like, share, tweet and followWith the hiring market rebounding, HR departments are becoming acutely aware of two things. Firstly they need to take steps to improve their staff retention rates. But more than that, they need to address how they can significantly up their game in the recruitment department. Failure to address these issues could leave organizations with significant staff shortages as the economy continues to pick up.

Whilst it remains the case that job boards are a strong source of candidates for your immediate hiring needs, growing numbers of recruiters are adding some form of social recruiting to their arsenal too. So what uses of social media could you consider incorporating into your recruitment team’s activities? Here are several effective angles to consider:

Candidate Attraction

An organization with a strong social media following can often boast candidate reach on a par with that of a niche job board. By finding ways to add value to your target candidate audience, figure on their radar and engage with them, over time your organization can build itself a significant recruiting asset. Invest in learning about social media marketing for recruiters – and be sure to set aside the necessary time and resources to make a success of this approach. But then you’re building up a readership that is yours for the long term – and that will continue to generate candidate interest for years to come.

Candidate Experience

How exemplary is your candidate experience today? From the point at which candidates start to consider your organization as an employer – through to the point at which they join – what scope is there for them to engage and ask questions of your team? Maybe they have reservations about applying? Maybe they have pressing questions they’ve thought of straight after their first interview? Maybe they’d like to talk to someone when weighing up your job offer against another that they’ve received?

Historically employers have been wary of providing means for candidates to “talk to the business” before and during the recruiting process, as phone contact can totally overwhelm an organization. However social media has totally changed things. A twitter account, for example, can provide an easy means for candidates to have questions answered in private – all the while keeping interactions limited to only 140 characters! It’s also a great way of involving “the business” in the recruiting process without it being much of a drain on their time. Just think how many more of your shortlist candidates might have joined you if they’d only had a better candidate experience. That’s the upside at stake here.

Employer Branding

Alongside the above presence on social media, there’s also scope for prospective candidates to follow your organization’s “Company Pages” on the likes of Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. This helps ensure candidates are attuned to what’s happening in your organization – and increases the likelihood of expectations being met when they join you. The more candidates feel like they know and understand your organization, the more likely they are to accept an offer of employment. The more likely they also are to be tempted by a job advert in the first place. Hopefully you’re starting to see how social recruiting isn’t just a standalone benefit, but also something that bolsters the effectiveness of all your other recruiting activities?

Candidate Sourcing

Last but not least, for the more proactive recruiter there are numerous services that allow you to search for your ideal candidate based on their social media profiles. At one end of the spectrum you have the simpler free tools to search candidates’ profiles on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like. At the other end of the spectrum are the paid “People Aggregator” services. These compile data about candidates from multiple social media sites and sources, so that when you search for candidates you are presented with a complete picture of their candidacy based on all their publicly available information. Examples would include HiringSolved, TalentBin and 3Sourcing. This route is particularly effective for those recruiters who want to research and proactively approach their target candidates – as it gives recruiters access to sizeable candidate databases that historically would have been the preserve of headhunting businesses.

Which will you put into practice in 2014? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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