Social Recruiting – have you got it yet, or are you still figuring it out?

How can I find the right candidate to fill a job vacancy? And how can I persuade this candidate to join my company, forsaking all others? Due to the shortage of appropriate personnel, the selection process has been turned upside-down: New recruits don’t apply to us any more, we bid for high-potentials who have those special skills that we want so badly.

Social media: Companies should learn from their employees

Companies want committed, talented employees with top grades and ideally several years of professional experience, but who at the same time are young and who still find time to do voluntary work in the community – i.e.: We’re seeking the Swiss Army knife with the built-in crème brûlée torch. The fact that that doesn’t exist becomes instantly apparent, so we look for the “next best” candidates and because they don’t exactly grow on trees, either, we have to fight hard to win them. But something all young recruits do have in common is that they are all Digital Natives: They grew up with the Internet. And that’s why social, interactive networks are essential for recruiting Generation Y.

But companies often lag behind when it comes to social media – they don’t know quite how to handle the qualities of social media such as interaction, networking and short-lived time span. At many companies, the use of social media for recruiting just means posting job vacancies from printed media or job sites into various social media channels. But that’s not the way it works. Social (media) recruiting should be seen as a social activity where employees of a company interact with their future colleagues.

Successful recruiting: involving employees in the recruiting process

Most of your employees – both the ones who already work for you, and the potential ones you want to win for your organization – are active in social media channels, in both their private and professional lives. At the same time, the employees already working for you are the future colleagues for potential new recruits. That’s why you should actively involve your employees in the recruiting process: Employees should feel motivated to look for and approach suitable candidates in their own networks – both online and offline. That way your company will be conveyed with genuine personality, in a way that an HR executive could never achieve. At the same time, your team feels co-responsible for finding and winning the right candidate for the job – and the company. And it’s only then that social (media) recruiting becomes viable and promising.

Involve employees – but how?

This blog post is based on an article that I wrote on social (media) recruiting for the German international chambers of commerce magazine “thema wirtschaft” (issue 03/15), in which I outline the ways you can involve employees in the recruiting process – from initial needs analysis to drafting a job description and distributing the ad, right up to and including sifting through applications, shortlisting and final selection of the candidate for the job.

If this short text is not enough for you, I would like to offer my book “Einsichten zu Social Media Recruiting” (in German) in which I propose a new perception of social media recruiting and give tips for strategic alignment and operational implementation. There is also a whitepaper based on the book, available online specifically for recruiting teams Whitepaper speziell zum Team Recruiting – complete with practical examples from Haufe-umantis AG.


Hand on heart: How good are you at recruiting? How is social recruiting practiced in your organization? How far are your employees allowed to co-determine recruiting decisions?


Photo Credit: Alejandro Escamilla via Refe

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