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A Step-By-Step Guide for Recruiters Who Are Late to the Social Media Party

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If you’re a recruiter who isn’t active on the major social media networks, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with prospective candidates. In both recruiting and employment branding, social media has become a key part of any solid strategy.

You should regularly soak up information from articles about social recruiting, employment branding and new social networks. You should be providing value and making new connections. You should review the profiles of colleagues, competitors, friends and family, as well as your favorite companies for new ideas for your own social media accounts.

Unfortunately, few HR pros are truly active in social media. While there is a select group of active and highly visible HR pros out there doing it right, the vast majority choose to look the other way and pretend that social media just isn’t relevant for the recruiting world. I recently attended the SHRM conference for my state and was announced as one of eight attendees who were tweeting from the conference. Eight. Out of a statewide conference. That’s it. Are you pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down?

Not only are recruiters not taking advantage of the benefits of a social media presence; what presence they do have is often all wrong. We’ve all seen those half-completed or out-of-date LinkedIn profiles, Twitter accounts with no tweets and six followers and Facebook profiles that are neither private nor professional.

Recruiters, if you haven’t listened to the 2,896 bloggers before me, please listen now: start using social media.

Time to get on the bandwagon

If you’re not using social media yet, don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you have to start with a full-blown social media strategy. That’s a great goal to work towards, but first focus on getting in at the ground level. These are the basics you need:

1. Create a LinkedIn profile or edit/refresh the profile you already have.

2. Create a Twitter account for your company’s careers page and begin to tweet about your opportunities.

3. Create a (business) Facebook account using your work email address to share fun and exciting information about your company.

Once you start to become more involved with these accounts, you’ll gain a better understanding of how you can leverage them to enhance your recruitment strategy. Remember, this is an opportunity to share information, create interest in your company and engage potential candidates. The opportunity is out there; you just have to get started.

Keep the personal stuff personal

Make sure that all of your personal social media accounts (except for LinkedIn) are private. Lock those bad boys down and throw away the key. Your coworkers, candidates and competitors should never have access to photos of you enjoying a cocktail (or three) on the beach last summer. That’s your personal life, and you need to separate it from your professional online persona.

I know I don’t need to remind all you savvy HR pros that social media can hurt your image if you’re not managing it correctly. Take care of this step ASAP!

Be consistent

You should be recognizable across the board. When a candidate finds your professional profile on a social networking site, it should be clear that you are a recruiter/HR pro working for XYZ Company. Using the same photo, hashtag, tagline and summary for all of your social profiles will make you easily recognizable to candidates. This is your opportunity to create a unique and awesome personal brand and then run with it!

Use it or lose it

Don’t become just another one of those sad and neglected Twitter accounts you’ve undoubtedly come across in the Twitterverse. The same goes for Facebook and LinkedIn. If I follow you and I realize that you haven’t posted an update in a month…see ya!

Regular, quality content is key when you’re using social media for recruiting and employment branding. Your goal should be to post new content at least once per day, if not more. With an Internet chock full of current events, industry news and ridiculously cute YouTube videos, you have plenty of inspiration at your fingertips. Commit to constant content or your followers will bail on you. It’s that simple.

Don’t let your “Create a Social Media Presence” initiative for 2013 sit on the shelf for the remainder of the year. Stop stressing about being perfect and just start now. Just remember to be creative, be consistent and have fun!

Disclaimer: The above tips will help you avoid creating socially awkward situations in cyberspace only. In real life, you’re on your own.

Carly Bartlein is an HR Generalist at McKinley in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You can connect with her on Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn. (Her favorite hashtags are #Recruiter and #CoolKidWannaBe.)

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