In the last part of Mobilizing HR, I discussed how digital technology was having an impact on the way we recruit. In this part, I was to talk about a topic that I’m seeing more and more about. It’s called “Social Engagement”.
We’re all familiar with social sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and those of us in the “older and wiser” generation often “tsk, tsk” about how the “young people” seem to live their lives on devices with screens.
Like it or not, it’s now the way of the world and our social engagement is not demising – it’s simply evolving. Much the same way as our grandparents raised disapproving eyebrows at why we use cars to get everywhere when, in their day, it was perfectly fine to walk or bicycle, living life off technology is simply becoming the way it is.
And, as a recruiter, HR manager or business owner, we simply have to realize that it’s the way today’s job seekers also want to engage.
That’s why it’s so important for recruitment professionals to build relationships and engage socially with both employees and potential employees – because that’s the way society is moving. I engage with my friends on Facebook and Twitter and get to know more about them.
As a jobseeker or employee I know how the social network works. I engage with my friends on Facebook, I engage with my social community our local and world topics of interest on Twitter, I engage with my white-collar professional network on LinkedIn – and get to know more about them, and so I want to engage with my employer or prospective employer too – so that, when informed about them and their opportunities, I can choose if they make the grade in terms of my employer of choice.
Our social networks are where we now get most of our information, in fact, they always have been. The only difference is that those social networks are now online – specifically on mobile devices – which make social engagement for employers and brands paramount.
But how do you get to talent on a social network – especially those who might be already working? Interestingly, a recent US survey showed that the best jobseekers are nearly always “on the market” – because they know that they’re in demand and they’re willing to move for the best offers. Because information about work is at their fingertips from their existing social networks they’ll often hear about opportunities that appeal. If that’s the case then, recruiters and HR professionals simply have to be there as well – where those people are – and that’s on social networks.
So, should you be friending candidates on Facebook? Absolutely not! In fact, that’s a huge mistake (remember, Facebook is my personal network) – but you should be providing work related social networks because they are the mainstay of where they find information and, importantly, they also provide the instant gratification they expect and look for.
In the war for talent, it’s the brands that can create positive social engagement with potential employees that will win. Not only will they drive their recruitment costs down, they’ll also find the best candidates with the least possible effort. It’s a win-win all around!
In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the other benefits of social engagement in the recruitment process. We’d love to hear your thoughts.