The Social Media Tricks Every HR Person Should Know

If you feel like social media is a moving target that you can’t hit with any accuracy, you’re not alone. I mean, who would have expected that the “selfie” would be the “it” word for 2013? In fact, it’s possible that the resume will soon be non-existent…irrelevant. Social media platforms are quickly becoming the main source for candidate information with large amounts of data that you’re trying to sift through and make sense of.

Between selfies, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram it can be difficult to know where to start, which information is relevant and how much of it you really need to make a great hire. Incorporating social media into your recruiting strategy is no longer a choice. It’s all about jumping in and making it work. Here are a few tricks that every HR person should know:

Build that Pipeline

We’re all competing for the same talent in a very shallow candidate pool, while offering similar salary and benefit packages. How you differentiate your organization from your competitors will likely be the deciding factor on whether or not your candidate accepts your job offer.

First, focus on the candidate experience. Make sure you’re responding to tweets and interview reviews on Glassdoor and engaging with your audience. Remember, they aren’t just potential new hires but customers as well.  Your employer brand depends on your ability to interact with an audience.

Second, if you’re not actively using Twitter or Facebook, you need to reconsider.  You’ll find some of the most involved, innovative and progressive minded candidates, engaging in thoughtful conversations and trending as experts in their industries.

And finally, Twitter is FREE. Expand your organization’s reach and visibility, more efficiently. You can post jobs, recruiting events, and tweet questions to engage your followers. Become a thought leader. Drive the conversation.

Careful: Don’t Over Measure

Let’s say you’ve conducted the initial candidate phone screen and you like what you’re hearing. The candidate is smart, professional, and a total rock star. Throughout the selection process, this candidate stands out among the rest. You mention you’re planning to bring them in for a face-to-face and you’re certain this is going to be a great experience for both the candidate and the organization. However, after completing due diligence, you soon realize that this candidate has an unprofessional LinkedIn photo and you’re immediately turned off. You believe this candidate will not effectively represent your brand in a positive manner. You cancel the on-site interview and decide to look elsewhere.

As an employer, you have the opportunity to measure many aspects of a candidate’s background and skill-set and make a choice, based on the entire set of data. However, the potential error occurs when one piece of data overrules the rest, which in this case, is the more substantial data (great phone interview, ivy-league education, etc.) that points to a potentially great hire.

Be careful not to over measure. Ensure the data you are collecting, reviewing and measuring against is accurate and job related.  Use what is necessary. Remember, you’re not an investigator.  Don’t spend hours examining selfies on your candidate’s Instagram account looking for something negative.

Discrimination still exists, Online

More college graduates are entering the workforce than ever before.  Millennials will be a large part of your talent pool and have a greater online presence than most of your applicants. If you’re using social media to recruit, you’ll need to be aware of ethical and legal issues. Because there is more personal information to be reviewed, you may be placing your organization at risk for discrimination against qualified candidates without even realizing it.

Remember, you can’t discriminate on the three legally protected classifications: race, gender or age. For example, let’s say you share the LinkedIn profile of a more senior candidate with the hiring manager. This candidate meets all of the job requirements; however, the manager is hoping to bring in someone more junior to fit in with their collegial team environment. The manager may pass on the more “senior” candidate because he’s older and less likely to “fit” the desired team makeup. This is discrimination against a qualified candidate, based on age. Make the best decision possible using the right information.

Social media will continue to be a moving target…but instead of aiming at an obscure bull’s eye, aim to be engaging, proactive and collaborative. Understand your audience and know your candidates.  Ensure job descriptions are accurate and candidate profiles align with the basic qualifications. Use data wisely and avoid over measuring. Now get out there and start being social.