In the modern age of recruiting, reputation is everything. Before (pre-modern Internet age), recruiters would make their money on referrals or word of mouth with maybe a newspaper ad thrown in the mix for good measure. But it seems that in the age of the Google, job boards, and social networks, your name might not carry the same weight it used to, right?
Yes, and no.
Job boards are still a big source of the job search for most professionals, and oftentimes job postings are anonymous with regard to companies. For most job seekers, it’s an opportunity to fire through job applications in one sitting hoping that something sticks and they get a reply from a hiring company.
Gone are the days where it seemed that all you had to do to attract candidates was turning the phones on in the morning. Now recruiting has shifted to where competition is so crowded that you not only have to go to the job seeker, but convince them your opportunity is unique — not an easy task. So how do you separate yourself from your competition?
Here are four simple but important things to be aware of regarding your reputation online:
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Do You Have Pages on Review Sites?
Sites like Yelp and Google+ offer an opportunity for people to share their experiences with your service. This can either be a positive thing, or a problem depending on the experiences people decide to share. Don’t think you’re in the clear if you haven’t set up these pages either, since these are user-generated sites and all it takes is one person to create your page and start airing their grievances, which if left unattended to, can lead irreparable consequences. Even if you’re an in-house recruiter, monitoring your company’s online reviews is crucial. Keep in mind this may be the first impression these potential hires have. On the other hand, if enough people share positive experiences, these types of sites can be referral-generating machines!
Are You Active on Social Media?
By now, I would assume everyone in recruiting is at least aware of the potential that social media can bring to their business. However I’ve noticed a majority of staffing people simply use their Facebook or Twitter pages as a venue to blast their RSS feed of open jobs. Posting jobs is a big part of social recruiting, but you cannot discount the true value of engaging people socially. Being accessible through social media provides another point of contact for people to reach you on; why wouldn’t you want to expand your options?
How Aggressively Do You Monitor Your Brand?
The Internet is a big place, and that means there’s a ton of wide open space for people to be sharing their experiences. Do you have Google Alerts set up so you know the second your business is mentioned? Do you use Twitter to monitor if people are bashing/complimenting your services? Do you have alerts set up on Yelp or LinkedIn to see when people write reviews about you and your company? All things many people don’t know you can do, but probably should look into.
It’s Not Just About People Saying Nice Things; It’s About Your Whole Universe
Getting recommendations or positive reviews is no doubt a good thing. But don’t stop there. You need to think about your brand as a whole. Who are you? If people searched for you online, what would they find? Make sure you are putting your experience out there as a tool for legitimization. Write a blog, Tweet your insight on the market on Twitter, and contact local reporters to discuss story ideas you could comment articulately on. Do you want to be looked at as the “the recruiter who may or may not be able to find the hot candidate” or do you want to be “the career expert, who is a necessary partner in their talent acquisition goal”? Achieving that type of perception is as easy as getting your digital ducks in a row.