1-2-3: Taking the First Steps to Using Social Media for Recruiting

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs. Friends, followers and fans. Social media is ubiquitous and has rapidly reshaped the way people connect, communicate and share information online.

What started as a way to make new friends and reconnect with old ones is now an important tool for businesses that want to build their brands, gain awareness and sell products and services. HR managers and tech recruiters are also using social media tools to source candidates for current job openings and build a pipeline of prospects for future hiring needs.

While social media tools can’t replace expertise, hard work, true recruiting know-how, and specialized job boards, they are a valuable addition to your recruiting toolbox.

But how do you get started? With all the options and jargon, taking the first steps into the social media world is daunting. This white paper walks you through the first steps in getting started with top social media tools and provides valuable “Tips” to help you save time and be more effective.

1-2-3: Twitter
Twitter is a social networking “micro blog” that lets you share your news and thoughts, gather information and build connections with other people on the network. You have 140 characters in each post – or “tweet” – to let people know what you’re doing, what you’re thinking and, in the case of recruiting, who you’re looking for.

People interested in what you have to say will “follow” you. You can also follow other people’s tweets to see what they’re doing and build your network. The conversation between you and your followers is cataloged in chronological timeline on your home page.

Step 1. Set up a Twitter account
Go to https://twitter.com and click on “Sign Up.” Follow the simple steps to create your own user name, password and location.

Tip: As a recruiter or staffing manager be sure that you select a user name, or “handle,” that easily identifies you and isn’t too catchy.

  • After signing up, set up your account and profile.
  • Click on “Settings” in the upper right corner.
  • Click on “Account” in the sub-menu and complete the form.
    – At the bottom of the Account page, when asked whether you want to protect your updates, leave the box unchecked. If you check the box, you’ll be excluded from Twitter’s public timeline and your visibility on the site will be lowered dramatically.
    – Click “Save” to update your settings.
  • Then set up your profile. Your profile gives your followers some information about you and a link to a website so they can learn more if they’re interested.
    – Click “Profile” in the sub-menu.
    – Complete the Profile form.
    – Add a picture. Follow the steps to upload a photo of yourself.
    – Add a link to your website, careers page or job listings for more information.
    – In the Bio section, write two short sentences about your role as a recruiter or staffing manager. You’re limited to 160 characters so make your message concise and compelling.
    – Click “Save” to update your profile.
    – Click “Design” from the sub-menu.
    – Follow the steps to personalize your home page background.
    – Click “Save Changes” to update your background.

Tip: If you’re in HR for a company, consider adding information about he company in the Bio section.

Tip: Companies often upload a custom Twitter background to provide additional contact information to followers.

Step 2. Follow, search and tweet
With your account and profile complete, it’s time to build your network on Twitter.

  • Start following. To build your network on Twitter you need to “follow” people – in other words sign up to read their posts – and you need people to follow you.
    – Start by reaching out to colleagues and people you know on Twitter already. Search for their name using the basic “search” feature in the right-hand column of your home page.
    – If you find someone you’re interested in following, click the “Follow” button that appears near the top of their profile page. Their tweets will appear in your Twitter home page. They’ll likely return the favor and start following you and your network will start to grow.

Tip: People following you will receive your posts on their Twitter page and their followers will see your posts as well.

  • Conduct a search
    – Searching for connections on Twitter is another way to build your following. The search functionality on the Twitter home page is limited. Instead, visit www.search.twitter.com for a separate search tool owned by Twitter that offers advanced search options.
    – Click on “Advanced Search” and it will take you to http://search.twitter.com/advanced
    – Create a search by entering keywords or phrases based on the candidates you’re trying to hire, for example: “C++” or “Java developer.”
    – You can also search general phrases – “looking for new job” or “job searching” – to find tweets from people in the market for work.
    – Limit your search geographically by adding a city, metro area or zip code in the “Places” section.
    – Hit “Search” and the tool will pull up all current tweets that match your search parameters.
    – Review the list and if you find someone who looks like a good prospect, check their bio and then consider following them to start building a relationship. Click their “Follow” button if you like to begin following someone.
  • Start “tweeting” at https://twitter.com
  • Tweeting updates your followers on what you’re doing, what type
    of candidates you’re looking for and what’s new at your company.
    – Introduce yourself to the Twitter community by typing a comment in the “What’s happening?” box at the top of your Twitter home page. Click the “Tweet” button to post it.
    – Then continue tweeting by sharing interesting information and insight to build the conversation between you and your followers.
    – Use keywords as much as possible when using Twitter for recruiting. Your tweets appear in Twitter’s Search Results so adding keywords – specific tech skills, job titles or locations – makes it easier for people to connect with you.
    – Try adding hashtags to your tweets. A hashtag is a word or phrase proceeded by the # sign (i.e. #TechRecruiting) used in a tweet to group tweets on a particular subject or event. Hashtags make it easy to search for tweets on a topic. Create your own hashtag or use an existing one to comment on a trend or topic being discussed on Twitter.

Tip: Keep it short and interesting – a counter in the upper right corner of the “What’s happening?” box will let you know when you’ve used all 140 characters.

Step 3. Try other Twitter tools

Retweet — Sharing ideas, information and resources from people who follow you is called “retweeting.” It’s a powerful, easy way to share information, give someone kudos for a good idea and extend your network. Retweets are indicated in the timeline with “RT.”

Direct Message — You can direct message, or “DM” a follower using the “Direct Message” link in the right-hand column of your home page. DMs are only seen by the recipient and aren’t cataloged in the timeline.

@YourName — When you see a message including @(YourUserName) in your timeline that means someone wrote a message to you or referred to you in a message.

Tip: Once you’ve connected with a prospective candidate, DM them with info about a specific opportunity or to arrange a call.

Tip: As a recruiter, it’s important to keep up with these mentions and reply back accordingly.

1-2-3: Facebook
Facebook is the world’s largest social networking service. It lets friends, colleagues and family members share what’s new in their lives via an online profile or “wall” where users post status updates, videos, photos and more. The emphasis on Facebook is on personal communication, but its functionality for business is growing steadily.

Instead of creating an individual profile, businesses can establish a Facebook Fan Page that can include company updates, employment opportunities and insider news. To build a network on Facebook, businesses invite customers and prospects to follow them on the site.

Tip: Face Profiles represent individuals and must be owned by an individual. Facebook Pages are designed for business, organizations or musical groups.

Step 1. Set up a Facebook account and page

  • Visit www.facebook.com.
    – Click on the link in the lower-right corner that says “Create a page for a celebrity, band or business.”
    – Complete the fields under “Create a Page.”
    – Confirm that you are the official representative for your business, and click “Create Official Page” button.
  • Set up your Facebook Page.
    – Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll be taken to your Facebook page or “wall.”
    – Follow the steps to customize your page with text, photos and links.Tip: Your wall represents your company – make sure it’s interesting, informative and supports your employment brand.

– In the upper left-hand column you’ll see an “Edit Page” link underneath your profile photo. Click on it to learn more about settings and useful pre-installed applications.

Tip: You can find hundreds of additional applications for your page online. Apps are a great way to engage visitors and give them a reason to return to your page.

  • Review the account and privacy settings under the Account tab, which appears in the right side of the main menu. Adjust them to match your company’s social media policy.

Tip: Many companies choose to show posts from themselves and their fans. That increases activity on your wall and more importantly shows your fans that you value what they have to say.

Step 2. Friend and post
With your account and page complete, it’s time to build  your network on Facebook.

  • Make friends.
    – To build your Facebook network of fans, you’ll need to promote your page.
    – Promote your Facebook page externally by telling your business associates, employees, and prospective candidates to “find you on Facebook” and show their support by becoming a fan. Include a link to your Facebook page on emails and all marketing materials.
    – Consider a Facebook ad. Learn more here.
  • Start Posting.
    – Let your friends and fans know what’s going on by posting or “updating your status” in the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your wall. Your update will appear in the News Feed of everyone who is following your company.
    – Updates can be new job openings, company updates, industry insights or interesting resources you’ve found online.
    – Photos are another great way to show, rather than tell, what’s happening at your company.
    – When you’re done, be sure to hit the “Share” button.

Tip: If you have a specific job to fill, make it easy for prospects to find more information and apply directly from your fan page by providing a link to the job in the career center or jobs section of your company website.

Step 3. Update and reply
Keep the conversation going and build your network – and pipeline of prospects – by regularly updating your status and replying to your fans.

  • Update your status.
    – Some companies update their status daily, others less frequently. Do what’s right – and manageable – for you as long as  it’s regularly and your posts are engaging and purposeful.

Tip: Encourage interaction and create a dialogue by asking fans questions.

  • Reply to postings.
    – When a fan visits your page and leaves a message, it shows up in your News Feed. Check your News Feed regularly by logging on to your Facebook page and reviewing posts in the center of the page. Be sure to reply to comments – whether they are positive or negative – to continue the conversation and show that you’re listening. That responsiveness will help grow your network over time.

One page, many voices
Companies can have one Facebook Fan Page but an unlimited number of page administrators (found under the “Edit page” option). Administrators can add content to the page, which adds to the volume of updates and provides different viewpoints for your fans.

1-2-3: Blogs
With a blog (a common contraction of “web log”) you create your own online journal and invite visitors to comment. Unlike a website, a blog is a journal or log of information usually organized topically and chronologically.

Use a company or personal blog in conjunction with other social medial outlets to maximize your online presence, help expand your message and strengthen your employment brand.

Step 1. Find a blogspot

Your first job is to find a place to host your blog.

  • Search online for blogging providers who offer pre-made blog templates.
  • Follow the simple online instructions to establish your blog.
  • Add buttons, images, widgets and more to customize your blog. You’ll find plenty of options online.

Tip: Blogger.com, Google’s blogging site, and WordPress.com are the two largest sites. They’re both easy to use and free.

Step 2. Start blogging

  • Start adding entries to your blog about your company, available jobs, types of candidates you’re searching for and industry news.

Tip: Post several blog entries before you promote your blog so visitors will have more than one post to read.

Step 3. Spread the word

  • Build traffic to your blog by promoting it on your other social media outlets and marketing materials.

1-2-3: RSS feeds
RSS, or “really simple syndication,” is a technology that saves you time by delivering relevant and updated information from your favorite media outlets directly to your inbox. You subscribe to RSS on the sites you visit most and view the updates using a free online RSS reader.

Step 1. Find a Reader
To receive RSS feeds you need an RSS Reader.

  • A quick online search for “RSS Readers” will yield many options.
  • Follow the simple instructions to create an account with your chosen RSS Reader.

Tip: Google Reader is a good, free RSS Reader.

Step 2. Subscribe to feeds

  • Subscribe to feeds from your favorite websites. Just look for a button on the site that includes: RSS, XML or Subscribe. Or, check the right-hand side of the URL address bar for an orange or blue RSS button. Click on the icon and follow the prompts.

Step 3. Start reading

  • Your RSS Reader will start delivering updated content regularly. Check your reader site for tools that make it easier to read and organize all of your RSS feeds.

1-2-3: LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an online network site designed to keep you connected with colleagues and classmates. The site is based on individual profiles that include resumes, links and more. LinkedIn lets you connect with people you know through direct invitations and then link to a wider network through those connections and referrals. You can also join industry groups to discuss common interests and share ideas.

Step 1. Set up a LinkedIn account

  • Visit LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com
    – Follow the simple steps to create a LinkedIn account.

Step 2. Create your profile

  • Follow the prompts to build your profile. You can upload a photo, add information about your background and employment, include links and more.

Step 3. Make connections

  • Once your profile is complete you use the tools under the “Contact” tab to build connections.

A powerful combination – job boards and social media
Now job boards are getting into the social media mix combining extensive candidate databases with the community aspects of social networks to give users the most powerful, informative way to search for candidates yet.

One of the first to play is Dice. The Dice Talent Network combines networking, social media integration and branding in one tool. It offers the highly efficient features of a specialized job board with all the popular aspects of social networking for an efficient, effective way to connect with and hire high-quality tech candidates on Dice.

See how the Dice Talent Network operates in this overview video and detailed demo. If you’d like to learn more, contact Dice at 1.800.979.DICE(3423).