Hire 2.0 Featured

7:00pm EDT February 24, 2008

You may have dipped your toes into the world of Web recruiting by posting jobs online. But to dive into the wired talent pool, your tactic may have to be active participation in social media.

“New media, also known as user-generated media, are fast and reliable and allow a two-way conversation,” says Greg Rollett, marketing and communications director at Rollett Marketing. “One of the oldest and best ways of obtaining employment is through a personal connection. Online networks bring that connection back into the equation.

Smart Business learned from Rollett about how to effectively use social media to attract and hire employees.

How are online networking sites being used for hiring?

Recruiters can use social networking sites, such as MySpace, LinkedIn and Facebook, in numerous ways. Companies can post classified ads at no cost, view profiles based on a series of keywords or research candidates. By viewing blogs and profiles, you can see people’s expertise and observe their growth and progress over time.

Social networks will continue to be a gold mine for finding new talent that a) isn’t actively looking for a new position but would be interested in a change; b) is currently employed but is better suited to a different niche that plays to their skills and appeals to their interests; c) is part of an entrepreneurial venture but could benefit from a steady paycheck from a solid organization; and d) is a traditional Gen-Y job seeker, whether in high school, college or a recent graduate.

Niche recruitment social networking sites have also emerged. These include HealthCareerWeb.com that focuses on the healthcare industry and allows job seekers and recruiters to build custom pages and interact with each other. I think we will see a great increase in these types of sites in the future.

How can businesses maximize the impact of their social media efforts?

By being themselves. The more you ‘act,’ the less believable you and your company become to a client or a job seeker. The biggest advantage of using social media is to join in on conversations about your brand, your industry and your clients. By opening up communication, you can see problems before they go mainstream, create new ideas, educate yourself on the real needs of your user base and downplay negative stereotypes associated with your company. You can voice what is on your mind in a cost-effective, precise and engaging way.

By building a ‘friendbase’ on social networks and providing accurate information, you can create a community of like-minded individuals who support your business and can spread ideas, products and services virally. This not only promotes the overall health and wellness of your business organization, but also helps attract workers that share your company values and fit your professional culture.

Should companies develop their own content on places like MySpace or Facebook?

Yes. Developing original content should always be considered in the context of online or other branding efforts. For instance, MySpace provides you and your team creative freedom to craft a profile that is searchable by Google and other search engines. Advanced search tools on these sites help you to quickly sort through users’ content at little to no cost. This proactive method can assist you in locating those off the radar quiet lookers who aren’t actively searching for a new position. By using precise search parameters, you can pinpoint the highest quality candidates for an open position.

How can businesses avoid mistakes?

Social networks don’t require a large investment in new tools or programs, but can consume a significant amount of time. As with all marketing efforts, there needs to be a focus and a why. Why would you use MySpace? Why are you going to spend quality office time on Facebook?

Mistakes usually result from jumping into the social media realm too quickly and without enough research or knowledge. This can lead to using the wrong tone in your writing, focusing on the wrong demographic or targeting the right demographic with the wrong message. Online resources, local meet up groups and conferences can help businesses learn about these topics, view success stories and develop an effective strategy.

GREG ROLLETT is the marketing and communications director at Rollett Marketing, a social media marketing firm focused on Gen-Y and new media. Reach him at (321) 438-4442, rollettmarketing@hotmail.com or www.rollettmarketing.com.

Greg Rollett
Marketing and communications director
Rollett Marketing