How to Attract Top Talent through Social Media
17th March 2015 | Andy Headworth
Social media recruitment now sits across different disciplines in HR like recruitment, attraction, employer branding and communications. But it is only recently that it has been recognised as an accepted business tool.
After the global financial nightmare of post 2007, companies of all sizes around the world are again in profit and are looking to develop and grow. This is great news for employees everywhere, but it is presenting huge issues for the companies themselves. To grow, change and develop they need talent but the issue is that everyone is in the same situation, therefore creating shortfalls of available talent. This isn’t restricted to the commonly spoken about IT and Digital shortages, but reaches wider like Lorry Drivers (HGV) in North America, Nurses and Doctors in the UK and Industrial engineers in South Africa to name a few. HR and Talent leaders have to change the way they look at talent acquisition and retention with immediate effect. Traditional methods of attraction - like advertising - have become less effective as the market has tightened on candidate availability.
There is a common phrase within recruitment with regards to talent acquisition regarding candidate targeting, and that is, ‘you go fishing where the fish are swimming’. Well for the last few years that place is social media. The growth of the social networks globally over the last three years has been huge, even to the point where many social networks have become mainstream media communication channels. From a recruitment perspective this is fantastic news.
Social networks provide a wealth of information about their users – bio data, locations, interests, friends, likes etc. – from the structured data that sites like LinkedIn and Facebook (to a point) provide, to the 140 characters of platforms like Twitter. This is a recruiters dream – or it should be! They now have ways and means of now identifying and reaching out to potential candidates, unlike never before, allowing them to become considerably more proactive in their recruitment activities, rather than the reactive advertising approach.
While social media may well be mainstream for many, it hasn’t been considered a primary recruitment method for many SME’s due to the two things that social media recruitment needs to be successful – time and resource. While HR and talent leaders from these companies may have been to social media conferences, read all the blog posts and maybe even tried to get started, ultimately the size of their departments and their heavy workloads, have delayed its introduction. However, it is these same companies that are often the ones that are having the most problems in attracting and engaging talent. Social media can help companies in key talent areas like employer branding, marketing, communications, candidate sourcing, engagement and retention. The only problem for many is how to go about doing it.
I have written Social Media Recruitment specifically for companies like these. I know from years of consulting and helping such companies, they have little time and resource, but they still know they need to use social media for recruiting. They need practical guidance that is easy to follow and shows them how to successfully integrate social media into their recruitment, in a time (and cost) effective way. I have deliberately broken down social media recruiting into manageable sections that can be understood and tackled one at a time, so that these busy HR and talent professionals can ensure they can make steady progress using social media rather than getting swamped with social media, which is very easy to do.