Social media is widely recognized as a strategic business tool today, and it is continuing to develop importance in relation to business. This growing trend has piqued the interest of HR professionals in particular, more and more of whom are coming to appreciate the need for an active and engaging corporate presence on social media in order to attract top job candidates.

Showcasing your culture

Your organization’s culture plays an important role in recruiting and retaining the best talent. Job seekers look for a clear understanding of a potential employer’s culture in order to gauge whether or not they can see themselves enjoying the company and succeeding in the position. It’s also helpful for employers to know that they’re recruiting candidates who align with an organization’s values and operations, ensuring higher employee satisfaction and longer retention. But how do employers communicate their culture effectively?

A statement about company culture on a recruitment webpage can be a great start. Moving from a summary to a conversation with potential employees, however, might be more valuable. Social media offers an opportunity not to simply state your culture, but to showcase it. Posts about office gatherings, volunteer projects, or wellness initiatives give job seekers a feel for what working at a company will really entail. Sharing employee profiles, creating a talent community on Facebook, or engaging through a Twitter chat can all be effective ways to showcase culture through social media.

An active social media presence in itself can paint a company as innovative and engaging. And this is something job seekers look for. A recent survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of employees are more likely to apply to a company if it uses social media. If companies are not active on social media, it may appear disconnected or out of date – an unappealing prospect for potential talent.

Communicating with job seekers

Social media is an easy way to reach prospective candidates across the world, and many recruiters today are taking advantage of this. According to a recent study, 94 percent of recruiters are active on LinkedIn – and with good reason. Millions of people have already opted to post their career profiles and interests on the professional networking site, and more profiles are being created every day. For recruiters looking to reach out to experienced – but perhaps passive – candidates, social media can be a tremendous resource.

For active job seekers, too, social media is playing an important role. Millennials – a generation that has been brought up with a firm grasp of the Internet – often turn to social media first when starting to look for a new job or career change. Job seekers might monitor a company’s social channels for job postings, or receive a News Feed update with a job opening shared by someone in their social network.

Apart from connecting recruiters with job seekers, social media is also providing recruiters a new way to vet potential candidates. Screening applicants through their social profiles allows companies to decrease time-to-hire and increase candidate quality. This ultimately helps to ensure that the candidate will be the right fit for the position and the culture.

Maintaining a good reputation

According to Glassdoor, 69 percent of job seekers will turn down a job with a company that has a bad reputation, even if the job seeker is currently unemployed.

This means that, in addition to leveraging their own social media to impress candidates with corporate culture, HR professionals should also be monitoring social media for mentions by current and former employees.

Social media can be a minefield if a negative comment is not handled properly—a minefield that can affect future talent acquisition. Sixty-eight percent of people trust reviews online, yet, according to a recent survey by RiseSmart, only 39 percent of companies monitor their social channels.

Even if you already have a great company culture, monitoring and responding to negative reviews, comments, and mentions is an important part of maintaining your brand and increasing your potential for recruitment.

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With the opportunities that social media has opened up for job seekers and recruiters alike, it’s fair to say that the social recruiting trend is here to stay – and perhaps even grow stronger. Seventy percent of recruiters plan to increase their investment in social recruiting, according to recent research. If your company hasn’t discussed a social media recruiting strategy, now is the time. Today, the best talent is moving at the speed of social – don’t let your company miss out.

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