Being Heard in the Information Age: Social Media and Recruitment Strategy June 01 2015
Information overload: a colloquial term referring to the difficulty a person may have in making decisions due to the presence of too much data. In essence, their ability to mentally process is outpaced by the flow of new information. These words have become emblematic of the recent evolutions in social media.
Social media has captured the attention of the world and continues to grow at a startling rate. More and more companies are integrating their Facebook page into their branding strategy, while Twitter keeps the world informed of the latest breaking news stories 140 characters at a time. Between computers, smart phones, and other channels of communication, many find themselves being constantly inundated with information. With the state of communication such as it is, how are businesses supposed to compete for people’s attention without being drowned out among the noise?
The important thing is not to fight against the tide; recruiters should go where the recruits are. Social media is no different. With the variety of new tools available, it is possible for recruiters to not only compete, but to thrive. Here are some ways employers can leverage social media in the hunt for talent:
Employers are beginning to catch on to the wealth of candidate information available online. With proper social network engagement, it is possible to track more than a given candidate’s personal life. A user can monitor a candidate’s professional activity, the areas of their expertise, as well as the events that they might attend.
But media research goes beyond interview screening. Current employees, past employees, competitors and clients are all talking; and chances are, they are doing it in a public forum. Social networking offers up a cheap way to find out what people might be saying about your company as well as insight into your competitors’ strategies. People always talk. It is up to us to figure out how to listen.
In the age of the “internet-controversy”, maintaining the company image has never been more important. Through the application of social media tools, companies have access to a variety of methods with which to engage with both their clients and prospective candidates. Such interaction also provides an opportunity to unify the message a company sends out to the world. It is important to ensure that an organization’s “voice”, their specific tone or style of address, is consistent across all channels of communication. The company’s voice should reflect its mission, vision, and values.
Further, a company can quickly construct a network of advocates to communicate their message. These advocates most commonly take the form of the organization’s employees, but everyone has a voice in the information age; that is part of what makes public perception so important.
Thus far we have discussed taking in information from the environment, but it is equally important to contribute to that same discussion. Posting available job openings online is only the beginning of how one might spread the word amongst potential candidates. Take multinational branded food manufacturer General Mills as an example.
General Mills makes use of their company Facebook page in order to inform applicants of not only job openings, but links to career events, introductions to the recruitment team, and information relating to the company and careers in general. They also make use of YouTube, creating videos that highlight key aspects of the jobs, their corporate culture, examinations of the typical work day, and more. These are but a few ways social media can be utilized to offer a more complete portrait of a company to prospective employees.
Communication & Engagement
The tools are such that companies no longer need to passively interact with their contacts. One good way to break through the white noise of social media is to engage directly with individuals. Responding to questions and participating in discussion has never been easier. Rather than simply plastering job postings on every site available, it might work to the recruiter’s benefit to partake in conversation about those postings with those who might show interest. Building relationships with the candidates goes beyond filing a position currently in demand; there will always be future openings. Having a pre-established network of candidates may expedite the process.
These are only a few of the ways companies can look to incorporate social media into their recruitment strategy. Such tools are only poised to continue evolving and expanding as we move into the future. In a time where everyone is constantly being exposed to information in nearly every aspect of their lives, the key is not to try to cut through the noise or disengage with the conversation. Rather, employers should focus on making the tide of information work for them.