Most companies know that a healthy presence on social media helps reach and build relationships with new customers, but not as many think of it as such a critical tool for finding and hiring their next star employee. The dominant social media platforms are vital recruiting tools that every company should be using, but you want to be sure you're doing it right.

Although you may think it's all about getting likes and follows, there's much more to engaging people on social media. These platforms are great for spreading the word about your open positions, sharing your company's values, and showcasing a culture that makes people want to work for you.

Consistency is another key. Job candidates are 41 percent less likely to apply to a company that doesn't showcase its workplace culture on social media or regularly post company updates.

You can improve your company's social media presence, build an audience for your brand, and increase engagement to find the best job candidates for your open positions. Here's how:

1. Find your way on Facebook.

Facebook is, by far, the most popular social media platform, and recently has taken steps to make it easier for employers to leverage the immense network as a recruiting tool. For example, Workpop customers can now link their accounts with Facebook and automatically populate their open jobs on their company's Facebook Page.

Don't stop with just posting your jobs. Make sure your Page gives a positive and accurate portrayal of your company's culture (if it's not possible to be positive and accurate, then that's a topic for a different article).

Use Facebook to show what it's like to work for your company. Share pictures of your employees in action. Show them at your holiday party. If your company does volunteer work, post about it. And do so regularly. It doesn't matter how good your company's Page looks if it's not kept relevant and up to date.

2. Capture candidates on Twitter.

While Twitter is a social media platform, think of it more as a microblog, sharing bits and pieces of your company in 280 characters or less. Twitter is fast-paced, with hundreds of tweets passing by your potential job candidates, so you need to be sure you're using the right keywords to draw in the right applicants.

Start by using specific hashtags to grow your audience. With Twitter, hashtags are used to organize and search tweets. When you're posting a job ad, use hashtags like #hiring, #jobad, #jobsearch, or #tweetmyjob. If your company is in a specific industry, use a hashtag that correlates, such as #medicaljobs or #ITjob.

Beyond tweeting about job openings, use Twitter to build your company's brand by sharing things like market events or promotions. Like Facebook, you can show pictures of your employees hard at work or having fun together.

3. Land candidates on LinkedIn.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is a platform specifically designed for white collar professionals to network. If your company hires these types of workers, you need to have a presence there.

Start by building a company profile. Build connections with the people you know, including employees, past co-workers, freelancers, and local entrepreneurs. If you have friends or family who are on LinkedIn, connect with them as well.

Once your connections have started to grow, join a few groups specific to your industry. This builds your network and gets your company and your open positions in front of more eyes.

While building connections is important, you should also be posting regular updates. Along with posts that simply say, "Hiring an IT professional, contact me for details," you can also share blog posts, images, and even send shout-outs to stellar employees.

Regardless of what social media platforms you use, take a moment and look at your company's profiles as an outsider. If you were looking for employment, does your company seem like somewhere you'd like to work? Does it seem fun and inclusive or does it seem stuffy and overwhelming? Remember, social media should showcase your company's culture, making future job candidates want to work for you.

Published on: Sep 29, 2017