This is a Guest post by Sam Hurley, from Midas Media.
It is no secret that business recruitment can be a painstaking process. Considering the prospect of company expansion and all due excitement, such positive emotion can soon become consumed by the stress and impatience of sourcing the ideal candidate within time and budget constraints.
According to Entrepreneur.com, the average cost of recruiting and training a new employee into a fresh position is $4,000. Over in the UK, HRreview’s research suggests it costs in excess of £30K to replace an existing position. With figures like that, it is no surprise that small business owners can become disillusioned by the whole process.
Small business owners are among those who will undoubtedly witness the brunt of the strain. Tighter constrictions on financial investment and lack of time make for a rocky recruitment road.
Fortunately, there are other hiring channels available at the business owner’s disposal, which Answer-4u expansively cover in their guide to small business recruitment methods. The guide unveils that boutique businesses lose a significant 3 months of time for each employee recruited, a result of their survey of 2000 SMEs.
Let’s delve further into a highly effective, alternative recruitment strategy covered in their guide:
Recruitment using Social Media
Social media is often very cheap (or free) and fast to leverage using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to attract and engage suitable candidates.
- A Helping Hand: Social Tech Services
Since the rise of social networks, they’ve become outright gold mines for business owners – but occasionally difficult to get to grips with while under pressure and working to time constraints. To streamline the process, a modest budget can be allocated to social media and HR tech services which automatically target key, hard-to-find candidates across the networks they are active on, saving lots of manual legwork and demographical research.
- Another Helping Hand: Talent Acquisition Platforms
Working collaboratively with social tech services, TA platforms can be cleverly utilised to shift the often cumbersome recruitment process into a seamless success. These platforms act as all-in-one solutions for business owners; offering standalone communication hubs where all candidate conversations are stored, including interview organisation and qualitative data collation.
So, once social tech services have been applied to effortlessly source ideal candidates via social media, a TA platform does the job of crunching the big data and funnelling these potentials, keeping everything in one place.
For business owners venturing into any form of recruitment, it always pays to know that each social network offers inherently unique opportunities:
It’s the mammoth of the bunch, with VentureBeat’s research confirming a staggering 1+ billion Facebook users it is clear to see why finding a new employee on this particular social network may be the primary choice for recruiters.
The hiring process can kick-off with a fresh, striking careers page. It is important to maintain every instance of brand presence on social: this page is no exception. A frequently updated page will attract and retain many interested potentials.
Another great way to achieve notoriety through Facebook is to create a competition focused around employees’ performance or worthy feats, with a grand finale focused on promoting the winner for all their hard work. This not only drives staff morale, but these companies appear boundlessly attractive to any job seeker. The pull is almost magnetic.
A desirable effect of such campaigns is the compounding growth of a community surrounding the participating brands – it not only assists hiring processes, but social marketing in tandem.
Advertising on Facebook is a great way to boost the exposure of any recruitment initiative – plus it’s extremely cheap if done right. There is a handy how-to guide from SproutSocial which is perfect for beginners.
With millions of users intensely tapped in to the quick-fire world of Twitter, it is another solid platform for recruiters. According to The Undercover Recruiter, 39% of all jobseekers are on the network.
The home to hashtags provides precise targeting (without the need to pay), using combinations of tags such as #CityName, #Jobs, #JobHuntChat and #YourIndustry. Job seekers will be actively searching for these conversations, making them ideal to jump on.
Similar to Facebook, it is viable to create a dedicated Twitter careers profile which can be used to effectively promote a brand to those looking for a new professional path.
An inventive approach would be to incentivize staff to regularly contribute to the profile, adding their achievements and fun events experienced at the company. These tweets can be accompanied by light-hearted quotes and humour. All attributes of a fantastic company to work for!
Deemed as the ‘corporate Facebook’, there is a wealth of opportunity using LinkedIn for recruitment. It is the home to millions of industry professionals with CVs to boot.
Without spending a dollar, it is possible to search LinkedIn using the advanced search function. Filters include location, keywords and title.
An effective method is to use the keyword function, entering something like ‘looking for a new opportunity’ or similar.
Paying for LinkedIn Talent Finder unlocks powerful features, including the ability to send InMail to those who aren’t connections. It is possible to pay for a month in-hand before cancelling, so no tie-ins after someone ideal has been approached and confirmed as part of the team.
Advertising on LinkedIn is very expensive, so this is best left as a last resort. There’s a great article here from The Hiring Site which may spur that extra investment.
Jumping back into LinkedIn’s free features, more gems are at hand in the form of groups. Start a new careers discussion and invite lots of professionals. As the group grows, the more reach it will gain. Someone perfect for the company may eventually participate or share with their connections.
Of course, it always pays to frequently share status updates which advertise vacancies. Not so often to irritate connections, but regular enough to spread the word.
Research and Trial
Every business is different. What works for some, may not work for others. It is important to test and adapt accordingly to find the sweet spot between investment and the perfect hire.
Social media is a fundamental modern recruitment method. As hundreds of millions of users (young and older) flock to these networks, it would be a waste not to leverage these numbers in a bid to smoothen the often perilous recruitment process.
About the Author
Sam Hurley is a lateral-thinking digital marketer holding 6+ years’ experience, currently heading up the search marketing department at Midas Media.
He has achieved success for both agency and client-side businesses from SME, national to international blue-chip organisations using modern methods of online marketing.
Recently included in the Onalytica Top 100 Social Media Influencer list and commended by Adthena as one of the Top 10 PPC Influencers, Sam regularly gains publicity and has written for Salesforce and Volusion to name a couple. Search Engine Watch interviewed him earlier this year on topics relating to digital marketing and mobile advertising.