Social media is ingrained in our lives. It is not one particular brand-named website, like Facebook or Twitter, but rather a concept. With social media, we all have a voice. It’s because of that collective voice that companies have to change the way we market to our customers.
When using social media for recruiting, the customer is the potential employee, and the product is the new position as well as the value that the recruiting company has to offer that potential employee. The real value of social recruiting is that it allows smaller companies to build a brand, and for larger organizations to show a personality.
While you are deciding whether social recruiting is for your organization, the audience is making that choice for you. They are commenting on news feeds where your company was mentioned. They are sharing their likes and dislikes about your hiring and employment practices with their friends in Facebook, and they are writing reviews about you on Glassdoor. The decision is not whether or not you want to use social media to encourage the best talent to work for you and help build your business, but really how much or how little you choose to be involved in the conversation.
I like to break down an effective social employment strategy into five critical elements: employee guidance, social listening, social presence, audience attraction and engagement, and social involvement. Each has its own unique set of guidelines, yet all work together to amass the story of what it is like to work for your organization. These are:
1. Employee Guidance
The advent of social media has blurred the lines between professional and personal. This means that employers should take an active role in encouraging their employees to act responsibly when communicating online. At minimum, develop and communicate guidelines on acceptable online behavior as it relates to your employees’ work life. My experience has found that communication and education are more effective than restrictions. Guide your employees rather than attempt to control. It will relay a sense of trust and respect.
2. Social Listening
Building a social recruitment strategy starts with listening to your audience. You might more commonly hear this referred to as “online reputation management”. However, I believe the word ‘management’ implies that you are somehow able to control the message. Once it is in the socialsphere, the message has a life of its own. Instead of trying to control and react, listen objectively to the conversations that are currently going on about what it’s like to work for your company. Read former employees’ comments on review sites like Glassdoor and monitor your social reputation through one of the many tools on the market today.
3. Social Presence
The next step is to build a social presence. Include social media functionality in your career portal, giving your audience a voice. This might includes blogs, videos, or interactive chat rooms with recruiters. Certainly, a social presence can include other platforms like a LinkedIn page, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or a YouTube channel. Choose wisely. Build your company’s social presence based on where your potential employee is most likely to look for information about you, in the channels they are using to speak about you, and the image that you would like to convey to that audience.
4. Audience Attraction and Engagement
In the human capital side of social, the audience includes current, future, and former employees. You can utilize your organization’s social presence to announce current career opportunities. However, if your content is only about jobs, you will quickly lose your audience’s interest. Social engagement allows you to assemble a story over time, one post at a time. Engage your current employees by sharing photos of company social events. Show pride in company and individual successes. Allow coworkers to join in the celebration through comments and likes. Be a source of communication for the ‘little things’ like this week’s lunch menu or the ‘big things’ like providing up-to-the-minute information in case of a weather emergency. The combination of these individual messages creates a picture of life within the company. The business exists and thrives by embracing the social aspect of its employment population.
5. Social Involvement
The final element is being involved in the conversation. Influencing the tone of how your organization is talked about in the socialsphere means being active in the online conversation. If you see a story about your company on a blog or a news outlet, add a comment. Write a review about your personal experience. Encourage your engaged employees to participate. An employee who has been happily working for your business for 10 years probably never even considered going to a job site to write a review.
Social media has changed the way we do business, especially the most social part of our business – our people. At TeleTech, we have chosen to embrace this evolution.