I read recently that one in every five romantic relationships begins online. Why should professional relationships be any different? Social networking tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs provide a fast and efficient way to engage with a broader pool of active and passive applicants until you’ve found “the one” best-suited for both the position and your company.
Here's how you can leverage digital networking tools as a part of your recruiting strategy to target qualified candidates for even the hardest-to-fill positions.
Five Strategies for Recruiting via Social Media
1.Get in the Game! This should go without saying, but if you don’t have a presence on these sites, you’re already way behind. LinkedIn is the new recruiter’s wingman—it’s a great way to break the ice casually and bring instant credibility to the table through visible recommendations or employee testimonials.
2. Use More Than One Source. While LinkedIn will usually give you a detailed summary of a candidate’s work experience and professional skills, check out other sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to gain additional insight into a candidate’s personality and passions. Research across multiple social media sites will give you a clearer picture of how he or she might fit in with your company, as well as talking points for the interview.
3. Networking is Still King. It might be happening in a digital space, but common connections are still crucial in the hiring process. Link up with all of your past and present colleagues online so that if you happen to brush up against one of their contacts, you’ll be aware of the common denominator. Referrals often result in stronger hires with longer-term tenure and less turnover.
4. Be Cautious. Keep in mind that most of the information on social media is self-reported.I’ll spare you the Manti Te’o joke and just say that following up and checking references is more important now than ever. A candidate can be completely different in person than he or she is on paper, so once you’ve made a connection using digital media, it’s best to cover your bases by scheduling face-to-face interviews.
5. Use Groups to Stay Involved. Don’t just be present in social media, stand out! Make yourself visible as a thought leader in your area of expertise by contributing to LinkedIn Groups, writing a blog, speaking out on Twitter, and creating groups on Facebook.
Many professionals use networking sites like Meetup to find local events where they can connect through groups based on expertise. Working networks like this online will give you insider access to people that are “in” the market and might be a great match for your company, versus just those that are “on” the market and actively looking for jobs.