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Using Social Media to Recruit Employees

If you're looking to hire, you can't afford to overlook social media. That means maintaining relevance on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. This is particularly true if you're in the market for Gen Y workers. "Maintaining relevance" is, of course, the key phrase. Otherwise, you can expect users to ignore your feeds. To maintain relevance, minimize attempts at selling. Keep it fresh, keep it brief, and keep it non-commercial. Focus on conveying the following:

  • Who you are: Social media is a terrific way to showcase your corporate culture. You might use it to share photos of your workplace, training sessions, corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, or anything else that speaks to your firm's culture. The more you can let people in on how great it is to work for your company and how amazing your staff is, the more people will want to work for you. Also, try using video to convey your culture. (For some great and hilarious examples of what some companies are doing to brand themselves, search YouTube for "company recruitment videos.")

  • What you do: Use social media to tell your firm's story and show the great work you're doing. This will help in your recruiting efforts as well as with your tri-branding efforts.

  • Your leadership: Get your leaders to embrace social media. Have them tweet, write a blog, post videos, and so on. This will help "humanize" your leaders. Job seekers want to know more than where the company is going — they want to know who's leading it there.

  • What's in it for them: Do you subsidize your employees' parking fees? Do you serve beer and pizza on Friday afternoons? Do you offer professional development opportunities? If so, publicize those perks on social media.

Of course, you should also post info about positions you're looking to fill!

It's not just about the firm's own social media reach, however. It's also about the personal and professional reach of the firm's employees. For best results, trust your employees to maintain a professional air online — to be open, honest, and respectful, and to remain mindful of their own reputations as well as that of the organization. The result? Improved engagement for existing employees, and an organization that's more attractive to prospective recruits.

You may be thinking, "If we let our employees loose on social media, they might say something negative about the company." Guess what? A few might. But implementing restrictions to protect you from the few who might say something negative will limit the engagement and recruitment potential that comes from unleashing all your other employees on social media. Obviously, it's great if your HR staff is using social media to recruit new, engaged employees. But the real leverage comes from engaging your entire workforce to "spread the brand," so to speak. Social media has an exponential reach — but only if you deputize your entire workforce to help!

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