Now you might ask how I can make such a confident statement. The fact is, I ran a successful recruitment agency for many years. Business was good but it was when I started to use social media that the business took off to the extent that I was able to sell it to a major national chain.
Social media has exploded in recent years. Social media has changed how employers and recruitment agencies search for new talent, so if you are not embracing social media platforms, then you will soon be left behind trying to play catch up.
Recent research included a poll of 400 HR decision makers, a literature review and three case studies. (original source found here) It found that:
- forty-five per cent of HR decision makers said they were already using social media tools in recruitment and 16 per cent said they were planning to in future
- around 40 per cent said they would make greater use of them in the future
- social media tools are often used as well as traditional recruitment strategies
- there are a range of ways in which social media is used in the recruitment process including searching for potential candidates online and ‘screening' candidates by viewing their social media profiles
- the main reasons for not using social media were a preference for more traditional forms of recruitment and concerns over privacy.
So – why do social networks work so well for recruitment?
Traditionally, employers recruiting online will use their own website, or perhaps online job boards to recruit. And there’s nothing wrong with job boards at all. They are great for matching up recruiters with people looking for jobs.
But what if the ideal candidate is not actively looking for a new position? How do you reach them and entice them with their ideal job? The answer is through social media. It allows you to talk directly to people who are not job hunting but may well be tempted by the right offer.
But don’t worry if you’re not a social media expert. Social recruiting is really just like traditional recruitment but using slightly different tools.
You can use your extended social networks to get great candidate and client recommendations. A contact on Facebook might not be the greatest candidate but their friend could be. I’ve found that using Linkedin and Twitter to ask for referrals was particularly effective.
If you have any sort of page or group on Linkedin or Facebook, you can advertise your jobs there. Of course, you’ll need to make sure the page is getting some traffic first (and Green Umbrella can help you with that). With the clever use of discussions you can expose your vacancy to a wide audience. Facebook is great as you can incorporate a job board within your own business page – and in turn, link it to your website.
Don’t wait for the candidates to come to you – use social media to go out and seek them. You can identify people with an interest in a certain area and do specific searches for individual skills.
What’s the golden rule?
If this all sounds great, I should share with you the one key to success. It’s about connecting with people in a meaningful way. Be targeted, be strategic, and measure your results.
I’m interested – what do I need to consider
There’s a few questions you should take time to think about to ensure you are obeying the golden rules above! In fact, there are 15 questions you should answer.
But don’t worry. Green Umbrella can take you through this process, help you answer the questions and then design and implement a social media programme for you. And remember, with a background in recruitment, there’s no-one better placed to understand your business challenges.
If you are in the Recruitment industry, then I strongly recommend that you consider the following questions before engaging in any social media activity:-
1. Decide on your target market. Are you targeting clients, candidates, passive candidates or other agencies?
2. How do you build your network so that you can promote your services and vacancies to a specific target market?
3. Maximising your posts to assist with the all important Google Juice and get your agency on top of Google by using some tricks of the social media trade.
4. Creating a social media strategy and marketing plan.
5. How much time should you devote to social media activities?
6. Who is responsible for your social media activities? Admin staff? You? What policies should you have in place for your staff?
7. Are you using LinkedIn to its full capacity? Do you have a LinkedIn IT policy? Have you considered building Linkedin activity into your normal KPI’s?
8. Creating a LinkedIn Group to build credibility for your target market.
9. Twitter – understanding the terminology, and maximising this unique social media tool to gain credibility in the market place. This tool is specifically useful if you are recruiting on an international basis.
10. Facebook – Implementing a job board within facebook which is linked to your website. What to write on your page, how to create stimulating conversation and interaction with your audience and how to grow your network.
11. Understanding the 2nd biggest search engine in the UK – YouTube. How to ensure that you are utilising this medium to full advantage.
12. Podcasts and internet radio is another way of promoting your services. If you are providing excellent content then you will soon have endless subscribers listening to you. Use local business, your clients and your candidates to offer input.
13. Blogs – its important to ensure that you have constant content on your website, and the best way to do this is to start blogging. Green Umbrella will talk you through the tips and tricks as to what platforms are best to use and how to maximise content. We will also share ideas of things to post.
14. Developing an active listening strategy.
15. Consider hiring a Twintern. How to encourage your staff to engage in all aspects of social media on behalf of your company. How to create a company culture on-line that is engaging and unique.
Green Umbrella is proud to announce that we are now an official service provider for TEAM (The Employment Agency Movement)
TEAM (The Employment Agents Movement) is the largest association of independent recruiters in the UK with currently over 400 membership locations
Networked fee sharing of approximately £1,000,000 per annum
Member's services provide coverage in all recruitment sectors
Regional and National meetings for Members to network, share and improve business opportunities
A strategic alliance with NPA Worldwide providing TEAM Members access to an additional 400 recruiter locations worldwide
Comprehensive range of TEAM Service Providers including:
- Access to TEAM Member discounted rates with 30 plus major UK job boards. Vacancy postings from £3.50, monthly payments and some package arrangements provide free CV searching
- Skills/Credit Checking Member discounts of up to 40% off standard rates
- Payroll, Employment and Factoring – for as low as 4% of invoice value
- Telephony – recent Member saving of £1,200 per annum
- Recruitment Software recent Member saving of £8,450
- TEAM Legal – providing a direct free Member helpline in all employment matters
- TEAM Insure – providing Members free advice and quotes for all insurance matters and discounts that have provided some Members with savings of over 50% of current premiums
- TEAM Accountancy – providing a direct free Member helpline in accountancy and taxation matters
* Prices quoted may be subject to Terms and Conditions and excl VAT.
TEAM Membership available from £62.50 + vat per month