If your organization is planning a Social Media recruiting initiative, you may have started thinking about what tools to use. But you should really begin with the goal. What do you expect to gain from using Social Media, be it for marketing, PR, or Recruiting? Who is the target audience that you want to attract? Where does that target audience hang out online? You may not need a Facebook presence, or a Linkedin Group, or a Twitter page to network with that audience.
What you will need is a professional friend-maker to help build your employer brand. Sure, you can put up profiles in all the hot SM spots and post some topical info or discussions there. But who is going to be the person (or people) who actually reaches out to your new community members and have conversations? Having multiple anonymous people behind a company brand who help keep the communities going is so impersonal. Having a real person to identify and bond with is better.
The person you choose may be from recruiting or HR if this is a Social Recruiting initiative. And if that’s the case, they can be a great liaison to prospective employees. They can help new hires through the on-boarding process and keep those relationships going to assist with retention. Think of it this way: if someone from a company leverages a social platform to reach out to you as a job candidate or an employee, and becomes your online friend, aren’t you much more likely to have a good feeling about the company than you get just from the formal HR process?
The professional friend-maker from your organization can also deliver company news and info to the troops in the various online social places they are already spending time. They should be tasked with keeping a finger on the pulse of the internal community, as well as the external community, being “friends” with both employees and prospects. But as with any social media presence, there must be a good degree of transparency so that the “friend-maker” doesn’t get labeled a “dirty, no-good spy.”
Good and bad company news delivered to employees and/or prospects by the “friend-maker” can be absorbed with less skepticism than from a company newsletter or formal announcement. If the “friend-maker” is doing his or her job correctly, they are actually making friends within and outside of your organization. They are a real person and a real employee, just like everyone else, branding themselves as one of the more friendly and helpful faces of the company. They are someone your target audience can identify with. They will help you achieve the goal of your social media initiative.
Craig Fisher is a founding partner of A-List solutions, blogger at www.fishdogs.com, and host of the TalentNet Live #TNL recruiter forum. As a 15 year recruiting industry veteran, Craig is a social recruiting & new media branding strategist for staffing firms and employers. He has trained organizations of all sizes in the U.S. and abroad.