E Recruiting based social networking tools that are often used for building business and connections is great. It socializes electronic commerce and opens doors that weren't there a decade ago. Within minutes we're connected in a group and begin to network-Amazing!
Referrals to great candidates will happen naturally as they do in any business relationship just as they do for building sales and product awareness however, it’s not usually instantaneous.
Using Social Networking to build a brand about how great a company is to work for, and/or how cool or amazing their products or services are. Social Networking is an excellent way to recruit indirectly.
The more a candidate or prospective candidate can research a company and the more friendly, organized, advanced, and hip that company appears, the more likely they are going to get better quality candidates.
The same is true for retention, the more a company maintains a brand that existing employees can be proud of, the more likely they are going to have better retention of those employees.
Many corporate websites have "career" pages however, they aren't necessarily compelling and frankly applying for jobs on most corporate sites can be tedious. Historically corporate websites don’t attract a large percentage of successful e recruiting results (depending on reporting source its under 5% success in recruiting candidates some reports indicate ~1-2%)
One way to be more candidate friendly is to direct candidates to the social networking sites where the brand can be tailored to the demographic and/or information such as open positions, latest company news, promotions, etc. can updated more frequently than a corporate website typically allows.
Companies are trying to attract and retain the best employees, especially in a down economy. The number of applicants per job opening has increased dramatically. However, from what we see in the industry, the ratio of best candidates for the job has not.
In the current situation every employee needs to be a maximum contributor. Social networking is an excellent, low cost and in many cases faster method for HR and Marketing Communications (Marcom) professionals to use than having to go through the expense and time of working with an internal team to implement changes in a website.
The addition of an applicant tracking software system with your web site will often give you resumes of candidates who have applied online and filled in an application. Some will even pre-screen those applicants.
As for utilizing social networking sites for companies e recruiting from other businesses, an organization should think carefully about tapping talent pools directly from competitors - it could turn anti-social very quickly!
Job boards and third party recruitment professionals provide a measure of insulation from this occurring. For example, Linked In is a good information gathering tool and certainly helpful for recruiters, but one has to think twice about clicking and contacting to recruit if you’re B2B and not a recruitment firm.
It’s a different ballgame if a candidate contacts your company because the company profile is so compelling, or if a third party recruiter contacts them, or if that company’s profile drives them to apply the next time they see a job posting. For best results deploy a strategy of Image/Brand and use that brand in conjunction with other tools.
Social networking is a tool and like all tools its best to use with care. There is no un-delete button, once posted, its "out there".... Plus, potential candidates can open up and dialog with selected company representatives.
Lastly as an example, one e recruiting strategy would be for HR and Marcom to sit down and figure out what type of candidates they will be needing to attract and build brand and communicate to the demographic that attracts those candidates in the relative networking sites.
This partnership is an effective use of web site tools and could be considered part of the overall e recruiting strategy.
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