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Tips For Using Social Media To Find Job Candidates

hiringBy now, I hope we all realize that we should be constantly conducting ourselves on social media as though every person we might ever want to hire us is going to see what we post. Because, odds are, they will. Looking up someone’s social media presence is pretty much the second step after reviewing a resume when considering someone for a position.

That being true, there has been a great deal written about how to craft a personal brand via your social media platforms that will make you appear to be the ideal job candidate (hopefully without making you unbearably boring to your friends and family.) But what about making that employer/candidate connection from the other side? What if you’re a company looking for the perfect new employee – how do you go about leveraging social media to sift through the losers (I mean, let’s be honest) to find your dream candidate?

So glad you asked.

Decide how public you want to be

The most obvious tactic might be to simply post your job opening on LinkedIn, and share the link to the post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and wherever else your company lives online. There’s nothing wrong with doing this. The downside – and what nudges some business owners away from going this route – is that you will likely get an absolute flood of resumes. Some people love the idea of this – choice, hurray! – while others loathe the idea of trying to hire out of such a chaotic, time-consuming situation.

If you decide hitting up social media to shake out all the resumes you can get is the way you want to go, a few points to note:

  • Don’t have them sent to your personal email. Either create a dedicated email address for applicants to send materials to, or set up your email to route all submissions to a particular folder.
  • Consider hiring a recruiter. There’s a reason these people exist – to sort through the pile to bring you just the top candidates.
  • If you are looking to keep your employee search in-house, set up a process: appoint one person (maybe you, maybe someone else) to do the heavy legwork and pull out a short list of the best people for interviews.

If you opt to not publicly broadcast your candidate search

This is where you can take advantage of the fact that a lot of people are on social media almost exclusively to make themselves available, easily found, and appealing to potential employers. Here are ways to do that:

  • Get a premium account on LinkedIn. Honestly, it’s one of the only times when having a premium account is totally worth it. LinkedIn is a giant, glorified job board (sorry, LinkedIn, just accept yourself), and with a premium account, you get to do detailed candidate searches and send messages to people. This bullet point not sponsored by LinkedIn.
  • Ask around. Sounds too old school to be true, but it works. Let’s say you’re looking for a new web developer: ask people in your network who the greatest, most talented web developer is they know. Trust me – they will tell you. Even if the names you get are people with jobs they don’t intent to leave, talented people are magnets for one another – where you find one, you will connect with others.

Things you can do either way

  • Facebook has an option to create a job listings tab on your company page. Having that is somewhere in between actively advertising your candidate search, and keeping it completely off the wire.
  • “Respectful poaching” is a new thing where, as opposed to outright attempting to steal high quality employees from their current companies, you simply reach out to them and let them know that you like their work, think they have a lot to offer, and should they ever decide to consider options for the future, you would be very interested in being part of the discussion. Because that’s really the best thing about social media in terms of finding key hires – being able to follow people over time and pick your moment to go after them.

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