recruit_on_social_mediaAs a marketer with a background in recruitment, I find it easy to draw parallels between the two disciplines. In marketing, we identify our audience and then we actively attract, convert, close and delight them.

In recruitment, the same basic activities will engage and retain the right candidates to make the best employees for your business, and I cannot stress enough the importance of hiring the RIGHT people. Attrition cost estimates range greatly; a conservative estimate is 80% of the offending position’s gross salary, but costs can skyrocket up to 150%-200% or higher. Bearing that in mind, the goal should always be to reduce the amount of attrition, and this starts with hiring the right people.

Not only job boards

Gone are the days of post-and-pray style recruiting. Instead, you should treat your recruitment pool like a sales funnel of sorts. When you come across interesting people with the right skills and the right attitude, keep in touch with them. Add them to your ATS or LinkedIn network and keep them warm. That way, if you lose a valuable member of your team unexpectedly, or if the need to create a new position arises, there is a warm, viable candidate.

Likewise, keeping your finger on the pulse of local, industry-relevant communities could yield great candidates when you need to fill a position.

It’s important for your business to build a social media presence to establish itself in the industry as a trusted thought leader. If you have already made this a priority, then you are ahead of the game! If not, there’s no time like the present. If your business is considered a thought leader online, in addition to the marketing benefits, candidates will throw themselves at your feet without you even asking.

How to leverage Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook

There are almost 700 million users on Twitter posting about 60 million tweets per day. If you’re not using Twitter to engage with your potential pool of candidates, you may be missing out on some great potential employees! To engage with potential job seekers, post a short (140 characters or less, to be exact) teaser to entice your audience and link to a place where they can apply. To assist with this, you can shorten the link by signing up for a service like bit.ly. An added bonus is that you can see if anyone is clicking on your link and monitor the success of your ads.

LinkedIn is my favourite tool for recruiting for any kind of professional position. It will benefit you to have a large network because when you search the database, you will be able to view and contact people who are up to a 2nd degree connection without purchasing the PRO package. You can also post to groups where your target audience would be. For example, if you were looking for a Drupal developer, you might post the opportunity in a “Drupal” group or a “Drupal jobs group”.

Facebook is a great outlet for finding candidates who may not be using other social media outlets.  For instance, if you are looking for a plumber or a farm hand you may not find that person on LinkedIn but chances are good that they have a personal Facebook page.  Facebook has just over 1 billion monthly active users and the average user spends 21 minutes interacting with Facebook every day.  Recruiting on Facebook can mean joining relevant groups and posting in them.  You can also post job vacancies to your company page.

Go local

In addition to the major social networks, you should also consider researching local and niche networks and forums where your ideal candidates may be hunting for work.  For instance, here in Victoria, we have Viatec, which is a fantastic resource for tech enthusiasts. Anyone from developers to software engineers frequent its job boards and networking events.

Seek them out

There was a time when simply posting a job ad in the newspaper and waiting for eager applicants to call was enough. However, in today’s fickle market, actively seeking the right staff that will give your business a competitive edge is not only ideal but necessary.

I have heard it compared to picking fruit: if you go to an apple orchard, do you just simply rake up the over-ripe or worm-eaten apples that have already fallen from the tree or do you get out a ladder and pick the most beautiful and delicious looking apples from the top?