How SMEs can use Social Media to Grow their Team

Experts agree that we’ve now reached a point where social recruiting is not just an option or something new, it’s an important hiring strategy for businesses of any size.

Also known as social hiring and social media recruitment, the concept is simply defined as using social media platforms to connect with and ultimately recruit new employees. The capabilities of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms allow employers to advertise positions, search for talent and communicate with candidates.

They also allow companies to share information about their company culture and promote their workplaces as positive, productive places to be. One of the first steps for many candidates is to start researching a potential employer online, and this goes far beyond reviewing their website. Compared to the professional information about business offerings contained on the site, social media profiles and posts offer the chance to display a personality and perspective.

Conversely, a candidate’s social media profiles provide valuable information that you won’t often find on a CV, or even during an interview. Employers can look for initiative, creativity and industry involvement; some Instagram profiles are even used as portfolios for designers and artists. You can also check whether potential candidates are tweeting articles about the latest industry news or joining in conversations.

When starting a social media recruitment strategy, there are a few easy tips to follow.

  •         Use social media advertising and targeting to your advantage. Advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram allows you to customize your audience, meaning you can target your job announcement to the group where you’ll be more likely to find qualified candidates.
  •         Dedicate time to your social media recruitment strategy. Many SME business owners and their hiring teams may not even know how to start, much less have time to actively manage social media recruitment. Dedicating a certain number of hours to a) learning how to do it and b) managing it, will allow you to officially add this tactic to your recruitment strategy and manage it productively.
  •         Know your audience. Even those who are new to social media recruiting can begin to use statistics to their advantage. Find out which platform your ideal candidates are most likely to use to find a job, when they are online and more.
  •         Use your current employees to your advantage. Ask them which platforms they tend to hang out on and whether they are part of any professional groups or associations you can tap into to find new hires. You can also engage current employees in your recruitment strategy by asking them to share job announcement posts with friends and colleagues.
  •         Keywords, phrases and hash tags. Using the appropriate words and hashtags in your job postings is as important as the SEO on your website. This is also a good time to see how your competitors are advertising their open positions and perhaps take a few cues from them.
  •         Use social media to build relationships. The old saying is true, it’s not about what you know, but who you know. You can use social media to network with other professionals and leverage relationships to help you find qualified candidates when the time comes to hire.
  •         Tailor your content for different platforms. It’s important to treat each platform as its own medium and pay attention not only to the appropriate character counts and photo allowances, but the general tone, look and feel. Don’t make the mistake of creating one post and simply pushing it out onto various platforms.

And finally, it’s important to promote your brand in a positive light on social media. As you recruit, keep in mind that your social media – the voice, tone and images you publish – is the ultimate representation of the brand. You are the ambassador and should keep this in mind to create and maintain an attractive image for new talent.  

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