Sometimes it seems as if the entire world is on social media sites. While the use of social media is not universal, the statistics published by the Pew Research Center for September 2014 give substance to the perception.
- 71 percent of all Internet-connected adults in the U.S. have a Facebook page.
- 52 percent use at least two social media sites.
- 50 percent of college-educated online adults use LinkedIn.
- 70 percent of all Facebook users interact with the site at least once per day.
- Facebook users have a median 155 Facebook friends.
- LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram all showed a significant increase in usage in 2014 over 2013.
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Here is what makes corporate managers a bit nervous: All of those social media users could conceivably be talking about your company — and they feel powerless to control the conversations.
If you have the responsibility for attracting the top talent, convincing them to join your company and helping with their development and retention, you might be leery of the social media sites. After all, users can say what they want, sometimes in complete anonymity. If someone posts a comment that your company treats applicants rudely — for example, never acknowledged the receipt of a resume or rescheduled interviews at the last minute — others might have less interest in working for your organization.
Many HR professionals have chosen to ignore social media, believing that any interaction could give detractors an opening to attack. However, social media transparency can go a very long way to polish your reputation and defuse potentially detrimental comments.
Here are some tips to leverage the power of social media for recruiting top candidates.
No individual, department or company handles every situation perfectly.
You or your organization can make mistakes. Accept that fact, and be willing to admit your shortcomings when needed.
Learn what people are saying about you, especially your current and former employees.
One excellent way to do this is to check the reviews posted about your company on Glassdoor. You might be pleasantly surprised and learn that your employees value the mentoring they have received. On the other hand, you might learn that your employees feel that their onboarding process left a lot to be desired. Either way, use the feedback to rectify problems or strengthen the positives.
Do not be afraid to engage others and respond to criticism.
For example, suppose you find a scathing diatribe about how a candidate waited 10 days to be called back for a second interview after being told that he would hear from you within 24 hours. Apologize, assure the poster that this is not normal for your organization and advise that you will look into ways to make sure such incidents do not happen again. Do not make excuses, argue or “call out” the poster.
Whenever possible, post relevant news on your social site.
If you are participating in an upcoming job fair, announce it on social media. If you have job vacancies, post them on your social sites as well as your company website.
Give people a chance to get acquainted with your company, even when you are not currently recruiting.
Discuss what your organization values, its mission and its goals. Letting people learn about your company culture can make it easier to recruit them when the need arises.
Stay current on the latest technologies to make sure that your efforts are not wasted.
For example, the latest estimates show that 90 percent of your candidates use mobile devices to search for and review your jobs. You need to ensure that they can find and access your posts, regardless of the device they use.
Marketers know that word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective tools available. HR directors know that referrals from current employees or trusted associates can often result in exemplary candidates. The social media sites combine aspects of word-of-mouth advertising with personal referrals — and the results can be outstanding.
Social media needs to be handled properly to achieve the results you desire. If you need guidance on creating, implementing or managing a transparent social media presence, consult a professional agency, such as FirstJob.com, that has experience in using social media to recruit the best talent.