Six Ways Employers, HR & Recruiting Can Use Social Media

I’m up early this morning prepping for my 4 hour Social Media 101 Training in Lawrence, Kansas today. Social media, social recruiting and employment brand and their use cases for human resources are on my mind. Social media is no longer a nice to have, it’s a must to have when communicating, understanding and monitoring our competition, candidates and employees. When it comes to the field of HR and Recruiting, those new to this brave new world are often left confused as to where to begin.

How Employers Use Social Media for HR and Recruiting

Truth is that there is no silver bullet for social but there are some best practices help you get there. Things like listening on social media, engagement and providing useful resources and insights while targeted your audience with hash tags on Twitter and keywords are just a few of the essential pieces to the puzzle for employers, HR, and recruiting online.

Social media is more than your social media employee handbook policy outlining the do’s and don’t for social networks and online. For the field of human resources, social media in my mind can be used six fundamental ways. These uses are not all encompassing but provide a framework for your organization’s goal when it comes to social media. Results definitely vary, but at the end of the day this brave new world of social media is the new focus group for your organization, and it’s where connections, business and conversations happen online.

  • Jobs Feed and Automated Distribution. While I’m not a fan of solely using social media channels as a source solely to distribute jobs, they do serve as a great way to reach targeted audiences or for those searching for you with little effort. It’s easy as you just set it and forget it. 
  • Social Recruiting. A more interactive strategy that incorporates using tools to engage job seekers on sites like Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn. Recruiting teams use job feeds and some automation but the focus is on building relationships, answering questions and providing resources to job seekers driving applicant traffic to their company careers page.
  • Social and Internet Sourcing. Social media has brought about an new importance in internet and social media sourcing. As professionals flock to social media sites to engage, share and talk shop, sourcers can use the information they provide as an internet playground in which to snatch top talent long before they update their resume on a job board or even their LinkedIn profile. One of my favorite ways to source candidates is using the mobile photo sharing network, Instagram.
  • Social Learning and Collaboration. Whether it is developing internal relationships using an internal social networking platform like Yammer or Thought Farmer or for your tapping into your external resources and connections, this is a great source for news, information and sharing all done online. There are literally thousands of HR, workplace and recruiting blogs sharing information focused on the workplace practitioner done in real time. Check out my list of great resources and HR blogs to get you started.
  • Employment Branding. A new breed of marketing and the most advanced form of social recruiting with the candidate in mind. Companies are flocking to sites like Twitter, Facebook, recruiting videos and even Pinterest to build their brand as a growing number of job seekers that apply for positions are using social media, mobile and peer networks online to help select the company they want to work for.
  • Listening and Monitoring. When it comes to social media, it’s true power is in the power of listening and surveying an active audience before it goes viral. While there are some restrictions on if and when you can fire your employees as a result of conversations happening on social media courtesy of our good friends at the NLRB, it’s a great way to hear their feedback and conversations in real time. Think of it as the new employee survey except it’s completely public, free and happening online. While I recommend joining in the conversation, listening and monitoring can be just as powerful especially when an employee, candidate or customer voices his/her opinion online.

What ways are you using social media for your organization when it comes to employee engagement, employment brand, job seeker recruitment and peer learning done online? I’d love to hear your insights.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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