By Kristi Hansen on 2010/06/01
Increasingly, business challenges and core HR and marketing functions are being solved using the power of the connected Web. Social Media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are already common tools in the hands of both creative recruiters and individuals, allowing them to present a strong profile to their networks, in a perpetual bid to find a better match.
Newspaper ads, classifieds, internal job boards and other offline recruiting techniques are now far less effective in reaching the top calibres of talent, while online options are not only cheaper but have a far greater reach. Young talent and senior directors alike are now, by default, first turning to online solutions when looking for jobs or leveraging their careers.
It's not enough anymore to post a job vacancy on CareerJunction.co.za, jobmail.co.za and other online job boards. Employers are regularly spammed with hundreds of CVs from unqualified applicants when they post on these big boards. While it is recommended you continue to utilise these as a part of your recruiting mix, also recognise that as the online social networking world grows up, there are better ways to recruit excellent employees.
The role of business networking platforms like LinkedIn and other social networking sites in your employee recruiting strategy is becoming central as millions of potential employees profile themselves on these sites each year.
Top companies around the world, including Microsoft, Ebay, Netflix and even Quirk eMarketing are clueing up on the opportunities to review candidates online through their LinkedIn profiles. The influence of LinkedIn has grown to a point where it's almost a professional blunder not to have a well-presented profile. There are members from all the Fortune 500 companies and LinkedIn members comprise 130 different industries and include 130,000 recruiters.
Recruiters are able to search LinkedIn's database of information for people with relevant skills sets and experience that match their company's existing requirements.
Guy Kawasaki's Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn can help recruiters increase the value of LinkedIn in their recruiting strategy. One example is "Increasing your visibility, because by adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they're searching for someone to hire or do business with."
Improving the quality and performance of your own or your company’s profile is one sure way to improve visibility. Take a look at Guy's profile's Extreme Makeover to see what a difference a few changes can make.
When it comes to connections - the more the better. Guy's blog notes that "People with more than twenty connections are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five."
Spread the Word
Information about the position availability should be communicated to each employee so they can constantly look for superior candidates in their networks of friends and associates. In today’s world of online social and professional networking, it is highly likely that you and your employees, when pooled together, are connected to hundreds, and even thousands of potential candidates. Tap into this potential audience by engaging as a company on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, at the very least.
Using Your Website to Recruit Candidates
The "Join Our Team" section of your company website should "sell" the vision, mission, values and culture of your company to potential employees. Do you present a message about how people are valued? Do you express your commitment to quality and to your customers? If not, you are missing out on one of the most important recruiting tools you have to appeal to prospective employees.
Instead of the typical, dryly-written job listings about available positions, Susan M. Heathfield - writing for about.com - recommends that your site includes your vision, the information that sets your company apart from others in your industry. Your job listings must sparkle with personality so a potential candidate thinks, "this organisation is for me." And, now that you have their attention, you also need to provide a way for candidates to easily submit their CVs for consideration.
According to Janine Carpenter, Quirk’s COO, “our newsletter reaches over 11 000 people who are clearly already interested in our business, what we do, and our style and vision.”
“People respond to our job listings on the newsletter because our newsletter gives them a good taste of what we are about. We very seldom have to stretch beyond this potential talent pool. If we do, it’s to use Bizcommunity to post ads targeting the larger business community in SA who fall outside of our mailing list”, added Janine. “Web recruiting certainly works for us, possibly because of the nature of our business as a digital agency. When we have placed a print ad to find an accountant for example, we have found that it was expensive and not very effective.”
Businesses and recruiters who want to know more about how to use Social Media tools to recruit can sign up for the new Quirk course, Applying Social Media to Business Challenges, for industry insight on how best to apply these tools to meet particular objectives. The cost will teach business decision-makers in marketing and HR departments how to use Social Media to present your company in the best possible light with the dual objective of attracting stellar staff and new business.