How HR Can Get the Most Out of Social Media

Approximately 74 percent of internet-using adults utilize social media, according to the Pew Internet Project. While many people think of social media as changing the landscape for the job hunter, it offers equally transformational potential for human resources professionals. Read on to learn how to optimize your social media interactions.

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Connect With Employees

Many people think of social networking merely as a means to screen out undesirable candidates. While this can be an effective tool, it’s far from the sole or most significant perk of social networking for today’s employers. The most savviest HR managers will also leverage social media to identify and connect with the best and brightest active and passive job seekers.

Many American job-hunters report that social networking sites — from Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter — led to their current jobs. In other words, the path toward employment is no longer along a straight and narrow route. Rather, the pipeline is large with multiple entry and exit points. In order to best leverage social media as part of their hiring practices, HR professionals should pursue multiple channels.

And while juggling many social networking sites can be a challenge, job boards offer a simple and yet productive solution.

Build Your Brand

While job visibility may first come to mind when considering the benefits of social networking for human resources managers, it’s only part of the equation.

Today’s employment seekers aren’t just looking for a job; they’re searching for a story and a greater vision. Social media offers a valuable opportunity to increase awareness about your company with minimized costs and maximized results. Of course, the right message is key: a consistent voice, authoritative content, and commitment to thought leadership can give you the leading edge when wooing candidates.

By using social networking to convey a message, you can help build relationships with both consumers and potential employees. And even if these connections go nowhere for now, they may lead to future fits.

Leverage Your Constituents

While conventional advertising still has its place, its influence is waning. What’s taking over? Social networking. In a world where positive and negative Yelp reviews can be used to predict which restaurants will survive and which will close their doors, peer feedback is more valuable than ever.

Companies that use social networking to open the lines of communication between employers, current employees and potential employees can see positive results. Think of your current staff not just as employees, but as “brand ambassadors.”

Today’s candidates can also influence other prospective hires in the job hunting process: those who have a bad experience with a company are happy to share their dissatisfaction via social networking. The takeaway? A commitment to transparency and positivity is more important than ever — both in terms of reputation management and enhancing your presence.

While the vast majority of employers are now using social networking to identify talent, social media is about much more than that. By using social networking to build your brand presence and by leveraging interactions into relationships, HR professionals can lay the groundwork for exponential hiring success.

What is the most important aspect an HR professional should focus on in order to convey the best possible company image to potential hires?

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