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Casting a wider net: using social media to build talent pools

Written by Kimberley Startup | May 16, 2012 | 1 Comment

As a hiring manager you take on the guise of a Kingfisher; dipping in and out of talent pools and hoping that your aim is, more often than not, accurate. Using this analogy, it is imperative that the pools in which you are hunting contain the right candidates, with which to choose from. Having a select amount of prime targets, that are both easily accessible and active in engagement, can really maximise your efficiency and success-rates in filling a job role.

As the old adage goes; there is more than one way to skin a rabbit, and the same principle applies when building effective and sustainable talent pools. Traditionally, recruiters would rely on referring to a back-catalogue of CVs received from previous candidates. It has to be said though, that this approach, when used alone, is a rather stagnant means of recruiting. In light of the fundamental changes brought about by the internet and the big shift towards online recruitment; hiring managers are becoming more diverse in their search for talent.

The keyword here is ‘groups’; the building, and maintaining, of networking communities who have placed an emotional attachment with your brand. Social media has revolutionised how we interact with each other. It has broken down the barriers and created bridges where, previously, it would not have been possible. The intricate web of engagement and hot-wires of communication accessible at the mere tap of a button, is a dream come true for hiring managers. That is, if you require the recruitment process to be a streamlined, speedier and far more cost-effective process, than ever before.

Groups have become synonymous with LinkedIn, and for good reason. Within the business world LinkedIn has opened up a myriad of doors for professionals seeking work. People have seen the platform’s potential to add dimensions to an application and, therefore, increase employability. Not only that, the networking opportunities it provides far outweigh what could ever have been achieved through traditional means.

There are now circa 9 million LinkedIn users, in the UK alone. This is a virtual world where talent pools lie in abundance. Added to that, the categorisation process has, all but, been done for you; as people are conveniently labelled in terms of their career credentials. In creating a group you are effectively generating brand awareness, whilst tapping into a market, easily discernible in terms of employability.

The same applies for other popular social media platforms, such as, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Groups of people, who are online engaging with your message, make for a fantastic pool of talent. What is more, it is completely free of charge.

There is a catch though; generating the best results can be a difficult and time consuming process, not to mention a drain on resources. You need to be dedicated in your plight to conquer social media and to harness its true potential. The rewards if you do, however, make it entirely worthwhile.

Setting up a group is easy, and can provide a lucrative source for candidate applications, but only if you stick to your strategy. Posting a few discussions every so often will not generate buzz, nor will promoting one-way messages.

The webrecruit group, Transforming Recruitment Online, provides a strong case study for the benefits of social media and hiring. With over 78,000 members, it has become one of the largest recruitment groups in the UK.

Here we share a few tips we’ve picked up along the way to help you get the most from setting up a group on LinkedIn and, in turn, maximise your talent pool strategies.

– plan your content; ensure to post regular discussions
– appoint a social media champion, someone who shares company-wide best practices
– ensure social media is a company-shared ethos
– let group members steer the content; transparency is key
– include links/details to your career site, invite members to visit your careers site
– post your latest vacancies and encourage others to share to ensure maximum reach
– give people a reason to engage with your brand.

One thought on “Casting a wider net: using social media to build talent pools

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