of finding a candidate who is perfect. Don’t forget to be creative! Take a page from MasterCard’s playbook and use more than one platform to encourage creativity and innovation from your applicants. If done correctly, when your applicants finish the process, you will not only be left with the very best, but your applicants will have learned a great deal about your organization.
  • Get to know potential hires – LinkedIn is a great tool to get a brief work history. As a recruiter, you can see where an applicant attended school, current and past positions, skills and other projects they may have worked on. You can also see if he or she has any second or third degree connections and use those to get a more personal reference. These are wonderful tools, but don’t forget about Facebook and Twitter. These networks tend to be more relaxed and are often more telling about a candidate’s personality. Do they engage with others? What topics do they discuss? Does their profile have a serious or fun tone? Of course, you can’t learn everything from social media sites, but they provide valuable insight on who you might want to meet for a face-to-face interview.
  • Build your brand – In the same way you’re looking at applicants’ social presence, they’re looking at yours. It’s essential that your organization builds a brand that resonates with potential hires. In a recent survey, Net Impact found that 58 percent of the student population would take a 15 percent pay cut to work for an organization whose values matched their own. Make sure your organization’s culture and values are clear on your social media sites to ensure you attract talent who will fit well with the organization.

Social media recruiting takes time and effort. It must be done with a purpose and plan, but it’s an investment that will more than pay off in the long run.

How does your organization use social recruiting to find top talent?

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