By Julie Bishop

Evolution of Social Media has given opportunity to small & medium sized enterprises (SME’s) to compete with large corporations on a level playing field. Social media has allowed smart thinking businesses to cut their recruitment costs and in this economic climate any saving is welcome.

Using social media to recruit is still alien to many businesses and is way down the list when a vacancy needs to be filled, however more businesses are beginning to realise the effectiveness of social recruitment.

Waiting to use it for when a vacancy needs to be filled is too late, social recruiting works at it’s best before any vacancies arise, think candidate attraction not job pushing.

To do it well you should be continuously engaging with people, allowing potential candidates to ask questions and give them an insight to your business. When the time comes to recruit you can cherry pick from your online communities. These communities are filled with people you’ve made relationships with, employees, suppliers, fans of your brand, passive and active candidates.

There are some that may think haven’t got time to build relationships but talent is scarce and it’s not going to get better, plus think of the benefits.

Building relationships with talent
A competitive advantage
Reduced costs
Reduced time to hire
Higher acceptance rates
No more job pushing
Creates ambassadors

So what are my top tips for Social recruiting?

1)Develop a Social Recruitment strategy, this is vital. What type of candidates do you want to reach? what social media would they be using? What steps will you take to reach them? Why should they choose you as their preferred employer? What do you want them to do? Just some questions to consider when working out your strategy

2)Careers page: Make sure your website has a careers page, not a vacancies page but a page which speaks to the candidate. It should include photos and bio’s of your employees and the jobs they do. Information about training programmes and career opportunities. Let the candidate get an insight to the social side of your business and the type of work you do outside of it i.e charities. This page is where you will drive your traffic to ( Traffic = connections you make using social media) you should also have a call to action on this page.

3) Engage, remember it’s a two way conversation. So many businesses make the mistake of just churning out links to their website and fail to participate in any conversations. The key word is “Social” it’s about making relationships and adding value.

4) Monitor conversations. There is nothing worse than someone messaging you and getting a reply days later, or not one at all! If you start to social recruit then do it properly. Down load Tweetdeck or sign up for Hootsuite, both are free tools which help you to easily and effectively monitor all the conversations that are going on across the internet

5)Include existing employees: Your employees are your brand ambassadors so make sure they’re in the communities chatting about what it’s like to work for your company.Remember like attracts like and just like a magnet they will draw in the right people for your business.

6)Have a social media policy: An absolute must! Any business operating without one is is taking a huge risk. Your employees must have clear guidelines as to what’s appropriate when they use social media. Cases have been lost by companies because there wasn’t a policy was in place. If the answer in court is “ I didn’t know I couldn’t” then don’t expect to win.

7)Measure your ROI: If you’re chatting on Twitter but no one is going to your careers page then find out why not. Use tweetreach to see how far your tweet travelled on Twitter Use Google analytics on your website to measure where your traffic is coming from. Use Facebook insights on your Facebook business page to check your visitors demographics. There are many tools available, choose a couple of good ones relevant to the platforms you’re using and act on any findings.

About the author

Julie Bishop is the Founder of JobHop

After an unsuccessful attempt to find the right candidate for her last business Julie experimented with social media to reach talent. The experiment was successful, JobHop was born and she sold her previous business to concentrate on the new recruitment platform.

Julie is passionate about showing people how powerful they are with the internet on their side. JobHop helps employers and candidates connect using social media & networking, making employment human again.

Julie is also a regular speaker on Social Recruitment