Sourcing Through Social Media Communities – How to Bridge the Gap Between Remote Recruiting and the Locality of Your Markets – Part 1

Telecommuting has become incredibly common in the workplace in the last decade, and trends indicate that the number of remote workers will continue to grow. For the talent acquisition profession, this means that sourcing specialists will often not reside in the are in which they search for candidates. Sure, many sourcing professionals and recruiters travel to their markets on occasion. The question remains however as to how does one resolve the disconnect to give candidates a true feel for the culture of an organization?

In my time recruiting for a large scale healthcare corporation with thousands of clinics nationwide, I quickly had the realization that while the company itself has its mission and values that were conveyed from the top down, each geographical region has it’s own local culture. To be successful, I have had to find creative ways to give my candidates a window into these career opportunities despite not always being able to be physically present.

Inspired by my previous experience working as a sales associate at Hot Topic, I looked to social media. The Hot Topic brand, of course, has its official verified social media account on Facebook but in the late 2000s, there was a movement within the company to have a separate page for every store. At our store, we would post pictures of fun moments, our Halloween costumes that we would wear on our shifts during October, exciting new merchandise that just hit the shelves, really anything to drive the customers in. The landing page proliferated among our regular shoppers. With hundreds of followers, most being local, we had a virtual megaphone at our disposal any time we wanted to get a message out to the community.

This made hiring new associates incredibly easy. Any time that we needed seasonal help, all it took was a post, and within hours we had candidates walking into the store asking for applications. Many of them had followed our page and enjoyed seeing how much fun seemed to be an employee at our store. Some even said they felt like they already knew the associates and couldn’t wait to be part of that team. The local store page was never intended for recruiting purposes, but rather to drive sales. Through sharing stories, pictures, and content, we unintentionally gave our customers a window into the culture of our store apart from the official corporate branded image of Hot Topic. As I reflected on how powerful our employee generated content was, I wondered if I could implement similar strategies for my markets as a healthcare recruiter.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of doing what is conventional and commonly used versus taking a risk. Every recruiter I know is on LinkedIn, but the more I use it, the more I realize its limitations. In my experience utilizing Facebook, I have discovered one key aspect of the network that hasn’t been driven home nearly enough among sourcing professionals. It’s a powerful source of passive candidates. 51% of people are satisfied with their current role, but open to considering a new position.

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According to Jobvite’s 2016 recruiter nation survey 87% of recruiters use Linkedin, and only 55% use Facebook. Also, Facebook has over two billion users while Linkedin has 500 million. It would only make sense to explore expanding your outreach as a sourcing professional to a network with four times as many active users. Over the last two years, I have heavily utilized Facebook to build recruiting communities for my hiring managers, and the response has been unlike anything I have ever received. This in large part because Facebook, unlike Linkedin, uses an algorithm that makes job postings featured most frequently in the feed of the users that you interact with the most. This reinforces the need to create a loyal audience for the desired candidate pool. In my next blog, I will detail tips, tricks, and methods for building and maintaining an online community for sourcing purposes.

Reference

https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Jobvite_Jobseeker_Nation_2016.pdf

Erin has been in talent acquisition for the past 6 years and has recruited for a broad spectrum of professionals including SAT prep tutors, costumed mascots, promo models, healthcare workers and IT.  She currently works as a Talent Sourcer for an e-commerce company in the greater Chicago area.

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