How to use social media to recruit IT talent

Tweet, like, share and post your way to uncovering the best tech job candidates in the shortest time

With word of mouth outpaced by tweets, shares and likes, CIOs looking for fresh IT talent must know how to use social media to recruit the best job candidates. That means having a coherent strategy for each popular social network while not overlooking the basics of good recruiting.

"The key is finding the right candidate at the right time in the right place," says Mark Endry, CIO of Arcadis, a $3.5 billion company that consults and manages projects in design and building. Recent projects include a prison in Alaska and a viaduct in France. "[Candidates] may not be active on LinkedIn, but they may have expressed interest in working for us through a tweet."

Social media is integral to all U.S. recruiting efforts at Arcadis, not just for the IT group, says Endry, who also spent six months as interim senior VP of human resources at the company. IT makes extensive use of LinkedIn when filling U.S. job openings, sharing select positions on the Arcadis LinkedIn page and Endry's personal page.

The company also uses Twitter for hard-to-fill roles or to target people with communication or marketing skills. On Facebook, they work to attract new graduates and promote the Arcadis brand.

"The goals should be to make potential applicants aware that you have jobs available and to show what it's like to work for your company," says Jason Berkowitz, VP of client services at Seven Step RPO, which helps companies find new employees.

Deliver more than just job postings, Berkowitz advises. Real-time conversations with candidates are more authentic than pre-composed tweets and posts, he says. But remember that social interaction goes both ways, so expect candidates to offer feedback on your recruiting process. They may ask questions you don't expect. Determine ahead of time who will reply, which topics will be discussed and what the turnaround time for responses will be, he says.

At Arcadis, hiring managers make sure that job descriptions are clearly written, straightforward for applicants to reply to, and--most importantly--easy to share, Endry says, because "our people are our best resources for finding the right candidates."

Social networks also let Arcadis IT leaders connect with specific job-searching audiences, he says.

"We can go micro or macro in moments," he says. "Plus, it's easy for others to hit the 'share' button once we've posted a job and quickly help us tap into their individual networks."

Social media lets your company connect to candidates who may want to work for you, even if they're not actively searching for a new job. Arcadis tracks its social recruiting efforts using an applicant-tracking system, to determine where successful candidates come from and what drew them to the company.

This story, "How to use social media to recruit IT talent" was originally published by CIO.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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