If there's one business function that's ripe to benefit from the mass adoption of social media, it surely has to be talent acquisition. Here's a medium that didn't exist a decade ago and yet now is ingrained in the lives of jobseekers and professional candidates worldwide.
However look at the way people are using social media for commercial gain and you discover a common failing. It's as widespread in the talent acquisition community as it is anywhere else. My aim in writing this article is to quickly show you how to reach job seekers more effectively with your social media endeavours...
What those in talent acquisition have to take on board is a mantra that's being shown to hold true in most areas of business life. On social media, it's a mistake to prioritise promotion over engagement.
Talk to a seasoned salesperson and you'll hear them say that people buy from people they trust. So a good sales professional will always be looking to build rapport with potential customers and form relationships for the future. Once someone trusts you, they'll be far more willing to listen to your commercial messages - and indeed to help spread your message amongst their network. The exact same message holds true for job seekers.
Would you like to know where you are on the scale? Rank amateur or social media pro? Then think of your social media activities and ask yourself:
Broadly speaking, talent acquisition pros should be doing as much of the former as possible, with only the occasional smattering of the latter. Recruiters simply pushing out job adverts on social media are actually not doing anything that different from before. The real gold in social media comes from engaging with a whole new audience of prospective (but as yet unengaged) job seekers.
You see the advent of social media has opened up the possibility of job seekers being able to interact with a prospective employer before, during and after the candidate selection process has taken place. As such, the spoils go to those who invest time in building rapport with candidates, establishing trust and fostering enthusiasm about joining a company. This paves the way to you securing interest and applications from candidates who otherwise might not have considered your company at all.
Grab yourself a coffee and spend half an hour looking at the twitter streams of various different recruiters. You'll quickly see the gulf between those who focus on engagement and those who are there purely to promote. Without question, the recruiters really carving out competitive advantage for their organisations are those who have embraced social media as a way of talking to candidates and engaging with them as much as possible. For some examples of recruiters who do this well, see my list of recruiters engaging job seekers with social media.
Let me conclude by saying that social media has given recruiters the tools to be able to converse with talent en masse. To influence. To inform. To engage. To persuade. Focus your efforts on building rapport with candidates relevant to your business and you'll be well placed for social recruiting success.
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