By: Andrew Young
Don’t have a recruiting strategy that includes social media?
Or, on the flip side, do you have a great social media strategy, but you’re not leveraging it for recruiting?
Either way, if you are not using social media to network you’re missing out on a fantastic way to find great people, cheap.
Leading companies around the world are out there building world class teams through the power of social recruiting and if you want to compete, you need to get on board.
The company I work for, I Love Rewards, has doubled in size every year since I’ve been there. For a small company increasing our employee base by 118% year-over-year, fulfilling our need to hire that many people would be impossible, not to mention downright unaffordable, without leveraging our current employees and their networks to find talent.
Here are 5 great reasons you need to start tapping into social networks to recruit top performers:
1. Great people know great people
It’s a simple fact that top performers gravitate towards one another. Our society is designed to facilitate networking, in such a way that great people attend the same schools and end up at the same companies.
For every great person you recruit, they each know at least ten people who you would kill to have on the team. Tap into that huge talent pool by getting your message out and making your presence known.
Make Facebook and LinkedIn groups, start a Twitter feed and have your people “Like” them, join your groups and retweet your posts. If they’re willing, even get them to invite friends and past colleagues. From there, create employee friendly social media content.
It’s unrealistic to expect every one of your employees to write full blogs extolling the virtues of your company, but it’s very easy to give them content they can add to their own social media sites. Ideally this would be one or two sentences that they can use to update their pages quickly. Make it fun and easy for them and in no time they’ll be sharing links, job postings and whatever else you want seen and heard by great people.
If your business comes up on your people’s social media pages (in a positive light, of course) your reputation as a top employer is communicated to their networks, who are suddenly open to you.
2. It creates an accessible pool of talent that you can draw from
By creating a social networking plan and increasing your brand presence, you will begin to attract more and more people following your updates.
These people may not necessarily be actively looking for a change, but will receive your updates nonetheless.
As you continue to post, news articles and great information about your company, you will build up your employer brand and establish an enviable workplace culture in their eyes, allowing you to sell to them without selling them.
When a job becomes available that they might be interested in, you will have already built up a strong following of potential candidates.
3. It’s easy…
Tradition recruiting is expensive and time consuming. Sourcing a high value position can cost thousands of dollars and months of work.
By using social media, you can attract a much wider audience than you could normally expect to reach.
This approach is twofold: first, you’ll want to provide great content and build a loyal following, simply so that you have a visible online presence and strong a corporate brand.
I am not going to go into detail on this point as you can find a wealth of knowledge among Garin’s various blog posts on his Facebook Tips blog, his personal blog, and his Twitter blog.
Build up a reputation online as a great employer, like Zappo’s for instance, by communicating culture, values, benefits and your mission, all the things that set you apart as an employer.
If you’ve built a great company, employees will flock to you. That said, most of us have some work to do to get to that level, which brings me to the second recommendation, leveraging your employees’ networks.
4. …and cheap.
Many companies offer bonuses when a candidate is referred by a current employee. This is a cost effective way to leverage your people’s networks to find talent, however, most companies offer the wrong type of incentive.
The typical recruiting incentive is a lump sum, generally in the hundreds of dollars, given at the end of the recruitment process, either after a successful hire or upon completion of probation. This is an ineffective incentive for two reasons: one, it is generally months between the desired behavior (the submission of a résumé) and the reward (given after the hire), and, two, the employee is being incented for something outside their control (submitting an extremely qualified candidate does not necessarily mean they will be hired).
At I Love Rewards, we give a much smaller but more immediate incentive, a point allocation worth $25 for each qualified résumé. The cost is about the same, but we have a much higher level of employee participation which means more great candidates to choose from.
5. It will attract Gen Y
Boomers were, until recently, the largest generation in history, the majority of the workforce and they are now starting to retire. Mathematically, it is not possible to fill all of those vacancies with people above 40 so employers are turning to the younger generations.
Gen X is just not big enough to fill all of those jobs. That’s the important thing to keep in mind with social recruiting; it is not the way to find yesterday’s senior executives. But, for an entry level position or, even better, one that relies on the ability to embrace new technology practices, social media shines.
It works best when you think of it as a way to find the leaders of tomorrow and to connect with them while you can still afford to hire them.
Most young people have never looked at a classified ad, aside from Craigslist. These are generally people who cannot be reached by traditional means. Social media, on the other hand, will capture their attention because it’s so pervasive and, even better, already a part of their daily lives.
Most people are very open about their personal lives on social media sites, so it’s likely that if you have a position available, your people already know someone who’s looking.
About the Author
Andrew Young is on Twitter @spartanvtyranny.