He works through current employees, their social networks, and the goodwill of the public media community, and also takes advantage of NPR’s audience and brand.
A dozen of Schmidt’s low-cost recruiting techniques:
- Know your company’s social media policy: Make sure there’s no question about what you can and can’t do.
- Let employees share their stories: Many companies want to highly censor employees, but one of the best ways to brand your employment experience is to let employees tell their own stories to the outside world.
- Take advantage of employees’ social networks: Encourage them to share their stories and to share job postings through their respective social networks.
- Work with your social media stakeholders: Who are the people within your organization guiding the company’s social strategy? Build relationships with your biggest assets.
- Communicate to all job seekers, active and passive: Social media allows you to build a relationship with job seekers long before they think about working for your organization.
- Leverage your reach and brand: Build your employment brand by leaning on company history, media reach, consumer brand, and social media. NPR’s main Twitter account (@nprnews) has 990K+ followers and NPR on Facebook has 2.37 million fans – that’s a lot of potential connections to great candidates and recommendations.
- Go where your employees hang out: Do they congregate on specific discussion boards or networks? Let your employee brand extend through their stories.
- Prioritize: When you don’t have unlimited resources, you’ll be more effective making a larger impact on a smaller number of platforms.
- Remember the little things: Have employees add links in their email signatures and out-of-office messages. And make sure that marketing materials point to your hubs of employee stories.
- Experiment and track metrics: You probably won’t strike gold on your first try, but your tenth try will be amazing if you hone your efforts as a result of analytics. There are tons of free and useful tools, such as Crowdbooster.
- Engage with your fans: Social media is a two-way street. If you put content out there, your audience will respond. And when they do, you should respond back or it can have a negative impact on your brand.
- Get creative with content: Don’t just post job openings. Vary your content so it engages readers beyond a one-time post. When Schmidt launched the @NPRJobs Twitter account in July 2011, only 10-15 percent of the tweets were about jobs. Most fell into one of these three categories:
- Build employment brand by showcasing employees and providing behind the scenes looks at life at NPR (#NPRLife).
- Give back to followers by providing career advice and resources.
- Promote career opportunities across the public media system through #pubjobs.
For those fearful of jumping in, Schmidt offers this last piece of advice:
“Don’t be paralyzed by what can go wrong. Focus on what can go right.”