It wasn't long ago that social media and social recruiting were buzz-worthy ideas for recruiting. But now it's part of everyday fare for a majority of recruiters, so you've got to get it right. There were no set rules when recruiters first tiptoed into the social recruiting arena to test it out. Now there are, and most of them are set by the candidates.
Working social media all wrong can do more harm than good. It pays not to offend, so they say. Here's how to avoid that and make a better impression.
#1: Remember to Communicate
After you've contacted a candidate, what's your follow-up policy? If you don't have one, that's a bad sign. Poor communication can turn off active and passive job seekers. It can also make you look like a spammer.
Alison Green at Ask a Manager says keeping people in the dark doesn't often turn out well. "You'll have a lot of frustrated candidates out there," she says. Whether the candidate is a good fit or not, offer communication after you've made contact. And if the person is an applicant, it's doubly important to make the effort.
#2: Speak the Right Language
You're a recruiter, not a tech geek, right? But if you're hiring for a tech position, you need a working knowledge of the jargon. Tech professionals might not take seriously an ad (or a recruiter) who misses the mark, according to Leslie Stevens-Huffman at Dice. If you're planning to chat up a candidate, you might need to do a little homework first.
On the other hand, don't try to fake it and hope that it will work out. If there's anything worse to a tech professional's ears than a lacking knowledge of the job, it's using terminology incorrectly. If you don't know, say so.
#3: Don't be a Spammer
The old theory was to cast a wider net, but that makes a lot of enemies. Nobody likes being spammed, especially on social media. It's annoying, and you don't want to become the fly buzzing around someone's ear.
Finding that up-and-coming candidate in his natural environment is what social recruiting is all about. But if you blast her with in-mails, DMs or Tweets, she'll probably tune you out. Send messages that read more like a form message, and you might be ignored completely. Instead, make every message count.
#4: Offer Candidates Worthwhile Content
Social media isn't just one more platform for sending out job postings and working to engage candidates. It's about sharing information or something of value that the people you're looking for can use. Give candidates a reason to be interested.
Dice says that the 80 / 20 rule is still in effect. Eighty percent of what you do on social media should be informational and useful. Think about posting relevant content with industry insights, salary information and new trends. The other 20 percent should focus on recruiting.
#5: Use Your Social Media Profile
Social media works both ways. You want to find great people. But in return, they'd like to learn something about you. If a candidate sees a job posting, he naturally wants to learn more about where it came from. Turning up an empty social media profile is the same as building a wall between you and the candidates.
Social is meant to be social. And the quality of your social media profile is part of your professional brand and reputation. Think about what you like to see in a candidate's profile, and give them the same in return.
The majority of recruiters use social media in some capacity. It's moved far past a trend into the mainstream, but a lot of recruiters aren't making the most of it. You wouldn't buy a new, technologically advanced smartphone and only use it to make a call. And you shouldn't use social media as nothing but a platform for finding new people to send job postings to.
The operative word is "social," and that's what candidates expect. Used the right way, it not only helps you connect with those industry leaders that you hope to find, it boosts your own reputation in the process.