Social Media Recruiting 101: Make Friends, Not Fans

Social media has become the go-to source for candidates for many hiring managers and professional recruiters. With the addition of applications like LinkedIn’s corporate recruiting portal and the social recruiting capabilities of Facebook, smart recruiters are using this as their primary resource of quality personnel. Additionally, job seekers have tapped into social networks, not only for personal reasons, but also as a means to present a favorable profile for recruiters to find them for open assignments.

According to a survey conducted by Mashable in September 2011, the average user spends 8 hours a month on Facebook alone and countless other time on other social media sites. However, a recent survey revealed that regardless of common belief, only 8 percent of recruiters actively use social media to find candidates. That’s a potential span of time when many candidates are updating their information, uploading resumes, and looking for opportunities to become fans of recruiting and staffing agencies. The best course of action for a staffing agency with a social media page is not to try to earn as many fans as possible, but rather focus on connecting with desirable candidates. In other words: make friends, not fans.

Here are some tips for making the most of social media to find the best candidates faster.

Develop an inviting profile targeted for your niche market. When you create your social media presence, make sure you develop a profile that’s appealing to your target industry market. For example, if your specialty is sourcing IT and technology professionals, include this in your profile keywords and include news and articles about this market in your post feed. This sends a clear message to job seekers what qualities you are looking for in candidates.

Provide links to your company recruiting portal. Be sure to give visitors a chance to learn more about your company and career opportunities by including a direct link to your main corporate website. If you do not have a career portal set up, not is the time to do so. Each week, you can then link to your career portal as you post new assignments and opportunities at your company. Use your social media as a support to your main career website, not as a substitute.

Invite promising candidates to learn more. One of the best ways to use social media to find superior candidates is to conduct a candidate search by career specialty. Many social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, allow for keyword searching in the main menu. Search for candidates who match your needs, whether they are active or passive job seekers, then invite them to become your fan at your social media page. Send a warm welcoming message and follow up only with those who do, as they have expressed interest in learning more.

Highlight your top open assignments and events. Social media is about connecting with more people in a meaningful way, something that recruiters have done for decades. Use your social media outlets to highlight your top open assignments by posting links and what you are looking for in candidates. Create open house events online and invite your friends to attend to learn of new employment opportunities. Then use this medium to communicate with potential fans who have the qualities you are looking for.

Learn more about recruiting and career tips as you come back often to the Advance Staffing blog!




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