As a small team, any employee’s resignation can feel like a huge blow. Each person’s work and presence is crucial to the overall culture and functioning of the company. A small-business owner’s goal is to make sure that whatever internal turmoil occurs, the product and clients remain unaffected. Slipping into panic mode can be extremely easy, as time is of the essence when finding a stellar replacement.
Once you begin thinking straight again, the strategy sets in:
• Post job descriptions on the regular channels: Monster.com, Indeed.com, etc.
• Reach out to schools and use their alumni networks to find interested parties. If you can afford to hire someone part-time at first, reach out to the current student body.
• Use your personal network to find someone a trusted party can vouch for.
In recent experience, these channels, alarmingly, did not bear fruit. So, we created a group of highly stylized “flyers” on Instagram with three lines of text, including the fact that we are hiring, what position we were hiring for and where. My inbox was immediately flooded with applications.
I felt like I had tapped into the most effective channel out there for finding the right candidates. I found that many job seekers are looking to social media for employment opportunity leads. So, what are the true benefits of recruiting via social media?
• Social media is a high speed, low priced (in many cases, free) outlet. You can reach this new workforce in a place they already spend most of their time.
• The people you are attracting have access to your body of work. Already following and appreciating it in their spare time, they tend to be excited by the prospect of joining your team. This existing interconnectedness helps you find people that would be a good fit for the company.
• Unlike the regular job boards, social media allows you to easily do background checks on your potential hires. You can gain more insight into their lives, personalities and their aesthetic — an organic and true resume. Not only can you begin to understand their personality, but you can also see how they interact socially through commentary and the types of accounts they follow. While it’s easy to spot red flags, it’s equally as important to look for what they are passionate about by exploring their feeds.
• Current employees play a role as well. They can add credibility to your company and reinforce its culture. Most importantly, they can act as inside resources for others helping attract and retain employees. For example, our current employees use social media to share the work they have created for our clients. Whether it’s a copywriter sharing a blog post to her personal Facebook feed or a designer posting an animated GIF on his personal Instagram, their sharing helps our brand but, more importantly, showcases a corporate culture that values their work and believes in giving credit where credit is due. It also opens the door for prospective employees to comment or send direct messages to current employees about their experience.
A new hire (who we found via Instagram) recently told me that schools are even focusing on social media as a place to connect with potential employers. Professional development classes taught in universities for juniors and seniors help students design their web portfolios/presence on different social media channels, combing through them in preparation for employers to review them.
Given this information and cultural change, it seems that the usual channels for finding employees are not as effective as they once were. We are shifting now toward social media as a platform not only for social interaction, creative expression and a photographic anthology, but also as a space for the job hunt.