Social Recruiting Through Connection & Collaboration

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Sitting in your organisation are potentially hundreds of employees that are highly connected, passionate and collaborative. With many organisations looking for the social recruiting silver bullet, your most valuable connections may be sitting in the seat next to you.

Over the past year, RPO Intelligence has talked about Using Social Media to Source passive candidates, connecting with our candidates through The use of CRM in Talent Pipelining as well as Building Talent Communities: 5 lessons from the Frontline. Whilst many of us are out there searching for great candidates to join our online communities, and thinking up new ways to attract and engage them, you may have the answer to social recruiting sitting under your nose.

Building innovative engagement and connected solutions, through collaboration with existing staff, is something that many organisations do not capitalise on. One of the first actions for any business looking to jump into social recruiting, blogging or trying to engage further with targeted candidates, is to start with their own people. Your employees may already be part of the community you’re looking to engage with, or they may be more than willing to help you build your arsenal of content and information to attract other highly skilled professionals.

Here are a number of ways you can tap into already existing networks and communities:

  1. Employees & Brand Advocates — More often than not, the candidates that you are looking to attract to your organisation are similar to those you already employ. If you think about your own network of professional contacts from previous jobs, networking and social circles, then you’ll know that these communities can be priceless. Tapping into passionate professionals in your business would be step one — why build something new if you can build on or tap into something that is already there.Brand advocates may not work for your organisation, but they sing your praises, love your brand, value the work that you do and would happily pass on your recruitment vacancies to their own networks.
  2. Employee Referrals through Social Networks — As recently written in the article ‘What Does 2013 Hold for Talent Communities‘ your best employees are connected to top talent through their social networks. So, give them easy ways to connect with their networks, by inviting friends and family to job openings or even to join the talent community. Sharing the job vacancies with your employees will allow them to push those job vacancies out to their networks whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, for example. It’s important to think about the quality of your advertisement; is it easy to apply for the role or enquire about it? Is it fun and exciting? Does it energise or is it standard written copy that provides little attraction for amazing talent in the market? I’m not going to push a job out to my network that is dull and boring, so take the time to be creative and engaging.
  3. Host a lunch and brainstorming session with your socially engaged employees and ask for their valued input. A number of benefits could come out of this session:
    • Specific hot topics that are of interest to the target group
    • Employees who may be interested in assisting with writing and building content
    • Increased employee engagement: asking their opinions, insights, knowledge and values
  4. Blog & Online community connections — Ask employees or candidates which blogs and online communities they rate. In other words, where do they find their value? Exploring Meet up groups locally, social networking events and #Tchats may lead you straight to the communities that you are searching for. #Tchats have proven to be a successful way of finding connected people who are experts in their field. Once you find them, it’s easy to check out who’s following them that may be of interest to you. Twitter has a wide range of #Tchats that cover many different topics. If you find the topic that is critical to your target audience, then this is one to tap into and join the conversation. Remember that pushing out content without any interaction will have you on the ‘unfollow’ list.

Building a culture and environment that encourages collaboration and connection through social platforms, and utilises the networks that are already in your business, is just smart networking. Building something from scratch takes a long time and hard work, and whilst it’ll still be hard work, you can get ahead of the game by tapping into the people that hopefully are your biggest fans — your employees!

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If you have any questions, comments or thoughts on the article, please leave a comment below. If you’d like to connect with the author, Suzanne Chadwick, you can find her on LinkedIn and Google+.

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