By Wayne Gibbins, Communications and Partnerships Director, Viadeo

According to a Hitwise Intelligence report that came out last week UK internet users now spend more time on social networking sites than using search engines. Social networking sites are becoming the core of a centralised web experience and more and more people are using them to find their next job — so how can small businesses take advantage of this trend to find their next employee?

1. Advertise on a professional social network

This seems like an obvious and easy first step — advertise directly to a professional market. Most PSNs will allow you to target your ads so that they are sent directly to suitable candidates. You will then be emailed the applications and they come with the bonus of being able to see the applicants’ professional profiles on the network which can give you a more rounded picture than a CV/cover letter combination.

2. Change your status on Twitter/Facebook

Let your Twitter followers and Facebook friends know that you have a job opening. By the power of information dissemination it will filter out to the people who are also looking (usually on the fringes of your network) and you may be able to fill your vacancy with someone who comes with a personal recommendation from one of your contacts.

3. Approach your Facebook fans

If your company has a Facebook fan page then it might be worth considering approaching those that interact most with the company. They have already proved that they are interested in your brand, product or services and they will bring that enthusiasm and knowledge to a work environment.

4. Pro-actively search for interesting candidates

Spend some time searching for talented individuals on your preferred social network. Most professional social networks will allow you to search by “keywords” i.e. skills that the person has listed on their profile. So for example if you are looking for a Spanish-speaking computer programmer you can search by those terms.

Once you have found your pool of likely looking candidates send them a message explaining who you are and what you have to offer — make sure the message is relevant to them though as you do not want to risk being blocked for spam. If you have done your research correctly then you may well have handpicked your next employee.

5. Post jobs on industry-specific job boards

An obvious one perhaps but worth repeating, the majority of professionals will look for jobs on an industry-specific job board rather than a generic recruitment agency or job board. It does not take much effort to Google the job area you are seeking and identify the major job boards — post an ad and hopefully you should be inundated with interested parties hoping to join your firm.

For more information about recruiting on Viadeo please go to Viadeo

Watch a video of Wayne explaining how you can apply Social Media in your business, "You'll find out what people and customers really think of you. You'll probably also be able to influence that. You'll be able to engage with the people, find out what their problems are, help them to fix them more easily, and turn them from net detractors, saying negative things, to net promoters, saying positive things."


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