Liz Taurasi @LizTaurasi

6 Ways Your Small Business Can Use Social Media for Recruiting

Social media can be a valuable tool to find care professionals who'd be perfect employees for your small business.

Social media today isnt all about just photos of your hyperlocal lunches, Puggles and children. More and more, people are using social media for professional purposes, including finding a job.

Social media gives your company a platform to showcase its personality, branding, goals and more, according to Beth Lawton, owner of Canoe Media Services based in Alexandria, VA.

If your company is honest on social media about what it is and what it wants, and it uses social media to showcase the type of people who thrive there, the company is more likely to attract quality (and qualified) candidates, Lawton says.  

More than that, social media can really help your company attract the best candidates.

With that in mind, we talked to some social media experts to gather seven ways your small business can use social media for recruiting purposes:

  1. Getting Referrals
    Some of the best hires come from referrals, and social media can be an efficient way to mine those, says Lawton. Particularly LinkedIn, which to date has 313 million members worldwide. Looking at the connection value of LinkedIn, you can search for people in your network who are connected to the types of candidate you are looking for. Through your connections, you can find potential candidates and ask for a referral from someone in your network. According to LinkedIn, you can then maximize passive candidate quality and engagement by mentioning the referrers name when you reach out as that almost always helps to get them to call you back.
  2. Networking to Evaluate Fit
    Many businesses are using MeetUp as a way to recruit. Not only can you go to these networking events, but businesses can begin their recruiting efforts by reviewing hosts and guests lists, examining backgrounds and skillsets of attendees to see which events are worth attending in-person, says Diane Myer, owner of Atlanta, GA-based iCre8t Results.
  3. Attracting the Best Candidates
    In this digital age, many candidates are curious about day-to-day life at a company, what its like to work there and the environment. Lawton recommends using social media to promote what its like to work for your business as a way to share your employer brand with anyone who may be interested in working with you. Social media can help portray that effectively, Lawton says. The more a potential candidate knows about your company's culture, the better decision they'll be able to make about whether it's a good fit for them.

    Find 5 Resume Red Flags You Should Never Ignore
  4. Advertising Open Positions
    From LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter, businesses are using social media as free advertising for job openings. And why not? Pew Research Center for the Internet, Science and Technologys 2014 annual report on the state of social media discovered 74% of online adults use social networking sites. Need some more data? In 2014, Jobvites annual Social Recruiting Survey found 93 percent of recruiters used or planned to use social media for recruiting. If people whose job is to recruit potential employees for companies use it, why shouldnt you?
  5. Meeting Potential Candidates in a Social Setting
    Companies like Raytheon, for example, use social media platforms looking for people who not only have the qualifications, but live and breathe what they do and then meetup to talk about it, according to Myer. A woman Myer had on a panel recently says she goes to these meetups, hangs out and sees first hand potential candidates who really have that career focus. If it works for the giants like Raytheon, mining subject matter meetups should be a great place for small, caregiving businesses to find eager employees as well.

    Learn Why Your Job Descriptions are Attracting the Wrong Candidates
  6. Weeding Out the Maybes
    By now -- it is 2015, after all -- most people have figured out they shouldn't put particularly controversial posts on social networks, but sometimes you can find out a lot about a person's unfiltered personality through their Twitter feed or items they forgot to keep private on Facebook. If you find red flags on social media, consider how those public posts reflect your prospective employees personal brand and act accordingly.  
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