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Social Networking Revisited

Two years ago, Snagajob put together some basic tenants for developing a social network strategy focused on hourly hiring and recruitment that were published on HR.com. Social networking was and is one of the most common Social networkingsubjects we’re asked about from our employer clients.

While the high-level tactics remain the same, the execution, reporting and optimization involved with integrating social networking into your recruitment brand grows a bit more nuanced with each passing week.  (Good news: It’s easy enough to find a level-headed consultant or even some bright young workers who are subject matter experts and can lead the charge.)

But in order to get buy-in from up top, you need to bring the strategy back down to earth. Here are some best practices to heed when starting your own social networking recruitment experiment:

  1. Search: Check to see if your employees have already started a grassroots presence following your company. These company profiles and pages can include everything from message boards and photo strings to blogs and real-time chats. It’s a good idea to know what’s going on before you interject yourself into the conversation. Heck, you might even find you’re not needed.
  2. Plan: Decide what filters, if any, you’ll place on content. Will applicants and employees play together in the same sandbox? Does user-generated content need to be reviewed before it’s published? If so, how long should users expect wait to see their content live after submitting? And who’s reviewing this content? Will be profanity be filtered? These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself before getting started.
  3. Recruit: Select a few responsible employees to make postings regularly about the benefits of working there, as well as the latest company news. All company employees should be honest in always identifying themselves as such to encourage open and honest dialogue. You don’t want to get busted posing as someone you’re not. (It’s happened. A lot.)
  4. Promote: Make sure your potential candidates, new hires and existing workers know they have an online community to collaborate within. Otherwise, what’s the point?
  5. Engage: Ask your workers questions. Answer employee and candidate comments. And counter misinformation about company matters as candidly – and professionally – as possible. You don’t want to get in a shouting match, but you want to be assertive when necessary. You’ll be surprised how soon you’re not needed after momentum ramps up.

If executed and maintained responsibly, social networking can really help you establish credibility with the online audience, especially teens and 20-somethings. Follow the tips, and it could become a windfall of top-notch hourly workers. Follow your whims, and could just be Tweeting apologies.

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Mike Ward is the managing editor for Snagajob. When he's not writing and editing content to support America's hourly workers and employers, he reviews movies, roots for losing sports teams and hangs out with his family and friends in the River City.

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