Companies that will have the greatest success leveraging social media for recruiting will be ones that start inside, where the leadership actively encourages/guides their current employees to connect internally and externally using social media (… or at the very least avert their eyes and don’t block social networks). Employees should be the most qualified, the most credible, and the best source of information about your company culture, the employment experience and why someone would want to work for you. By enabling and distributing their stories across the web – companies create a powerhouse of information for job seekers considering working for your company.
You pride yourself on making good hiring decisions, so since you hired them, you should be able to trust them as professionals (I know this still makes many companies uncomfortable, but let’s start with this premise, and maybe that you even already have a social media policy). So how do you get Employees to talk about their experience online? Educate them.
Are Internal Communications and Recruiting a secret OR not so secret alliance in your company?
In many companies Internal Communications often falls under Marketing or Corporate Comm (and sometimes HR), while Recruitment or Talent Acquisition falls squarely under HR. In my experience, Internal Communications is rarely present at Employer Brand/Recruitment Marketing related meetings (unless their presence is specifically requested). I’ve also observed amazing Internal/Employee Communication Chats that happen all the time on Twitter – but I rarely see any peeps from the recruitment side participating.
Maybe my observations are wrong — but this apparent separation seems to block what could be a friendship made in heaven. Why? From a recent post on The BrandBuilder Blog, Becoming P2P: Principal characteristics of the new Social Business:
Employees of P2P (People to People) businesses don’t hate their jobs. Why? Because they are empowered by their management team to collaborate with employees and the communities they touch. As a result of being clearly aware of their operational boundaries and because they receive ongoing, multilateral support from their organization, they know how to act professionally when dealing with the public.
Proactively educating employees through internal communications is a critical component to successfully using social media for recruiting. Employees need to know where/how to help if you want their help listening and responding online. Continually monitor your online reputation and then let employees know where conversations are happening about you as an employer (hint: Indeed Forums; GlassDoor Reviews; Vault; JobVent). Solicit their support in leaving their own honest reviews, responding and commenting on other reviews, answering job seeker questions etc.
Use your Intranet, email, SMS etc to regularly communicate to your employees things they can do online such as:
- Where they can help answer your candidates questions (maybe even create a forum specifically for this purpose on your career web site)
- Discuss why their work for your company, or their latest project
- Post pictures and videos from Company Events
- Post reviews and information about you
- Tweet or contribute to the company facebook fan page (become a “fan” even ;-))
Align with Internal Comms to create an Army of Davids out of your employees, guide them to tell their/your story via social media, and watch your social recruiting machine flourish.
So who’s doing this well?
Shannon co-authors EXCELER8ion with her other half Julian Seery Gude. EXCELER8ion is a blog about digital engagement.
Shannon is a regular speaker in the HR & Talent Acquisition space where she’s known for her work in social media and integrated digital engagement. By day Shannon works at a Recruitment Marketing Agency.