Here we are in 2008, soon to be 2009, and almost a decade into the 21st century. The Internet is maturing: it’s been around for ordinary people to use for almost 15 years and has already earned its place as a technology and a social movement as important as electricity.
Most recruiters, corporate or agency, have finally developed career sites and use the Internet for attracting, sourcing, and communicating with candidates and clients. The website is the bedrock of an effective recruiting practice, and while it may still be possible in local or niche markets to avoid it, for mainstream and volume recruiting a website is essential. In this article I am assuming you already have a decent website that has interactivity, video, audio, and other graphic material and updates frequently. That is old news.
But, to get a jump on your competition and to attract the savviest candidates, it takes more than a good website and good recruiting skills. Here are four essential tools for success.
Tool #1: Facebook or MySpace
You should have a personal and a corporate presence on a social network. I have only listed Facebook and MySpace because they represent the largest share of the social networking world in the United States and a significant percentage outside the U.S. If your organization has global operations and recruiting needs, then there are networks for China, India, and many other places that you should also consider.
College students and most other young professionals turn to these networks for information about you, to ask their friends about you, or to join a community of practice that you have created.
IBM DB2 developers have a Facebook community developed and maintained by IBM. KPMG in South Africa has developed a Facebook page to attract and communicate with potential candidates.
The U.S. Army, faced with massive recruiting challenges, has numerous Facebook and MySpace pages. Some of the pages act as testimonials or provide videos of real people talking about why they joined the Army. Other pages are focused on fun experiences such as simulations of driving a tank or on gaming.
However you use these networks, you will be exposing your brand to thousands of potential candidates who, at least to some degree, will judge their potential work experience by the quality of the content. That’s why these pages have to be done thoughtfully and have to connect to the type of viewer and what they are expecting to see and hear.