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Wed, May 23, 2012

Talent Acquisition

Small Business Owners: Where to Begin With Social Recruiting

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So you want to use social media to recruit employees?

The first question you need to ask yourself is “why”? If your answer is “because everyone says we should” or “it is an easy recruiting resource that we’re just not taking advantage of,” then you should stop now. It takes time and commitment to create an effective social recruiting strategy. It’s all about patience, consistency and creativity.

For those of you who remain committed to the idea of using social media to attract top talent, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • You actually need to be on social media consistently to make an impact. I know that sounds simplistic and perhaps a bit silly, but so many small businesses pop on and pop off expecting to make an impact. This marketing outlet, like so many others, is about consistency of effort and consistency of the brand. What is posted should tie back to your overall company brand and mission. Plus, content must be posted consistently to gain the traction and loyalty of your audience.
  • Employment brand is an extension of company brand. Therefore, get your overall company social media strategy in place and then move on to your recruitment strategy. Remember that on social media, you are always recruiting. Therefore, everything you say is moving you toward your recruitment goal. Sell the company, then the opportunity! Be certain that the open position you tie back to is well written and up to date.
  • Pick one social media outlet and stick with it.  As you get started, one key strategy is to start small and focused rather than trying to master every social media site at once. Imagine the power of really gaining visibility and impact on one site before moving on to another rather than diluting your message and efforts.  The key here is to understand where your candidates spend their time. Are they on Twitter, Facebook or  You Tube? Focus there first.
  • Be creative and diverse. Share industry information, job links, stories of employee success and culture, company information such as awards, customer stories and product-related features. Mix it up with photographs and links to articles, jobs and company information. Remember that people absorb information differently.
  • Engage with the community. Whichever social media site you choose to focus on, be engaged there. Retweet and thank people on Twitter. Comment on Facebook. Be generous and timely. You are building company and brand interest and loyalty with every interaction.

Remember: The person in your organization who manages your brand online is the face of your company and the face of recruitment in these interactions. If you don’t have that talent and social media understanding within your organization today, this might be your most critical next hire!

Bryn Johnson is a business and career strategist based in New York. Before starting her own consulting company, she spent 20 years in Corporate America as a passionate leader of high-performing teams on a wide range of projects in communications, recruitment, technology, marketing and human resources. She now shares her expertise with the broader campus, corporate and small business community through speaking and consulting.


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  • http://www.Social-Hire.com Tony Restell

    A great post Bryn – particularly agreed with “It’s all about patience, consistency and creativity” and “Whichever social media site you choose to focus on, be engaged there…. You are building company and brand interest and loyalty with every interaction.”

    Recruiting via social media is really polarized at the moment between those who get this and are really engaging with an audience (and are taking the long term view); and those who mistakenly see it as just another channel for blasting out their job alerts. The latter in isolation does an organization a huge disservice.

    Will be looking out for your future blog posts – you’ll set a high threshold with this one!

    Tony Restell
    Founder, Social-Hire.com