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Whether a company believes in the relevance of social media in their industry or not, they need to be aware of the impact social media sites can have in recruiting top talent.

It’s often a key differentiator for prospective employees and a channel for reaching skilled workers that shouldn’t be ignored. Social recruiting isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. In fact, according to Adweek, 92 percent of companies use social media in their recruiting efforts. A company that is not doing so is falling behind, and quickly. Although there is a litany of best practices to follow when utilizing social media for recruiting, here are some simple, but important, things companies should keep in mind.

Start with the Company Website

Create a “home base” web page and direct online job seekers to it. The best place for this online home base is the company website with a career page or career tab. No matter what the social strategy, job seekers will want to research the company, so directing them to the homepage is a natural fit.

Meet the Talent Where They Are

It’s a fairly simple concept that companies often ignore. Recruiting success can only be found when a company meets top talent where they are. The younger generation of workers doesn’t know a world without Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and SnapChat. This is their normal community and where they spend the majority of their time, whether at home or on the move via their mobile devices. Meeting them in their comfort zone and in a language they can easily digest gives a company an advantage.

So how does a company figure out where these people are spending their time? The best place to start is right inside the organization. Surveying current (and even past) employees that mirror the talents and behaviors they want their new employees to reflect provides a good view of the landscape. By finding out where they are, companies can plan to meet new talent there.

Keep the Audience Engaged

The key to recruiting via social media is to develop a good talent community. This can consist of prospective employees, current employees, applicants and even past employees. By networking through social media to build this community, companies can start to engage them. Even when not in a recruiting phase, this behavior puts a company in a great position when the time comes.

It’s not just one-time engagements. It’s not setting up a social media account, connecting and then waiting. By continuing to engage the community through these social media sites, a company gives the audience a glimpse into company benefits and culture. Even if the community doesn’t have the talent the company is looking for when the time comes to post a job, they will be likely to share new jobs as they refer and influence others.

Use Technology to Focus

Companies that don't stay on top of social media's ever-changing landscape will find themselves at the bottom of the barrel. But running after all the social recruiting fads isn’t a scalable strategy. Success comes back to meeting the bigger audiences where they are and engaging with them in a focused way. As technology evolves, job seekers will evolve with it and find themselves using many different social media platforms. Companies need to find themselves there as well. If they aren’t, they can’t engage them and build that talent community they’ll come to rely on.

Social media can be scary for some companies, especially if they haven’t gotten in the game yet. That doesn’t mean they can’t get started and make an impact in their recruiting efforts. It just means it’s time to make it a priority.

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