This includes adopting a social mindset. Recognize it’s not about your company pushing messages out to an audience; it’s about engaging in dialogue with your audience, listening to what they have to say and replying in kind. What do you want to say? Where? When? Why? How? Once you answer these questions, you can begin exploring the great unknown, using social media to turn your organization into a source of relevant information and news to attract passive and active candidates. Keeping your recruiting focus in mind, consider what impression a job seeker will have when he views your online presence.
Monitor media to understand what’s being said about your company as an employer. Facebook pages, postings, blogs, Twitter comments, YouTube videos and employment reputation sites like glassdoor.com and vault.com as well as forums on websites such as SimplyHired are good places to start.
However, this means that when you hit a road block such as a candidate complaint and other unpredictable behavior you respond authentically, acknowledging when your company makes a mistake or when a candidate just wants to vent. Your goal should be to influence the discussion, not control it.
Free? Don’t Forget the Tolls
While the upfront costs of various social media may not appear very expensive, there are very real costs associated with a proper investment. Let’s start with the opportunity costs connected to the time you invest in crafting the perfect message to elicit responses. Now count the time needed to respond to the prospects and manage the messaging on the various social media channels. Remember social media is not like broadcast media and is interactive by the very nature of what it is and what makes it so appealing. That interactive connection with prospects should be consistent from media to media so they begin to associate your online presence across platforms.
If not properly handled, social media can backfire with negative or unforeseen results, so make the investment in time to understand the platform on which you are embarking. Make sure to budget enough in terms of resources, staff and money to use social media in a way that returns the most on your investment, as a platform for dialogue with your prospects. Work with legal counsel to ensure you have solid policy that everyone at your company is familiar with and which supports your strategy.
A recent study by Deloitte LLP, a firm that offers auditing, consulting and other services, found only 17 percent of companies surveyed had a program in place dedicated to monitoring social media. Only 22 percent had a formal policy on how employees may or may not use social media.
Hit the Social Media Highway
You have your website up and ready to go. You’ve developed your strategy, explored the various sites and have a social media policy in place. Social media platforms are launched and you’re revved up and ready to go. Enjoy the ride, but make sure you continue to check the oil.