human networkSourcing methods are changing. While they were traditionally aimed at acquiring active candidates, those seeking employment and a small representative of the overall candidate pool, social media networking, with its increased emphasis on two-way communication, now enables greater interaction with passive candidates. And with job boards reaching a limited audience of those looking for work, the power of social media is that its reach expands beyond, to a larger grouping of potential candidates – those who do not frequent job boards, but wouldn’t shy away from learning about career-advancing prospects.

Difficult Sourcing Method

However, with all of the potential of social media, even corporate recruiters with the best of intentions continuously face technological limitations, and find it challenging to effectively maximize on this invaluable tool. Reasons for this include:

  • Those who use company social accounts to source are restricted by only one account on each network;
  • If recruiters use their own profiles on behalf of their organizations, they take their connections with them when they leave the company (they cannot transfer the profiles);
  • There are limits on how many accounts you can follow;
  • It can be difficult to proactively raise awareness about the page; engagement requires a major time investment; and passive candidates might not want their networks notified if they connect with recruiters/company fan pages – so they won’t.

Recruiting with Your Employees’ Social Networks

If the true value in social recruiting is to create as large a buzz as possible, look beyond these technological constraints that accompany the DIY-approach – and implement it in your employee referral program.

Employee referral programs are a tried-and-true source-of-hire. Since your employees already have the trust of their social networks, their word-of-mouth recommendations (as opposed to those of your company) are considered more honest and dependable. Additionally, employees easily shift to the position of employer brand ambassadors – that they are willing to make a positive statement about your workplace and job opportunities is a sound public endorsement.

It’s all in the numbers: even if each employee has a lower-end average of 150 connections on Facebook, imagine the reach capacity of 200, 500, or 2,000 employees. And that’s just the 1st degree connections on one social network. Also factor in the visibility achieved on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as among outlying networks when 1st degree connections share the job posting with their own friends.

Get Your Employees On Board

Of course, your employees’ social media accounts are just that – their accounts. In order to encourage them to join your referral program, you should spell out the benefits and equip them with the essential tools they need to get the “job” (pun intended!) done.

The immediate benefit that employees gain by participating is the referral bonus. Emphasize this advantage, and aim to increase its attractiveness. For example, instead of simply sticking on an extra $1,000 to the paychecks of employees whose referrals were hired, present them with a prize in front of their peers (prizes are more personable and memorable). This public bestowal, a) sets employees as an example for others; b) sticks in their co-workers’ minds, and raises more awareness about the program – prompting them to join and win in the future, as well.

For even better participation results, reward employees for their referral efforts, and not only if their referrals are hired. By creating an inclusionary referral program, more employees will be motivated to contribute, thus boosting long-term involvement and providing you with a wider range of viable candidates.

Social Sourcing that Works

The results of your social media sourcing campaigns will be multiplied as you expand your sources-of-hire to include the best tool you have at your fingertips – your employees. Help your employees succeed through focused engagement and motivation, and your organization will reap the benefits.

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