How to Use Social Networks as a Recruiting Tool
If used correctly, social networks can give you a competitive advantage. Social networks attract millions of users. They provide a tool to engage the right candidates quickly and effectively, but like any tool, itâ€™s only useful if used correctly. Here are some ways you can leverage social networking as an effective HR strategy for recruiting.
3 Benefits of Social Recruiting • Competitive edge in locating candidates • Build company brand recognition • Reduce sourcing costs
Where to Start Knowing where to start is important. Planning out your strategy will help keep you on task and cognizant of the larger picture.
Establish a plan. What sites will you use? (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc.) Who are your target candidates? Are they experienced professionals? Entry-level candidates? College graduates? This will drive what social network you want to focus on. How much time you will spend recruiting on social networks? How much of your HR strategy will depend on online social recruiting? How will you update information and keep content fresh? When will you update your Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc? How often? What kind of content will you post?
Check your brand image. Search for your company to see how youâ€™re perceived as an employer. Are you a desirable employer to work for? Pay attention to any criticisms employees have and actively work to remedy them. What do your customers say? If you have customers that are raving fans, you should leverage that relationship to promote your brand. If you have customers that are unhappy, do your best to resolve the situation.
Potential legal risks. If a candidate has posted information on Facebook or Twitter such as religious or sexual preference, social activities, or family situation, it can be argued that this information was used against them during the screening process. Itâ€™s key that your company is able to demonstrate why a candidate wasnâ€™t hired, and that the decision was based on objective assessment, tests, or skills. Even the mere appearance of discrimination can create headaches later.
OFCCP Compliance. You company must be able to provide adequate records of your recruiting process during an audit. A judge or a jury draws the inference that if you didnâ€™t maintain records, the records must have been prejudicial. Applicant tracking software can help ensure compliance
Networks do not reflect the total labor pool. Only 2% of LinkedIn users are Hispanic, but make up 15.4% of the total population Only 5% of LinkedIn users are African American, but make up 12.8% of the total population On social networks, some ages are overrepresented and others are under-represented Relying too heavily on social networks leaves your organization open to potential lawsuits for discriminating based on age or race.
Measure your results. What networks provide your top sources of hire? What is each sourceâ€™s yield for quality candidates? What is the best source for high performers? What is your time to hire?
Conclusion. Social networks offer a powerful tool if used correctly. Establishing your company on social networks conveys the perception that your company wants to connect with potential candidates and that your company is tech savvy. Social networks should be a key component in any recruiting HR strategy, however, social recruiting should not be an end-all be-all solution, but rather should complement your existing process.