How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media For Hiring

Thu, Mar 17, 2011

Human Resources

The process of hiring a new employee, from posting the vacancy, screening the candidate, to hiring, has changed dramatically in the last decade with the Internet. More recently, social media has started to once again revolutionize the process. Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, are being increasingly used by companies and applicants to network, post vacancies, apply, and begin interviewing. Social media is no longer optional. Smart businesses are learning how to use the Internet to search for the best candidates for an open position. Small businesses can also benefit from social media because it is fast, easy, and inexpensive.

According to an According to an article written in 2009 by the Oregon Business Report, they found that 45% of employers use social media to screen job candidates. To summarize the article, the company hired the candidate in the end because the:

‘¢ Profile showed a positive side of the candidate’s personality ‘“ 50 percent
‘¢ Profile backed up the candidate’s stated professional qualifications ‘“ 39 percent
‘¢ Candidate demonstrated creativity ‘“ 38 percent
‘¢ Candidate exhibited strong communication skills ‘“ 35 percent
‘¢ Candidate showed well-rounded interests ‘“ 33 percent
‘¢ Candidate had references from other users ‘“ 19 percent
‘¢ Candidate had received rewords or accolades ‘“ 15 percent

On Facebook, small businesses should create a separate professional account to build their brand and promote their image. Businesses should engage in meaningful discussions with possible employees on the wall after a job opening is posted, or through private messages. Consider your Facebook profile to be like any other professional interaction such as an email or a phone call. Once you have your profile, do not neglect it. Keep conversations timely and professional.

On LinkedIn, use all the relevant information on LinkedIn when you create your business’s online profile. Businesses should create a company profile that informs potential employees what the company does and its mission. LinkedIn is an excellent opportunity for businesses to join professional groups that relate to their field and market. In the groups, they can engage possible employees in conversations by posting questions. Businesses can also view references left for job seekers by their contacts.

Social media need not be confusing. It’s as simple as getting connected, building a strong brand, and staying connected. Getting started is often the biggest hurdle. Once you are online, you may be surprised how easy it is to interact with potential employees who are interested in working with your business. Joining the ranks of businesses using social media sites gives you a distinct advantage and allows you a fast and inexpensive way to find some of the best talent for your business.

By Sara Beck. Sara is an MBA student and loves to travel. She blogs at www.sarabeck.wordpress.com.

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