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Small Businesses Can Use Social Media As An Cost-Effective Recruiting Tool

Recruiters are familiar with posting job listings in newspapers and on sites like Monster and CareerBuilder.

But those channels only reach active job-seekers, leaving a large part of the talent pool untapped. A

nd since so many companies use these sites, applicants have to navigate through a lot of noise and clutter to find what they’re looking for.

As the economy improves and the competition for talent increases, recruiters will need to go after passive candidates.

According to Jody Ordoni president of Brandmix, one of the best ways to reach them is through social media. T

hese channels, most of which are free, can greatly help reduce a recruiter's burden, increase employer brand awareness, and find exceptional candidates who aren't actively looking for a job.

According to Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruiting Survey:

  • 92% of employers used social media to find talent and potential employees to hire last year.
  • 93% used LinkedIn, 66% used Facebook,
  • 54% used Twitter. 73% of employer surveyed said they had made successful hires through social media in 2012. Finally,
  • 43% of employers said that their social media recruiting increased candidate quality, while 21% said it decreased time to hire.

Employers are even expanding beyond the “big three” to recruit on YouTube (used by 19% of employers for recruiting, according to Jobvite), Google Plus, and Pinterest.

Here are Ordoni’s suggestions for using social media as a recruiting tool:

  • It’s best to create social accounts just for recruiting, separate from customer-facing profiles. They best be called CompanyNameCareers or CompanyNameJobs. The name needs to be the same for every channel.
  • Companies need to start with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, since these are easy to use, popular, and don’t require lots of photo or video content – though those always help.
  • These profiles should not feature only job listings. Companies can talk about employee events, employee success stories, the culture, and the perks of the job. Some companies may be near great restaurants; others might have a foosball table in the breakroom. Anything that differentiates a company can be highlighted.
  • Companies generate visitors by also post information that’s useful to all job-seekers, such as interview tips or résumé advice. Links to articles on employment, job-hunting, or of general industry interest, make the social channel a resource instead of just a list of positions, which often results in more fans, followers, and likes.
  • Companies need to be prepared for questions. Social media is a dialogue – that’s the “social” part – so someone in HR needs to stand ready to answer questions from job-seekers, applicants, and even candidates that have recently been interviewed. Social media also attracts complaints, but companies shouldn’t be afraid of negative attention. If problems can be handled quickly and publicly, companies can often turn a critic into a fan.

According to Ordoni, a number of brands have trumpeted their success. For example, UPS reported that it had used Facebook and Twitter, along with QR codes, mobile apps, and text messaging, to make nearly 3,000 hires in 2011.

Statistics like these will only increase as the competition for talent tightens, making social media an essential part of every company’s talent acquisition strategy.

Jody Ordioni is president of Brandmix which helps companies effectively utilize social media as a recruiting tool.

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