Social media is a tool that’s being utilized by almost any progressive thinking company today. Some embrace the opportunity and utilize it better than others. I encourage clients and organizations that are tepid about utilizing this medium to perform as much research as is available. In addition, align yourself with a professional in this vertical that can show you the benefits and pratfalls you should stay away from. In our case, as a staffing agency, we performed our due diligence and decided to move forward with using different social media tools. After this was embraced, our company made the collective decision to take the individual we employed and utilize her expertise on advising what techniques and mediums to pursue. In taking this approach, we’ve executed more than using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as one way communication resources. We also use these well-known social media channels to share information about our company, post job opportunities, engage in chats with other HR professionals and even to spread the word about this column. Other organizations also can look at social media as more than just another outlet to post jobs, but as a branding and marketing stream as well.
Is social media a fad?
A recurring question is whether social media is a fad or here to stay. More than 10 years ago, that same question was asked regarding reality TV. Today, this format dominates the landscape in terms of viewing options. An example that can be parlayed in our industry is trying to utilize and administer social media ourselves. Nearly a year ago, we had eight followers on Twitter. By taking our Marketing Director’s advice and strategies, we’ve increased that count to more than 250 and the numbers continue to grow.
Social media’s link to talent
One strategy that many employers and staffing firms are trying to maximize is using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as a sourcing mechanism for finding talent for jobs they’re trying to fill. This is a great starting point but usually the first person that you find is not the target you’re trying to secure. However, that person may know a passive reference who is just right for the opportunity. The key word is always “networking” and that’s what makes these outlets so great. In using this as a generalized approach, beyond just filling jobs, and leveraging social media as communications outlet/forum by which others may connect you to their friends, colleagues and so on, success is sure to follow from a recruitment standpoint.
How candidates can use social media
In the same way that companies and recruiters are using social media to find talent, candidates and job seekers must begin to use it to find out about job opportunities and to connect with staffing professionals proactively. In today’s job market, a LinkedIn profile is essential to online networking; however, there are benefits to the average job seeker in setting up accounts on Facebook and Twitter as well. These electronic relationships become exponentially helpful in terms of connecting candidates to many other professionals, who may in turn be hiring mangers or recruiters. Job seekers also may want to look at BranchOut and BeKnown. Both applications are connected to Facebook and seek to aid with job search and professional networking.
Social media likely is here to stay and research is showing that more and more companies and talent are using it to connect on job opportunities. Even a small social media presence can be a positive for both professionals and employers.
Mike Barefoot is the Senior Account Executive at Red Zone Resources Staffing & Recruitment. Follow Red Zone Resources on Twitter (@RedZoneJobs) or go to www.RedZoneResources.com for more information.