Most small business owners are using social media to attract customers or sell products. An often overlooked social media use with huge potential is to use it as a recruiting tool. Competition for skilled people is fierce and small businesses are uniquely positioned to use social media to attract the best, most talented people to their business. If you are struggling to find the right people for your business, social media may be just the tool you need to stand out from the crowd and have great people standing in line waiting for you to post an open position.
Let’s face it, traditional recruiting methods take too much time and aren’t cost effective. The “post and hope” strategy doesn’t work in our social world. If you want your hiring strategy to be effective, you have to be proactive and engage with candidates long before you have an opening.
Social media recruiting is an essential tool and it’s easier than you may think. Getting started seems overwhelming, but you already have everything you need—you just need to know how to use it in a social context. Remember, you don’t have to post on every social media channel, only the two or three your potential workforce actively uses.
Using these seven simple strategies will help you become an expert social media recruiter.
1. Engage through content and motivational messages.
You already stay on top of your industry trends by reading blogs, trade publications, and industry newsletters. Share those articles along with some advice, opinions, or ways your company is participating in current events. Motivational messages also fill the news feeds of almost every social channel. Post an occasional motivational message that is relevant to your job openings or your industry.
2. Bring your employees into the conversation.
Spotlight your employees and their contributions to the company, your industry, or the community. This helps attract the right types of people. Great candidates want to know what it’s really like to work for you and whether they will feel comfortable in your company. Making your company feel real and showing your culture encourages candidates to become comfortable with the idea of working for you.
3. Create a hiring story that is unique to your company.
Ikea is great at this. We’ve all seen the cartoon with the job applicant being asked to take a seat in a chair that is in pieces on the floor and needs to be assembled. Your business also has a unique story to tell. Don’t be afraid to use it to attract candidates. If you need help finding your story, ask your best employees this question, “what’s the coolest thing about working here?” Their answers will guide you to your story.
4. Use video.
It shows you are real and approachable. Don’t be intimidated by video or fall into the trap that it has to always be professional and expensive. Some great video is done on smartphones. There are lots of free and low cost tools to help you. If you are a Mac user, iMovie is a great tool. For Windows users, you can try Movie Maker. If you have a few extra dollars to spend you can use Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier Pro.
5. Use blogs.
Feature employees who work in positions you wish to fill. Not only is it an avenue for employers to explain daily activities to their prospective candidates, but it also increases employee recognition. This is an excellent way to showcase some of your less sexy positions. You can show your accounting staff helping the community with taxes or your maintenance staff helping build a Habitat House.
6. Respond quickly and effectively to candidate questions.
Any information that helps candidates get through the hiring process faster and improves their opinions about you as an employer makes recruiting easier. If someone takes the time to ask a thoughtful question, simple professional courtesy requires you to respond. Sites like Glassdoor® make things in your company transparent and you want to actively manage your company’s reputation.
7. Never forget you source PEOPLE.
Because you’re always busy and your time is at a premium, you want faster, automated processes. That’s great up to a point. You can never overlook the fact that your candidates want human The more human you are, the more engaged your candidates will be and they will share their experience on social channels.
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I encourage you, as a small business owner, to give social media recruiting a try. Pick one social media channel to start with and experiment a bit. You can’t break it and you’ll probably have some fun while you find your groove. If you need a little help, you can reach out to me in the comments below, on my website, or on social media!