There’s no question that technology is a game changer today—no matter what your industry. One of the greatest changes happening with the advances in mobile technology, for example, allows businesses to both find and work with employees located quite literally around the world.
While this opens up millions of hiring opportunities for recruiters, it’s also a bit of a Faustian deal. While recruiters may be able to pick and choose from a vast pool of talent that pool is so huge, that you can end up wasting time while attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff. What do you need? A way to identify top contenders among the many applicants. Cue “personal branding” and your online presence.
An Online Presence for HR Means a Competitive Edge
The concept of having an “online presence” has only emerged over the last 15 years or so; in the past, job seekers may have used the Internet to look for opportunities through online sites like job boards or forums, but for a long time that research didn’t go much farther.
Today, your online presence is everything. Employers and employees alike are evaluated in part by their presence, connections, and behavior on the web.
Companies that engage with potential employees through social media are carving themselves a competitive edge; it starts a relationship and sets the tone for an open and tech-savvy workplace culture, which is particularly important to Millennials.
Now that you have tools that help streamline hiring processes, making back-end operations much more efficient, you can grab more time to refine your online presence to make sure you’re recruiting the best talent for your brand.
How Online Presence Affects Both Sides of the Job Hunt
Just as an individual’s online presence can affect his or her ability to get hired, a business’s presence can impact its recruiting strategy.
Imagine this scenario: You want to hire a new social media manager, and you have a promising applicant. You look through his or her social media presence only to find poorly managed profiles and posts that consistently show questionable judgment. You might pause to rethink your decision.
The same is true from a candidate’s perspective. Before an interview—even before they apply—they want to learn about your company culture, and they expect to be able to do that easily. Businesses with little or no online presence will have trouble finding the best talent because job seekers won’t take the time to pursue an opening without a clear sense of the corporate culture, company values and how it behaves in the marketplace.
Recruiting the Best Talent Requires a Strong Online Presence
There’s plenty of information about building a solid presence to reach customers, but not as much to help you reach job seekers. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- Use social media to its full potential: Connect with other industry professionals and businesses, and build your reputation by writing and sharing opinion pieces (like this one!) on LinkedIn and other community forums. Having a vibrant social media presence establishes your business within the industry and gives readers (and job seekers) a sense of your brand voice.
- Revamp or eliminate your employment webpage. I’ve previously discussed how Zappos’ decision to do this was wildly successful: It eliminated its job page in favor of building long-term relationships with candidates through a new program that’s similar to a social media app. This kind of outreach allows companies and potential employees to get a real sense of each other before the hiring process even begins.
- Pay attention to feedback on sites like Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com. These companies pull job listings from your site and match them with feedback from previous or current employees. Many job seekers will check these sites to review information about pay, benefits, company culture, and strong and weak points within an organization. Use this opportunity to your advantage—if there are some negative reviews, get in front of the story, and don’t end up caught off-guard by other people’s comments.
- Make it easy for job seekers to apply once they find out how great your company is. Job hunters are busy; they don’t want to waste time filling out lengthy forms that ask for the same information over and over again.
- Leverage the power of Google’s “near me” searches. Google’s own research found that “near me” searches have increased by 34 times since 2011 and almost doubled last year. And where do most of those “near me” searches originate? You guessed it, mobile. While those people might be looking for a juice bar or the nearest movie theater, they also might find your ad interesting. If you’re headhunting, don’t forget to source locally as well.
In today’s Internet-centric society, building an online presence is one of the most valuable investments you can make. For businesses hoping to hire the top talent in their industries, it’s not only helpful—it’s necessary. Otherwise, you might end up swimming in a sea of candidates.
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