In between my writing gigs, I spent a few years doing internal communications for companies in legal and educational fields. What I’ve learned there was the importance of communicating company’s hiring situation to your employees – nobody wants to find out about a great opening their niece/neighbor/cousin would’ve been perfect for the day a new staff member joins the team.
Even if you hire an external candidate, it’s a good people policy to accept job candidate recommendations from company employees, giving them the opportunity to have a say in who joins the team.
At the legal firm I worked at, I was responsible for, among other things, posting memos, notes, articles and such onto the bulletin board. Yes, a physical cork board hanging near the entrance to the office. That’s such an old school communication tool, one might think, but the board turned out to be one of the most effective internal communication tools our HR department tried.
One of the weekly updates that I was responsible for was a list of current company openings. The list helped both with hiring – as employees talked about the openings to their friends and referred a few people to HR as a result – and with the staff having an idea, which departments were scarce on the human resource. That prompted many to go out of their way to make respective adjustments in the workload and department cooperation to help with the temporary lack of people.
Think of your company’s internal social media as a bulletin board you have online. Let’s look into the specifics of such networks, available tools, as well as the ways they can assist you with hiring.
Making internal social media hiring work
To have a working system of hiring through internal recommendations, you need to build the community within your company, gain trust and reliably post up-to-date information on the openings. But most importantly, your online groups for employees need to actually be visited by the said employees.
Write an engaging copy
When you are writing the text for your job ad, consider the dual nature of your audience – your current employees, whose time and effort you are requesting to help you fill the position, and your final target audience – all the potential candidates who might not be familiar with your internal communication style and might very well not get that clever inside joke you are so proud of coming up with.
Moreover, be careful treading the thin line between coming off as formal, cold and straight up stand-offish versus getting way too familiar in your tone and message.
Create enticing visual ads
To illustrate your post, make attention-grabbing visuals using online graphic editing tools. Make sure you include key information about the job, as well as contact information as your engaging copy you worked so hard on may get lost once the image is reposted multiple times or saved and posted to a different platform.
Another tip on creating visuals for your ad – instead of going down the classic route of picking illustrations associated with your industry, you can use visuals that show job responsibilities. This way, your potential candidates will intuitively understand the topics they’ll be dealing with on the day to day basis.
Image created using this Crello template
Create an online community
To accomplish that – which, as every HR professional will tell you, is not an easy feat, you have to make your internal social network a go-to place for employees for announcements, company-wide memos, Q&As and other useful information.
As long as your online community remains a sole source of useful information for staff, you can count on them to notice and pay attention to your job opening ads. If your company is also a great place to work at, people will be more than happy to share their experience with friends, former classmates and colleagues.
Post more than once
Depending on how engaged your internal social media audience is and how often they check the postings on your page, you might need to post your job ad several times, so the majority of employees can notice it. You know how it usually goes: someone wasn’t in that day, another person was swamped with work and didn’t check any of the posts, while Jake from Accounting just spaced out scrolling through the feed.
You can try just reporting the same message or creating a new text + visuals, depending on how much attention you want to get. Remember that people dislike being treated like idiots, so play this one by ear to avoid annoying your staff.
Benefits of internal social media hiring
Hiring through internal social media has several key benefits:
ability to reach quality candidates who are not actively seeking new employment opportunities – the elusive passive candidates;
built-in references – every new candidate comes with a reference from an existing employee, whom you can ask additional questions about candidates experience, work ethic and qualifications;
candidates come in with an idea of the ins and outs of your business;
cost-effectiveness – hiring through internal social networks is cheaper than placing paid ads online and/or in specialized media.
Here are some of the tools you can use to run your internal social media, besides an obvious closed (or better yet – secret, yes, that’s an actual thing) Facebook group or chats on messaging services like Skype or WhatsApp:
Workplace by Facebook,
My advice here is coming to where your audience is. If you are already using one of the tools above or alternatives to manage work projects or your research shows that employees use a certain social media or messaging platform a lot – just go there and create a group for internal communications and company announcements.
Hiring with the help of internal social media is a useful HR tool that will help you achieve two goals at once – creating a better community around your brand and attracting the most suitable talent to the team with minimum effort and in a record amount of time. And with all the challenges to fill positions with quality candidates, who in HR wouldn’t welcome an open-and-shut case once in a while?
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