Should HR have a seat at the social media strategy table?

Traditionally, a company’s social media presence has been controlled by the organization’s marketing department.

Social media updates are made by the marketing department at 69 percent of organizations, according to a Harvard Business Review report, followed by the PR, communications and web teams.

The system makes sense if a company is solely using social media to post product and service plugs. Businesses that fail, however, to include input from entities outside the marketing department are missing out on opportunities to build relationships with social media users, according to the Financial Post—including potential job candidates.

A New Network

HR officials have used social media as a recruiting tool for years. Nearly half of U.S. companies — 43 percent — currently use social networking sites to research candidates’ background, according to a 2014 CareerBuilder survey.

A few years ago, in 2011, digital marketing and e-commerce publisher Econsultancy noted in its “The State of Social Report 2011” that an increasing number of U.K., European and other companies had begun using social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter for varied reasons, including gaining market intelligence.

To further utilize the social media medium, HR professionals are using sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to promote open positions in the same way marketing departments share product and service information.

(It’s a method that’s shown success in the marketing arena: Nonprofit small business assistance organization SCORE found companies with an online strategy that included social media components received 400 percent more unique site visitors.)

Using social media sites for recruitment purposes can help companies build their employment brand on an ongoing basis — whether you currently have open positions or not.

A few examples:

Drum Up Positive PR

Enthusiastic employee testimonial and other posts can help present your organization as an enticing place to work. Currently, 73 percent of companies highlight their culture to try and attract top talent, according to the “2014 Social Recruiting Survey”  from recruiting platform provider Jobvite.

Find First-Hand Referral Sources (and Other Information)

Social media networks like LinkedIn can show you if candidates have worked with or know your current employees, which may help you obtain a recommendation or other additional information. Jobvite’s survey also found that recruiters are scanning candidates’ social media profiles to look for any mutual connections.

Encourage Employees to Help Spread the Word

Promotional social media posts don’t always have to come from your company’s official account.

Current employees can be strong advocates for your organization, reaching potential candidates on sites like Facebook — which isn’t always the most popular social media choice for businesses. Only 34 percent of marketers feel their Facebook efforts are effective, according to Social Media Examiner’s “2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.”

However, Facebook is the largest social network, according to the Pew Research Center, which found that half of Facebook’s users get their news primarily from the site — making it a prospective venue for open position promotion.

Wondering how you can get employees excited about posting job-related items to their personal social media accounts? For best practice employee engagement tips, check out Business News Daily’s “Turning Employees into Social Media Ambassadors … Gently” article.

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