Six things to keep in mind while hiring through social media in 2016

Nearly 70 per cent of HR professionals use social media for recruitment. According to a study released in September 2015 by The Society for Human Resource Management, in collaboration with Ascendo Resources, 65 per cent of companies surveyed said they discovered new hires through social media channels within the past year.

Social media networks like Twitter and LinkedIn have long been used as a source for both active and passive candidate sourcing. From posting openings to collecting resumes, from increasing the employer brand value proposition to addressing complaints, social media has provedto be useful in not just getting the right kind of talent, but also, in widening the talent pool that companies are tapping into. Here are a few tips to keep your social media strategy agile:

1. Go mobile: According to a report by IAMAI and KPMG, India has nearly 236 million mobile Internet users in 2016 and will have 314 million by 2017. One of the most recent strategies by the early adopters of social media is to build multi-pronged recruitment campaigns that not only leverage the high engagement rates of social media, but also the ease of action through mobile. LinkedIn and Naukri have already gone mobile. With people connected on a real-time basis, those employers who can reach out to candidates in a real-time way will have an edge over the others in the coming years.

2. Be quick to respond: As you keep posting job vacancies, many candidates will reach out seeking more information either about the hiring process or the status of their interviews. Be quick to respond to candidates' questions. Your response time will be noted by thecandidates and that is what will keep them engaged, interested and keep them coming back for more. There is a reason why Marriott Hotels has more than 1 million likes on its Facebook page. Not only do they post relevant content, but they also give the candidate a sense of what it is like to work for them. Besides responding to questions in real time, they get their employees to answer them. This personal touch is a masterstroke.

3. Target other social media sites: Until now, Snapchat and Instagram were used as mediums to connect one individual to another.
However, as we move into 2016, this will change. Instagram is now providing advertising opportunities and can also be a great platform to showcase your employer brand proposition. Snapchat is also proving to be a great branding tool. Sober Lane, an Irish pub, successfully used Snapchat to get more than 2,000 videos for interview introduction. Their strategy generated tons of responses from across the world at zero cost. YouTube is a great place to find creative candidates and also a good platform to post content. For example, take a look at American Express on YouTube. It gives you a sense of all the different things that the company does, while at the sametime showing what life at American Express looks like.

4. Create compelling content: Whether it is on Twitter or Snapchat, less is more. Keep it brief, simple to understand and eye-catching.Audio, video and graphical content will help get the message across in a very engaging manner. Make sure that your content is consistentand enables the candidate to recognise your brand. With lower attention spans, the need is to make your content exclusive. That way, you will stand out in the crowd. Disney uses Twitter to highlight the fantasy associated with the company and their posts will give you a sense of what it's like to work there.By appealing to the candidates' desires, you will be able to create a value
proposition that the candidates won't be able to resist.

5. Consistent process and source is important: Make sure that you have a consistent process for all the candidates. It should be the same search at the same point for all the candidates. Don't just go by what other people say about the candidate. Instead, rely on what the candidate wrote in the public domain on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. If anyone raises a concern, double check before you jump to conclusions. If you see anything out of turn, save a screenshot.

6. Check profile after meeting face-to-face: It is a good practice to go through a candidate's social media profile after you've met the person. After the face-to-face meeting, you would have likely eliminated many candidates. Secondly, you are less likely to be accused of making instant decisions or relying on your impressions and assumptions about the person.

Hiring through social media enables access to candidates' profiles beyond the limitations of traditional recruitment methods.These channels can be leveraged effectively to get to know candidates beyond their CV and the interview. Although best used with a little bit of caution, social media channels can soon become indispensable hiring tools.


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