How to Use Social Media to Find Rock Star Employees
Landing a stellar employee isn't easy. Companies post job ads, pay top dollar to recruiters and ask for referrals from associates. Each of these methods is time-consuming and flawed, leaving professionals wondering if there isn't an easier way to find promising workers to add to their teams.
Thanks to social media, businesses today have more options than ever. Hiring managers are using LinkedIn and other social media sites to identify great candidates. But finding those great workers can be challenging for busy professionals. LinkedIn has proven to be a great resource, since professionals can search by skills and identify common connections, but even that has its challenges.
Some enterprising individuals have sensed opportunity in connecting employers and employees and started social media groups dedicated to job placement. The Social Jobs Partnership is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Labor and Facebook. However, whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+, there are likely multiple job boards for your area and industry of expertise. Here are a few ways to use social media job groups to find the perfect addition to your growing team.
Go By Location
Chances are, you want your new team member to live near your business. For this reason, the first thing you'll likely want to do is search for candidates in your area who are looking for work. Search Facebook for your city name and the words "job boards" and you'll likely pull up a page where other businesses in your area are posting job openings. If your city has a group page, you can post information about your opening there.
Some community groups can be fairly large and, even if nobody on the board is interested, someone might know someone who is. LinkedIn also has numerous city-based job groups, with members networking to inform each other of job openings. Groups are one of the top features used by LinkedIn, with members ranking it one of the top features of the site. Businesses also benefit from posting a job opening on the site, although there is a charge for this.
Choose an Industry
Industry-specific job boards are popping up all over social media, with college graduates even being directed to those sites for job openings. Media professionals and creatives can follow MediaBistro's Facebook page to learn about great job openings and stay informed about the industry. On LinkedIn, businesses can search a directory to find industry-specific career search groups on the site. (Keep in mind that some of the best candidates will join industry social media groups simply to stay aware of what is going on in the industry.) Networking with these individuals could lead to a hiring opportunity, even if they aren't actively seeking employment at the time you join the group.
Hirers shouldn't limit themselves to posting job openings within these groups. In fact, there are many benefits to being a part of groups specific to an industry, even when a company doesn't have an opening. When it is time to hire, the professional will then have the contacts he needs to find the best person for the job.
Pinpoint a College
Campus career development centers across the country now realize the value of social media in job searches. In addition to advising students on using social media for career networking purposes, these centers are now helping students out by setting up career pages on Facebook and directing students to join. If you know of a local university that has a great engineering department, for instance, that university's career development Facebook page should definitely be on your radar if you're routinely looking for candidates with engineering degrees from that school.
Both Facebook and LinkedIn can be a great way to establish relationships with career development resources at your local universities. Once your business has established a reputation as a great company for outgoing graduates, you'll find students are being referred to you through these recruiting departments, giving you an edge over the competition in getting the best and brightest young minds on your team as soon as they have a degree.
As the unemployment rate continues to drop, businesses will need to work harder than ever to find and attract the top talent in the industry. By using these social media tools, businesses can gain an edge over other hiring managers in their industries--and build a great team who will help them achieve their goals.
JOHN BOITNOTT | Columnist
A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked at TV, newspaper, radio, and internet companies in California for 20 years.