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12 Days of Digital – Day 4: Using social media in your people search

In a world where everyone is vying for work let’s face it, if engaging the social media savvy, employers would be foolish not to research what they’re getting. That goes without saying. Much has been said about privacy settings on Facebook or the ill-timed tweet prior to interview but for today I am more focused on finding the right people, keeping them and retaining their loyalty even after they have left.

There are millions of potential candidates across network sites. If you have a social media presence there’s a great likelihood that the right person for you is already in your social circle. Use your social capital to find them and sift the wheat from the chaff. Sites like Twitter have the useful advantage of attracting like minds together, a veritable feast of talent when it comes to recruitment.

Just because competition is fierce for the best jobs don’t forget competition is fierce for the best candidates to join the best companies. Inventive wannabe workers are turning to social sites to shout about their skills and expect their future employers to keep up with them.

One response is viral video. Employers are rejuvenating the tired corporate film to show off what kind of culture they have within their organisation. It infers a kind of transparency way beyond that of a paper ad, and of course can be shared. Essentially it’s about being noticed as employers and potential employees so be prepared and be familiar with social tools.

Once you’ve got your best candidates on board it’s a matter of holding on to them. I’ve already touched on the benefits of collaborative working for employee engagement. With the rise of internal networks comes the potential of peer-to-peer recognition, in some instances an incentive far surpassing motivation induced by financial or hierarchical rewards.

O2 rewards and recognitions internal site Fanclub has the support of 95% of its employees and engages a large number of staff on a weekly basis. Colleagues are ‘applauded’ for going beyond the call of duty meaning instant gratification for efforts achieved.

Jenny acknowledges the importance of Senior Management buy in so other team members were validated in taking part. She also stresses, however, the lack of any internal marketing. The take up was swift but viral, largely attributed to not replicating existing sites and meeting a very real demand.

Finally spare a thought for what happens if, or rather when, that lovingly nurtured talent moves on to pastures new. More and more companies are starting alumni groups on LinkedIn. Victorio Milian, former human resources generalist for retailer H&M, explains their reasoning to stay engaged with former employees. “This allows the company to continue to keep the brand in the forefront of their minds. It also helps to reduce the amount of knowledge that gets lost when an employee leaves. Lastly, it’s a potential pool of rehires for H&M.” And, of course, you can boost your businesses social capital by incorporating their new networks into yours, adding to that feast for future pickings.

Former BBC producer Kate Pickering has worked in broadcast, innovation and digital media for 14 years. She is Director ofmedia140 delivering events and workshops in the UK, mainland Europe and Australia on the transformation of business using social technologies. A collaborative innovation enthusiast and a firm believer the web is for good as well as play Kate is focused on what’s new and what’s next to better business. She has recently become Innovation Programme Leader at Co-operatives UK. Connect with Kate here.

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