How social media can help you snag top talent for your company
How Social Media Can Help You Snag Top Talent For Your CompanySocial media has emerged like an errant piece of debris from a tornado, and has smacked theworld of business in its metaphorical face. Depending on who you talk to, this emergence of no-holds-barred communication has resulted in either the apocalypse for privacy and internalpractices, or the advent of a new dawn of profitability and success. In any case, the plethora ofsocial networking sites has led to a reevaluation of business practices. It‟s no mystery that thearea with the most important long-term implications for an organization is recruiting and staffingemployees. One of the biggest and oldest problems for companies revolves around acquiring atalented and creative team — and digital gives the old, traditional methods a new spin.According to a study [PDF] by the workplace psychologist group OPP, 39% of leaders said theystill rely on gut instinct when making hiring decisions, and a quarter admitted that whether theyliked someone personally was a major influence. These findings demonstrate that traditionalhiring metrics, including quality of the cover letter and interview, compete in importance withthe personal preferences of the hiring manager. Second, employers base hiring preferences on theapplicant‟s personality, sometimes even more than on the hard skills an applicant brings to thetable.Social media tools and applications can offer a glimpse into these more personal aspects of anapplicant beyond traditional hiring materials. But are businesses actually using social media toolsto hire?Importance and PrevalenceThe answer to this question is surprisingly murky. A survey by CareerXroads, a company that‟sbeen tracking hiring sources for the past 10 years, found that 57.1% of respondents report thatsocial media plays an important role in their direct sourcing program. A 2011 study undertakenby Jobvite goes further, stating that 89% of companies planned to use social media in their hiringprocess that year, and that 64% of companies directly used social media to hire an applicant in2011.On the flip side, Gerry Crispin, who co-authored the CareerXroads survey, levied someskepticism on the numbers he found for companies using social media. In an interviewconducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, Crispin states, “Some of therespondents stated that social media played a part in only 2-3% of their new hires, and otherrespondents reported that social media sites were used in 50-60% of their hiring decisions. Whenyou have numbers that widely divergent, I think it clearly shows that employers are struggling tounderstand the real impact of social media.”
Regardless of the confusion surrounding social media (which, by the way, should be expectedgiven its rapid escalation in importance), there are proven techniques and applications in place,should a company wish to expand its hiring arsenal to the social sphere.Passive StrategiesThe truth is, even if a company doesn‟t actively include social media in its hiring strategy, it stillplays a role in determining the talent pool. If a company has any form of online social presencewhatsoever — and who doesn‟t? — the odds are that it has influenced who has applied for aposition within that company, at least within recent years. Much buzz has been made aboutbusinesses screening the social profiles of prospective employees, but it goes both ways. EmilyBennington, co-author of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at YourFirst Real Job, says, “Naturally, candidates can use the same tools to screen you and — just likeyou — if they don‟t like what they see, they move on.”Since most companies would like to have a large pool of talented applicants from which tochoose, it behooves them to spend some time creating a dynamic social footprint. Alison Doyle,the job search guide for About.com, believes that some basic steps can improve the quality ofapplicants who find their way to a job through social media. For instance, publish engagingcontent focusing not only on what your company does, but how the company culture operates, togive insight into the inner working of the business. Also, create a strong employment brand onlarger social sites such as Facebook.Doyle also points out that employees who post positive things about their employer on personalsocial platforms make the company very attractive to prospects. For this reason, she encourages
companies to allow employees to access social media during work hours, as they are more likelyto post about their company then.Active StrategiesFor companies ready to dive headfirst into social hiring, there are a number of applications andtactics that make navigating the occasionally chaotic waters of Facebook, LinkedIn and their ilkmore manageable. That being said, sometimes the most effective strategies occur when acompany creatively uses the tools at hand. Matt Simpson, director of marketing at Bulbstorm,relates the following story:“My company, Bulbstorm, found me by Googling „Phoenix Marketing Copywriter‟ and landingon my freelance website. My experience with social media and blogging related to my old sportswebsite particularly piqued their interest. When I considered turning them down to focus on myfreelance business, the CEO trash-talked me on Twitter. I loved how unconventional he was.That got my attention, and I signed on.”This story illustrates two levels of active social hiring. First, the company found an employeethat matched its criteria by examining his social sites online. Then, using those social sites, itappealed to his personality. Even though he was not interested at first, its knowledge of hispersona enabled the company to obtain a perfect hire.Innovative SystemsSo, harness the power of social media to reach talented people and land key hires within acompany — that is the perfect scenario, right? Here are some of the most innovative tools I‟vefound that can help you navigate the social hiring landscape.CrowdHired: CrowdHired works through social crowdsourcing which, aside from being anoverused buzzword, offers a dynamic approach to finding employees. The process is fairlysimple: An employer selects advocates from his existing contacts and submits a bounty, orpayment, that will be paid to both the advocate and the employee hired as a result of therecommendation. The advocate then recommends individuals from his network who he thinkswould be a good fit. If the recommended person wants to apply for the position, he chooseswhichever of his social networks he thinks will represent him best.CrowdHired works well by eliminating the need to dredge through a large number of potentiallyunqualified applicants, and instead operates through the popular method of usingrecommendations to find the top people. The bounty simply adds an extra incentive foradvocates to get on board and really recommend the best of their contacts.
HirePlug: This is an app that sits on top of your company‟s existing Facebook Page. It adds atab that says “We Are Hiring” and allows applicants to view openings and apply directly fromthere. HirePlug not only leverages the network of your company but also employees‟ networks.A company that uses this app can encourage employees to place the “We Are Hiring” tab ontheir profiles as well. The app also matches the skills from listed positions to profiles of friendswithin the employees‟ networks. Employees can then send a recommendation from Facebookand via email. It tracks referrals so employees can be rewarded if their recommendation results ina hire.Unrabble: Unrabble attempts to alleviate the issue of applicants submitting resumes that are,shall we say, a bit fluffed up. Instead, it institutes a relatively simple system of social “bragging”that requires proof to substantiate the claim. Each time an applicant “brags” about anaccomplishment (increasing sales, successfully revamping a site, etc.), they must also provide anintroduction to a contact on Facebook or LinkedIn who will vouch for him. While the systemisn‟t foolproof, it offers a convenient alternative to wading through the piles of resumes fromapparent miracle workers who single-handedly saved their company from financial bankruptcy,yet mysteriously received little enough compensation that they are now applying for another job.TakeawaysSocial media offers a whole slew of new and exciting avenues for hiring, but it will not alwaysprovide the best solution for every company. That being said, a company that integrates socialhiring practices into its repertoire will undoubtedly be able to reach many applicants who mightotherwise have gone unnoticed or undervalued. Plus, they will be able to claim that they are“hip” and/or “cool,” or whatever the devil the kids are saying nowadays.Social Media Job ListingsEvery week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a hugerange of job listings, we‟ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the pasttwo weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!Reference Link: http://mashable.com/2012/02/11/social-media-recruiting-tips