Recruitment is an inherently social activity. I’m looking for the best employees for my clients, and I’ll venture anywhere, both offline and online to find them. Though, in our socially-wired world, that online/offline distinction is quickly becoming obsolete as almost everything becomes public-facing.
So, the key to success in online engagement with prospective employees lies in becoming a savvy online conversationalist. While new social media platforms can be intimidating for some, many of the tried and true tips from in-person communications, still apply. They just have to be transferred from in-person communication to social media communication.
Here are four insights that can help refine that art of social online communication:
- Consider the context of your online communication. How you might approach a prospective contact at a family wedding is vastly different from how you might approach that same person at a professional networking event. In the social media world, the same rules apply. Know your audience and what platform they might be using. Generally, 1) LinkedIn for professional online engagement; 2) Facebook for personal engagement and 3) Twitter – for both depending on how the user communicates on that platform.
- Location, location, location. If you were looking to get your hair cut at a new salon, you wouldn’t start your search with an out-of-town shop. Similarly, prospecting potential employees online requires that you be savvy to a candidate’s geographic limits even if that information is not always overt or apparent. Promoting a Toronto job opportunity to Calgarians for example will likely not yield the best results.
- Only start conversations you can keep. Once you delve into a conversation on a social media platform, be sure it is one you can keep. In the social media world, if you start a conversation, or reply to an ongoing conversation, and then just disappear – it’s a real faux pas just as it would be if you abruptly walked away in the middle of a face-to-face conversation.
- Look who’s talking! In real life, we’d never talk over each other and contradict each other in a conversation. In many ways, multiple online conversations should be treated as “one conversation” from “one voice” since almost everything is searchable online nowadays. So, work with your inter-departmental partners to decide who is going to be the overall keeper of your social media strategy (e.g. Marketing, HR, Customer Service). Appoint someone from the organization who can dedicate the time and handle the communications commitment.
One last thought: social media may be a free recruiting platform, but it requires a lot of time to cultivate impactful engagement with your prospective employees and to find the right candidate. And time equals money. In the same way as when your social calendar fills up with events, you responsibly RSVP “no” to another opportunity, when it comes to social media, know your time/money spend threshold. Hire a recruiter if you don’t have the time that you would otherwise need to attract the talent you want. We can do the digging for you.