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Social Recruiting: Marketing’s Secret Weapon

by Mar 15, 2013, 5:45 am ET

fbrecruitmagnetIt’s not often talked about, but your company has a secret weapon when it comes to social media marketing: you.

HR, though not traditionally considered a department positioned to drive external business, is, whether it’s intentional or not, finding a new purpose on social networks like Facebook. Suddenly, the department best known for finding and managing relationships with internal people (employees) has the power to start finding and managing relationships with external people (customers) as well.

In the world of social recruiting, HR and marketing were made for each other. A great social recruiting strategy can help strengthen your employer brand, because recruiting itself is an inherently social activity that targets the kind of people who believe in your company, its culture, or its products and services enough to want to work for it.

And while your marketing department may already have a great handle on using Facebook and other social media for business, it can still benefit from allowing your team to join forces and begin social recruiting on the company’s Facebook page. Here are three ways that you provide value for your marketing team with social recruiting while helping your team bring in new candidates.

Value #1: Your People Are Your Brand (And Your Brand Attracts People)

People “like” companies on Facebook for a number of reasons, from previous experiences with the products or services to the cultural cachet associated with your brand. But your brand or your company couldn’t exist without the passionate people who work to make your company great. So when I say that your people are your brand, I mean that literally: without the dedication, passion, and hard work of your employees, there would be no company of which to speak.

Social recruiting is an opportunity to reach out to more of those dedicated, passionate, hard-working individuals who also “like” what you do (and want to do it too!). Job postings are a great way to bring potential candidates to your page, whether they find you by actively searching for your careers or because they were intrigued by a targeted job ad, and they’re also a great way to help potential candidates and interested social media users become fans of the company. Even if they’re not ready to apply now, by dipping their toes in the talent pool (and sharing your jobs and updates with their friends), they and their network are exposed to all that your company has to offer, which can help spread brand awareness and encourage prospective business.

Value #2: Your Candidates Are Your Customers

Every candidate is also a consumer. And every social candidate is also a potential fan; 79% of people are more likely to purchase from your company once they become your fans, and 74% of your fans are likely to refer your product or service to their friends.(And people are four times as likely to buy when they receive a referral from a friend!)

And referrals are likely to come from a core group of people who “like” what you do. Your talent pool comprises the group of people who like your brand so much they want to work for you; why not use those candidates and their networks to build your brand? Users who spend time with and invest energy in your company are more likely to champion spending and investing money in your company.

Value #3: Shared Resources Equals Saved Resources

Resources can mean more than just “money:” engagement on Facebook can be a full time job for your marketing team. Status updates, photos, videos, community management … all require time, effort, and good content. You already have a steady stream of content available, your job postings.

But when it comes to money, both teams will also benefit from engaging with fans at once in a single location instead of allotting time, manpower, and money to run two separate relationship-building programs. While social media is free, the people and solutions required for running good campaigns–as well as the people and solutions required for bringing in new candidates and new customers in general — can be costly, so bringing the two departments together in one place can help mitigate expenses.

To turn social recruiting into the marketing team’s (and your company’s) competitive advantage:

  • Find a member of your marketing team and discuss both of your shared objectives and your respective bottom lines.
  • Gain buy-in from your executive team by putting together a plan that outlines how your teams will each contribute resources to the brand page. (Even if you’re not familiar with social platforms, your social marketing specialists may be able to help you.)
  • Do a test run. With marketing’s permission, create an engaging job-related post, and see how your fans react. There’s nothing like the power of proof to help make your case!

Bringing HR and Marketing closer together will benefit everyone: your HR team, the marketing team, the company, and your candidates and fans. It all starts with a conversation (which is what social is all about, after all!), and it can lead your company and brand toward social success.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • http://facebook.thefit.com/ Vinda Rao

    Great article, Kirsten! It’s true that social recruiting is both more ubiquitous and foundational than it seems on the surface. We recently issued a trends report based on a survey of 1,848 recruiters, and they contended that the single biggest overall opportunity for staffing and recruiting professionals in 2013 is “increased access to passive candidates via social media.” Finding passive candidates through social media was considered to have greater potential to advance the recruiting industry than introducing more efficient business processes, an increase in flexible roles and workspaces, untapped growth in emerging economies, increased business due to recruiting consolidation, and sourcing candidates from overseas. Exciting times.

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