Are you using Facebook for your company Recruitment? There are some large US companies, who have invested heavily in Facebook but I don’t see this popular social networking tool being used extensively yet in NZ.
There seems to be some reluctance to use Facebook, Yes, Captain it is the new frontier. Not that new though … 334,921 people are signed up in New Zealand network. 80 million worldwide. Facebook has relaunched in July 2008 and is now targeting itself as a tool for networking in the business world. Why fight it, ignore it when you can just try it?
Regardless of what you think, if this is where your potential staff spend their time on line, this is where you need to be. Like all advertisers, you need to follow the eyeballs. If you want to find passive candidates, there is no point just advertising on Seek. Facebook should be seen as forming a Talent Pool, it is there as part of a longer term Recruitment Strategy. It is about forming relationships.
There seems to be a fear about various social media, Facebook being one of many, but what about opening your mind to the benefits?
Simply, Facebook is a great way to engage with existing staff and also lets people find out about your company and culture. It is never what you say, it is what you do that counts in forming a company culture. Giving possible new hires a sense of cultural values like respect, diversity, teamwork, collaboration, openness, and authenticity is possible if you engage with people. It is difficult to convey this on a static closed off web site by stating we are honest, open and collaborative. It is not the same as being these things. By being on Facebook you are showing your values.
Facebook has two sections that I suggest you use for Recruitment. Groups and Events. I would start with a Group of people who are already in the company, this can include past staff too, like the Friends of Fronde Group . Remember, if potential new hires finds these sites, it will really give them a sense of the culture.
If you search in Facebook, you will find people who work, or have worked for your company. And this is the point. If you don’t set something up, new hires can easily find a lone voice, in your company to contact. Try a search on your company and see who comes up. It is better if there are a range of views not just one voice? People can read through a list of comments and make their own mind up.
By using Facebook, you will be establishing an employment brand. So think carefully about the image you want to portray. In a group, you can pose questions, talk about issues that face your company, note interesting blogs, video clips, press releases. You should have no problem on what to say! Once you have started the Group though, you need to keep feeding it. (Please read my earlier post on the Social Community Manager). So while Facebook, is cheap and easy to use it does require somebody to be responsible and keep it going. Like all relationships, it needs an investment of time. The Warehouse has started a Facebook group. I can find lots of started groups that have gone nowhere. What impression does this give you of the company? Better to take it down than to have a non functioning group.
Once the Group is going, it is easy to invite people to Events. Company events to start with. Making these public can really prove there is a “fun” company culture. Again, it is about being, rather than just saying it. Have a look at Gen-i – it appears to be a group for the social club. Later, wider events where you showcase the company knowledge, a new innovation, product launch etc. It is very easy to invite your contacts in Facebook, and they can easily send the invite on to a friend.
The WDHB has just ventured into Facebook Groups for their Graduate Recruitment. This give you an idea of an event that the WDHB have just run. Looks like they need a few more people in their group though…
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Business is about relationships, it is about people. Social media is a tool that can help with those connections – why would you not want to connect with talent, with your staff? Social media has taken hold because the communications is genuine and people want authenticity.
Before you through your hands up in horror. Social media is no different to any other part of business. If people abuse the community, or the tool deal with it as you would anything else….actually I believe it will be easier as there is be written or verbal evidence.
If you don’t want to have a presence on Facebook, you can let applicants be emailed the Job details to their Facebook address like this Talent Technology does. As Facebook is a web site, people can receive Facebook emails privately at work. Some people, think this is one of the reasons for its success…
Best known in this area is the Ernst and Young sites. E&Y paid an undisclosed fee (US$500,000 I read somewhere) to Facebook . So don’t be disheartened if you can not easily replicate this. These sites do give you a sense of what is possible. I am talking here about something more low key, connected and real.