Using Social Media for Attracting New Talent

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(The second post from SEJ collaborative Social Media Series for Business Operations)

Incorporating a social media strategy into your overall online marketing/business strategy has become essential: but finding that balance where your social media activities are the wings beneath your business success, yet aren’t floating you up out into the stratosphere is difficult.

An area where you may well find that time spent on social media pays off handsomely is finding new talent for your business.

For me, TweetPhoto owner Rodney Rumford‘s advice on how to find your next hot new team member about sums it all up:

“Fish where your audience is and make personal connections with the talent pool that you want to hire…” Short and sweet. That sentence pretty much tells you what you need to know.

But how do you find out where the people you need are hanging out?

Twitter is always a good place to start because it is great for individuals who are looking for work, and recently many users are coming onto Twitter specifically to learn about finding work. So it follows that Twitter is also a great place to find the talent you seek. As Bridget Carey says:

“….the instant nature of the posts, mixed with an environment that breeds a neighborly spirit, makes Twitter a hot spot for finding opportunities.”

There are various ways to find what you’re looking for on Twitter they all basically involve doing a search for your talent keywords (writer, web designer, plumber or whatever). There are a number of applications you might use for this–check out the Search Twitter section over at Tweetpro. Ask people for recommendations. You can check your target out thoroughly before alerting them to your intentions. You can also use the #hashtags facility to find where your keywords are being mentioned.

And since Twitter Job Search is useful for those looking for employment, it follows that it will also be a great tool for employers too.

Creative Ways to Find Talent Through Social Media

Arrange contests: A great way to get what you want on social media is to arrange a contest offering a prize for anyone who helps you find what you need. A wonderful example of this was brought to my attention a couple of years back when I read Guy Kawasaki’s Art of the Start. I was impressed that he actually launched a competition for artists to submit book jackets for this book. In return they got their art work listed inside the jacket of a book that was sure to become a best seller, and of course the winner’s art was even more prominent. It was a win-win situation. There are literally thousands of scenarios I can think of where this would be a great idea. You can launch your contest through your website and arrange for buzz through your social media networks.

LinkedIn is one of the oldest social media sites, primarily used for professional networking, and has a well-organized system: you can access a wealth of information on talent of every description, with a good search facility to help you along.

TweetROI is one of a number of applications that target the wealth of information sometimes difficult to access on Twitter: using this app you can send out an ad at a reasonable price, seeking your required personnel.

Forums are another area of the Web where you are likely to find what you’re looking for: you can expect recommendations for your post and networking by itself is likely to turn up lots of leads for you.

How to prevent your best people from being poached is a problem that most successful companies have to tackle sooner or later. Trouble is, as we’ve just seen, it’s all too easy to locate personnel that would be perfect for your organization online.

Of course you can contact major companies who might be interested in your personnel and actually ask them if you can enter in to some kind of a no-poaching deal. But as Steve Jobs found, when he tried to reach a deal with Palm to stop them poaching each others’ people, it backfired badly when Palm’s Steve Colligan replied:

“Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other’s employees, regardless of the individual’s desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal.”

Oh, and as an afterthought: if you want smart new people to want to come and work for you, be careful that your existing employees aren’t fouling the field by broadcasting unfavorable stuff about you. An easy way to avoid this is to make sure your employees love you. As a place to start, you might be interested in 7 Reasons Your Employees Hate You by Adam Kleinberg.

Patricia Skinner is an SEO consultant, social media coach & reputation management expert. She is also community leader at the nascent SEO Self Regulation Community. She can be reached any time through her SEO website. Why not follow her on Twitter & her LinkedIn profile.

Patricia Skinner
Patricia Skinner is co-founder and Search and Social Director at Mideast SEO, and spends her days doing what she loves best; cooking up winning strategies... Read Full Bio
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