Connect with — and charm — an entirely new candidate pool.

 Social_Media_Recruitment

Often, organizations believe they should blanket the Internet with an across-the-board social media presence.

The truth, however, is that companies may not need to be on every social media site — particularly if they’re using them to recruit new employees.

Checking a candidate’s Facebook profile to find out additional information isn’t the only way companies can benefit from social media. Thirty-five percent of staffing professionals said they used social networking sites to increase employer branding and recognition; nearly a third said social media helped potential candidates easily contact them, according to a survey from the Society of Human Resource Management.

Sites like LinkedIn and Twitter offer promising branding opportunities; but updates can be time consuming, making effective messaging a challenge for busy HR departments.

More importantly, if posted in the wrong place, key communication can be largely ineffective — or missed completely.

To establish a successful social media recruitment program, you need to first determine what sites potential candidates, and sources that could supply potential candidates, use. You can then regularly push content out through those outlets to market your organization to prospective employees.

Finding new ways to successfully locate candidates has become increasingly important. Sixty-nine percent of recruiters expect talent competition to increase this year, according to recruiting platform Jobvite’s annual Social Recruitment Survey; to get ahead, 73 percent plan to invest more in social media recruiting.

If you aren’t sure how to decide which online options are best, the following steps can help you target your social media recruitment efforts:

Find your audience. Media experts typically identify LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as the social media sites that will give you the most effective brand exposure, according to The Week. It’s important, though, to confirm key influencers in your industry, competitors and other players use those sites frequently; if you can’t find many profiles or posts on a social media site, it may not be a great fit for your company. If you plan to primarily post visually based content, such as staff photos and profiles or candid office shots that convey your company culture, photo-centric social media sites like Pinterest or Instagram may help you share your story.

Don’t limit your presence on social media sites. Creating a department LinkedIn page and individual pages for HR and other professionals, for example, can help increase the chances job candidates may find you, according to Entrepreneur, by letting you repeatedly incorporate keywords that relate to your industry.

Create compelling content. Automated greetings and habitually repeated content can alienate followers, according to Inc. You need to convey certain information in job descriptions; but your social media presence should be more than just “we’re hiring” announcements. To encourage users to follow you (which will ensure they see your content more often), posts should be interesting, creative — and never sound like regurgitated marketing copy. Get tips on creating an engaging social media recruitment content strategy on Monster.com.

Note what’s working. Social media sites also provide another recruitment program bonus: By noting which posts users like, share and respond to, you get an immediate sense of what content people are connecting with — and which items they aren’t.

Keeping up with an ongoing social media recruitment strategy is a commitment; but it can be a worthwhile endeavor.

For additional tips on how your organization can discover and impress potential employees, find out other inventive ways HR departments are using social media for recruitment, branding and other efforts in our recent “Thumbs Up to a New Social Media Approach” post.