It goes without saying that candidates seeking new job opportunities should have a presence on social media to enhance their brand identity. Similarly, organizations seeking talent should leverage social media to attract and engage with candidates of interest. Working with hundreds of organizations who recruit at Harvard Business School, we are often asked how to align a social media and recruiting strategy. Here are 7 guidelines we’ve compiled to help organizations successfully leverage social media within their hiring strategy.

  1. Know Your Audience
    Are you targeting engineers, general managers or marketing gurus? Knowing your audience and learning where they spend their time is of utmost importance. You don’t want to spend time and money on Quora if your audience is on Pinterest, or vice versa. Similarly, researching the topics and hashtags your audience is using is imperative to the success of your social media strategy. Join relevant conversations with candidates of interest and put yourself in a better position to succeed.
  2. Create Awareness of your Firm
    Obvious as it may seem, every hiring organization should have a LinkedIn page and a profile on relevant social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. These platforms should be regularly used to push out new products, services or research being derived from your organization. Ask your followers what they think about your new product or service and allow your audience to ask questions in return. Creating a conversation lets candidates get a glimpse into your firm’s goals and objectives, enticing them to learn more.
  3. Tout your Company Culture and Opportunities Available
    In addition to using social media platforms to broadcast positions available at your organization, leverage current employees to tout your company culture. Let current employees take over your twitter account for a week or two, or hold a live chat where candidates can inquire with current employees about the benefits of working at your firm. There is no better way for candidates to learn about your firm then from those who are currently out on the field.
  4. Screen Participants’ Social Media Profiles
    After narrowing down your list of top candidates, take a look at their social networks. Do they have skills and interests that align with those of your firm? Do they have references which support the work they’ve touted on their resume? LinkedIn, and Twitter are great places to start, but many candidates are now creating blogs of their own, providing organizations with a way to dig deep into the knowledge and ideas of potential future hires.
  5. Stay Connected with Former Employees
    Former employees may not require as long of an interview process and are certainly able to integrate into new roles faster than new hires, leading many organizations to create a strategic boomerang employee recruiting strategy. Using social media to stay in touch with former employees is critical to the success of any organization looking to leverage boomerang hiring. Create a group on LinkedIn for former employees who want to stay connected to your organization and invite them to participate in recruiting events for your firm.
  6. Create a Customer Service Platform
    Finding it difficult to attend expensive career fairs? Create your own virtual Q&A platform by creating a live chat on twitter. Candidates can inquire about the status of their application and other relevant inquiries in a public environment, further promoting positions available at your firm. If you’re recruiting on a college campus, you may want to partner with student clubs and associations to create word of mouth marketing about your Q&A platform or a live chat you’re hosting. You may even invite students who have previously interned at your organization to be a key participant in the chat.
  7. Set Goals and Measure Success
    Defining your organizations social media goals is critical to the success of your efforts. Create an editorial calendar and content strategy based on your goals and enable those managing your social media accounts to follow it with flexibility. Ensure that you are empowering employees to react to real time news and inquiries, in addition to following your editorial calendar.Make sure you have metrics to measure the success of your social media strategy. Whether you take into account the number of unique visitors coming to your website, the number of job applications received, or the growth of your social media following, keeping an eye on your metrics will help refine your strategy to that of which is of interest to your firm.

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