Social Media – Do it properly!

As I may have mentioned in previous blogs, I love social media and how it has changed the game in modern recruitment. I love how accessible it makes candidates to recruiters and vice-versa, but beware, get social media wrong and you run the risk doing a huge amount of damage to your brand.

The problem for any recruiter, especially one in-house, is that you’re frequently busy recruiting for high volume vacancies with very little resources. Time is precious and your team is already pushed to the limit and with line managers breathing down your neck to get vacancies filled as quickly as possible, social media becomes very much an afterthought. But can you assign time for it every day and really do it justice?


Improving your social media reach

One retailer I work with has a recruitment team of four who are expected to fill all management vacancies across 600 stores, a head office and a warehouse. They cannot use agencies and have to manage volume recruitment campaigns as well as all other ad hoc requests. They also manage the company’s social media strategy, but how do they manage to achieve all this week-in, week-out?

The answer is, with great difficulty, but it is achievable. Businesses need to look at their structure to understand the use of social media and how it fits in with their objectives. I’ve had both good and bad social media experiences. The good was from London Midland. After being late yet again on my way back from London, I finally started tweeting my frustration.

To my surprise I got a response from London Midland and had a very civil Twitter conversation in which they promised that positive action would be taken to prevent issues in the future. However, the delivery of this real time social media service was only possible because the company ensures that Twitter feeds, Facebook and all social media are fully staffed and monitored at peak times, which is a luxury that most businesses don’t have.

Although, if these businesses were to look at their customer service needs and put a structure in place to act upon them, then the effective use of social media should surely be factored in. The bad experience, I’d rather not mention, but my guess is that some companies don’t yet have the resources in place or really understand the value of good social media.

I also wish some candidates would think twice before posting on social media sites as they don’t realise that they are building their own brand, either good or bad, each time they post. Before writing this blog, I had one senior area manager on the phone to me requesting some job hunting advice. She asked me to take a look at her LinkedIn profile and give her some feedback. Her picture showed her in a bar with a drink in each hand, which she felt would make her seem friendlier! Though her intentions were in the right place, she clearly wasn’t aware that over 70% of employers will check LinkedIn profiles and other social media before hiring, so this first impression probably wasn’t the best.

According to recent statistics, your LinkedIn profile will be as important as your CV within the next two years. Both recruiters and candidates have to respond to this or risk damaging their business or personal brand. If I’m honest, I struggle to keep on top of all my social media as it is, and there are even more platforms that I’ve deliberately avoided for the moment until I fully understand their functionality and impact. However, when I do decide to launch these I have no doubt it will be a far more positive experience for both me and my potential clients.

1 Comment

  1. Harriet@BlackCountryLocal March 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    LinkedIn could act as your online CV, but when looking for a job I’d say that I prefer using Twitter. I like how twitter filter my search, (I mean I think the limit of the characters has a big help) and I’m also able to find job vacancies that are less publicized and hopefully less competition.

    But, there are also websites/online directry that are very convenient to use, like all you have to do is to upload your CV and let recruiters find you. 🙂

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