Peoplecasting is more important than forecasting. You could have a brilliant business strategy, but you won’t be able to execute on it without the right people to build the right products and services, or the feet on the street to acquire new business and target new markets. With the "War for Talent" impacting companies all over the world, employee acquisition and talent retention is more important now than ever before.

Social media is a key piece of this puzzle, and it’s critical that companies take talent acquisition to the next level by getting more strategic with their social recruiting efforts. This is especially important for those looking to draw millennials. We recently conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers and found that while 61 percent of total respondents said they’d prefer not to be contacted by recruiters via social channels, 55 percent of those between the ages of 18-34 said they are okay with it.                                                    

These results further validate the idea that social media will become more important over time, so building and/or improving your social recruiting strategy now is a necessity. It is also important to be aware of the complications that can arise in an increasingly social world. With that, here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to navigating the waters between social media and recruiting.

Your existing employees are your biggest assets

People are more likely to listen to their friends when it comes to recommendations about restaurants, movies, music--even jobs! When people post about the great companies they work for, their friends take notice and whether or not they realize it, they are more apt to garner a positive perception of that company. That makes existing employees your most valuable asset for social recruiting. However, getting employees to post about new job listings via their personal social feeds isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Many companies overcome this challenge by using technology that enables them to leverage a recruiting module that will cascade job postings to their employees' personal social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. This extends the reach far beyond just the company’s social networks. Of course, employee participation often requires some sort of incentive. Employees want to be recognized for the contributions they make to their organization, especially those outside of their typical day-to-day requirements, and finding creative ways to do so will encourage further participation.

To help with this process, there are social recruiting tools that allow employees to track which of their friends, followers or contacts are applying for jobs, which social network they came from and what stage they are in during the recruiting process. This level of visibility ensures that they’re being seen as a valuable resource within the organization. It can also be very handy for companies that are tracking employee referral programs.

What happens on the inside doesn’t stay on the inside

Just as people post about the great companies they work for, they also post about the not-so-great companies they work for, particularly on sites like Glassdoor and others. Even further, there are people out there who will post about the bad interview experiences they had. Unfortunately, all it takes is one candidate to post about a bad interview experience on social media to completely damage your reputation. Regardless of whether that person is credible, once the information is out there, it is out there for the world to see.

With this in mind, make sure that every step in a prospect’s journey can be turned into a positive experience and that every message you put out through your social channels genuinely reflects the culture that you've built on the inside. Even for those candidates who don’t end up getting the job, it is still quite possible to make sure they walk away from the interview process with a positive perception of your company.

Millennials don’t want to work for dinosaurs (figuratively speaking)

Millennials are tech savvy and they want to work for companies that use the same technologies they use in their everyday lives. Considering this, try using social recruiting tools that enable your candidates to submit their resume through social channels or auto-fill the content from their LinkedIn profile into an online application. In doing this, all of the information on their profiles can be captured and stored against their candidate record for future reference, creating a seamless experience for candidates sourced through social channels--much like many of the consumer apps they are using on a regular basis.

On that same token, it’s also important to make sure mobile is a key component of your social recruiting strategy. This functionality is becoming increasingly valuable to today's on-the-go workforce. Candidates and existing employees should have the ability to navigate job opportunities and share job postings to social networks with the click of a button--anywhere, anytime. We are living in an always-connected, multi-channel environment, and your HR strategies should reflect that.

Altogether, technology is becoming inherent in everything that we do. In business, HR is no exception. Be strategic about how you blend social and recruiting, but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and try new approaches. Those that do will come out on top.