Networking has long been described as the number one way to get ahead; to increase sales, to find investors, and yes, even to find a job or new employees. We’ve all overheard people ask “How did you get that lead?” or “How did you hear about that opportunity?” And we’ve all heard people answer, “Oh, I knew someone…”
Networking—it’s all about who you know. Or is it?
I have connections on LinkedIn I’ve never met, followers on Twitter I had not previously heard of, and“friends” on Facebook that I’m not friends with. Crazy?
I can walk into a room of 150 people gathered to hear me talk about social recruiting, and they’re in that room because they know about me, not because I already know them, and that’s good for business. Networking, in my possibly not-so-humble opinion, is not just about who you know. I believe that’s only half the picture. I believe that who knows about you is equally as valuable.
Facebook gives you the perfect opportunity to get as many people to know about you (and your business) as humanly possible. With almost 66 percent of all internet users in the United States on Facebook (that’s more than 156 million people), it’s a treasure-trove of active and passive candidates. Simple messaging on your company’s Facebook page can not only help you attract new customers, it can also help you attract potential employees and communicate your employer brand. And, depending upon how you choose to use your own personal Facebook page, and how your current employees choose to use theirs, you can consider cross-posting and increase your visibility. Why not leverage your personal networks, too? Do you really care where that next great lead comes from?
Ready to face your Facebook fears? Here are some ways you can optimize your company page for recruiting top talent today.
Choose a great cover photo (851 x 315 pixels) and profile image (180 x 180 pixels) that really scream your brand. Your cover photo should be exciting and indicative of who you are internally as an organization. Your profile image should be a square version of your logo to capitalize on visual brand recognition.
Set up your custom feature tabs. These are just to the right of your About section, and they stand out! Use them wisely. You can include career opportunities, featured news, upcoming events, and even contests.
Use your timeline to share milestones and important dates in your company’s history. This is a great way to tell your story. You need to include when you started your business, and then fill in important historic events. Maybe you can highlight when you hired your 10th employee (and include and tag a photo if they’re still there!) Other milestones to consider are past events, awards and honors, articles and features, and anything else that helps you stand out. And remember, a picture may be worth a thousand words.
Engage your audience. Continue to add value to your network. Post regularly to keep your audience coming back for more. Share news, events, and ideas, but don’t just push content. People like to have conversations; nobody wants to be talked at. Ask for opinions, poll your fans, interact with those who comment, and encourage others to participate.
Demonstrate your corporate culture. Take pictures during your team-building activities or at your company picnic. Take and tag photos of Bring Your Child to Work Day. Honor, congratulate, and celebrate your employees’ achievements. Like other pages from your page, especially community organizations or charities your company supports.
And, don’t forget to announce your job openings! Use those status updates and ask your employees and fans to share the post. Like attracts like, so leverage your existing network and spread the word.
With a little work, and a little imagination, Facebook may just become your number one source of hire.
Jennifer Scott is the director of talent acquisition for Workforce Engine; a consulting firm helping small and mid-size businesses drive productivity through strategic HR. Since 1993, Jennifer has been helping companies understand how the candidate sourcing, recruiting, and retention processes work. She can be reached at [email protected]