Not many companies can afford to disregard social recruiting as a means of reaching potential candidates, least of all those in the creative industry whose clients and employees are innovators in social media. Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruiting Survey finds that 92% of the 1000 companies surveyed “use or plan to use” social recruiting, and 73% have hired a candidate in this way. While the companies surveyed were predominately US based, the UK and Europe are also seeing a rise in the use of social recruiting whether it’s actively headhunting through LinkedIn, or using Facebook to screen prospective candidates. However as a relatively new innovation in recruitment it can be open to abuse. We’ve been looking at etiquette and protocol when using social recruiting and how to implement good practice across your business.
Create a social media policy
At Source we have a company policy for using social media which includes social recruiting. Your social media activity reflects on your company’s online brand so it’s important to have guidelines in place. These should include: methods used when screening candidates, how you plan to target potential candidates, how you engage with your connections online and how you approach individuals who are of interest to your business.
Many candidates presume that background checks may include searching social media; if this is your policy then be upfront about it. Personal information voluntarily shared online seems to be fair game whereas personal data collected from non-social internet use could be interpreted as an invasion of privacy. By being transparent about your use of social media for screening candidates the onus is on the candidate to clean up their profile!
10% of LinkedIn users are actively job hunting; the remaining 90% are passive users. While the active 10% may not mind a steady stream of job ads in their news feed, the passive majority will quickly turn off and you will lose this valuable audience. Anything that clogs up your followers’ news feeds with material they’re not interested in is spam. Use social media to engage and connect with your target audience, add value by contributing quality content rather than spam. Flag up jobs that might be of interest to your followers in a way that invites comment, sharing and retweets, this is what social media is all about.
It’s easy to forget basic good manners with constant updates changing the face of your news feed within seconds, but remembering your Ps and Qs goes a long way. Thank followers for their comments, retweets and for liking your page. Message new connections to say hello and when requesting a connection with someone you don’t know; introduce yourself, explain briefly why you wish to connect with them and demonstrate that you’re a connection worth making.
Keep private information private
When approaching someone to discuss a job opportunity do so directly: email, direct message (DM) on Twitter, message on Facebook or send an InMail with LinkedIn. Posting on their timeline or as a tweet where their current employer and other followers can see could have serious repercussions for them and you. It’s also worth checking their profile to make sure they’re open to this kind of approach. On LinkedIn you can check the “Contact ‘X’ for” section at the bottom of the profile page. If your potential candidate has an online presence on several social media sites consider which platform to approach them through: would LinkedIn be more professional than Facebook?
At Source we embrace social recruiting as a valuable tool for finding new candidates, but also to celebrate creative industry successes and engage with our network of followers, likes and connections. We believe that to get the best results from social recruiting you must use the platform in the way it was intended. A social media site is just that, social, it’s not an online jobs board. Therefore we share great relevant content with our connections; we interact with our followers online, and have a unique approach to each social media site we use. We also post the occasional job opportunity.
What do you think of our social media activities? Do we give you what you want or is there something else you would like to see more of? Please tell us in the comments below.