It’s that time of year again; time to start recruiting for the holiday season. And this year, more than ever before, it’s important to include social media in your seasonal recruitment strategy. The number of people engaging in social media is growing every day, meaning social networks are chock-full of active and passive job seekers alike. Candidates are turning to social media more than ever before to find out information on companies they are considering. More telling, the majority of companies with a media plan, 56%, are planning to purchase space on a social media site. Meaning, more than likely, your competitors will be advertising and engaging with candidates on a social media site. Don’t let them monopolize the social media space, jump in and join them.
Fish where the fish are! A seasonal workforce can be made up of many cohorts: teens, college students, homemakers and mature workers. All of these groups are online and engaging in social media. In fact, more than 80% of online Americans participate in social media. The chart below, from Anderson Analytics, shows which social networking sites are more popular amongst differing age groups.
Determine what demographic you’d like to hire for your seasonal staff and target individuals according to where they socialize online. Do your homework and discover any industry-related social networks as well.
Recruitment in the social media space is most effective when your organization has optimized its’ social media presence. It’s best to have a strong presence on only the few networks that are a best fit for your company and its’ culture. Not all social media outlets are compatible with your company, so don’t feel obligated to join them all. Be transparent and public; don’t enlist privacy settings! Candidates should be able to find your organization and messages quickly and easily. More importantly, be open and engage with social media users. Remember, social media is all about connecting with other people and having conversations. Conversations can only take place when at least two individuals participate. Allow candidates to join in the conversation and reply back to them with open and honest information. By engaging with candidates via social media, you can also “social screen” them to ensure the job seeker is a good fit for your company’s vision and culture.
Once you’ve mastered engaging candidates on social media, create a relationship marketing program within the social network to help in seasonal recruitment for next year. For example, invite all seasonal employees to join a Facebook group created just for them. During the holiday season, employees may interact within the group to share company news, swap shifts, etc. After the holiday season, they will be able to keep in touch via the Facebook group. You can use this medium to impart company-wide news and job openings. Once the holiday season has ended, continue to interact and share information with the group, maintaining group members’ engagement throughout the year. When it comes time to enlist seasonal help next year and you have positions to offer, you will already have a group of engaged, former seasonal employees.
While it’s more important than ever to include social media networks within your seasonal recruitment strategy, it’s not a silver bullet. You may not have to look further than your current staff for seasonal employees. Current employees know what it takes to succeed at your company and can recommend their friends and family for employment. Because many qualified hires result from employee referrals, be sure to maximize your Employee Referral Program. To hire the best holiday employees, be sure to start early; by recruiting earlier than your competitors you’ll have the pick of the best candidates. Securing a seasonal staff early allows employees enough time to be fully and adequately trained before the busy season is in full swing. But most importantly, don’t be afraid to try social media recruiting this year.