Recruitment, for many startups, is an indication of success. It shows that the company is doing well with future prospects and managing its first few steps at expansion. However, hiring is often a task that requires substantial time and resources, which startups companies with limited manpower do not have much to spare. This is one of many reasons why recruitment via social media has become a new prevalent method of looking for suitable candidates for startups.
However, apart from social media’s apparent advantage of being cost-saver, hiring via social network platforms can be a tricky business. In fact, nearly one out of four HR professionals ranked social media as their least favourite recruiting strategy. The reason is that HR professionals often fail to recognise and create a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes social-media components. So, to employ social media as an effective recruitment tool, startups companies do not only need to take full advantage of their young and energetic culture to go beyond simple Facebook posts, they also need to ensure the social recruiting strategy is up to par.
Every employee has a social network
One thing startups often lack is exposure. Even in turbulent times when industries’ hiring power is low, newborn enterprises often find their voices lost in an ocean of job ads from all corners of the market. Startups, in general, do not have the resources to launch any substantial hiring effort, thus their only option is to use free job-posting sites and hope for the best, while the big corporates dish out campaigns after campaigns to lure the young and talented to their causes.
What many startups are forgetting is that when it comes to hiring and manpower is not enough to spare, every employee in the company can be a hiring channel. No one knows a company and its values better than the people working for it. Since these are the people who have already passed the companies’ various trials and fit into the startup’s vision, it is likely that their friends will too.
This is where social media comes into play. In the modern age when almost everyone has either Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile, or all at once, they have their own network of energetic, like-minded people that are eager to work. Approach the employees and ask them to tell their friends on social media about the company’s newest job openings, and an influx of eager candidates is most likely to follow.
Let’s do some simple math: Assume an average startup has 5 people, and each employee, being relatively active on a social media platform, such as Facebook, with an average of 400 friends. This translates into a pool of 2000 potential candidates a small and young startup can gain access to. Even print job ads cannot get a better figure.
Other than focusing on manpower to attract top talents, startups should have a better strategy, such as showcasing their unique and flexible work culture. Social media allows companies to share their workplace culture, and good culture will attract enthusiastic talents.
A Glassdoor survey found that good and flexible culture is prioritised among younger adults. Millennials are more likely to place culture above salary than those age 45 and older. Company culture is also critical for job seekers today when applying for a job and when deciding whether to stay with a company. More than 70 percent of adults would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job – and 73 percent of those surveyed would not apply to a company unless its values aligned with their own personal values.
A company’s culture is how it treats its employees, how those employees interact with each other and how open the company is to feedback or suggestions from its own people. In simpler words, it is the “vibe” that someone can get by spending a day in the company’s office. Cultural unfit is often the cause of many short-lived careers in startups.
Therefore, one of the unique strategies a startup should do in their recruitment is to first and foremost show how the company treats the people. Whether a candidate can fit in is a decision made by both the hiring company and the candidate. A reasonably proactive job seeker will most likely check out the potential employer’s social media profiles before even applying to get a feel of what it is like in the office.
By being transparent and actively updating relevant internal activities on Facebook and tweeting about the company’ events, people looking for a post in the office will have a better understanding of the company’s culture and see for themselves whether they could fit in to enjoy the job.
Culture aside, interest and passion matter a lot.
If a potential candidate can check the company’s culture through its Facebook page, the company can certainly do the same to search for a potential candidate. How does a person manage their online presence? What are their most frequently mentioned topics on Facebook? Do they blog? What do they blog about? Are they truly interested in what they said they are?
A frequently taken approach by many social media recruiters is to look through the comment sections, to see who are the most engaged debaters on topics relevant to the company and its products.
All in all, social media has opened various doors that allow for an unprecedented level of interaction and transparency in the hiring process of many companies, with startups being no exception. What is unique to startups when it comes to using social media for recruitment is the dynamic and proactive approach these newborn enterprises can take. Social media is the perfect channel for small and young startup companies to engage their audience to find the right person that can fit the company’s culture and share its passion.