How to Use Networking in Recruitment
Regardless of the type of industry, interacting with others to build professional relationships is essential to your ability to recruit new candidates. If part of your job responsibilities involves recruiting, you should already have an established network that you can grow even more extensively and further develop.
The market for qualified candidates is hugely competitive. Many professional candidates hold career positions in companies where they are comfortable and are not looking for a change. If no one engages in recruitment efforts, these candidates will remain at their current place of employment without knowing about the opportunities available in your organization.
To remain competitive in today’s market, you must develop a networking recruitment strategy. In this article, we will discuss ways to use networking in recruitment.
What Is Networking in Recruitment?
If you understand the purpose and process of networking, you can better recognize how to effectively use your network to attract qualified candidates for your organization.
To have a successful recruitment campaign, you must be creative and participate in traditional and non-traditional networking activities. Many organizations use social media networking sites to foster their brand and advertise job opportunities. Although public and privately owned for-profit organizations are more likely to participate in network recruitment than government agencies, all companies conduct outreach efforts.
Part of your network recruiting activities should involve making sure your company’s brand conveys that it is a great place to work. Let people know who you are and what you have to offer potential employees. If your company lives up to its reputation, you may find that your best recruiters are your current employees and their existing networks. So, do not forget to expand your recruitment team by involving existing employees in your recruitment activities, they could turn out to be great influencers.
Networking Is Important for Successful Recruiting
Companies realize that simply advertising open job positions on their human resource site will not ensure those positions will get filled. For qualified persons to apply for your company’s open job positions, they must know that they exist. The method of getting that information to the right persons is through network recruiting.
Today, more organizations are using social media in their recruitment campaigns. In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than 77% of the organizations surveyed reported using social networking sites to recruit potential job candidates. In that same study, these companies revealed their primary reason for using social networking in their recruitment plans was to recruit passive job candidates.
The same way that companies realize the importance of advertising vacant positions, they also understand that one advertisement method is not enough. That is why networking is essential to maintaining an adequate workforce level for your company. You must be creative enough and find ways to discover the people who may not otherwise come knocking at your door.
Three Ways to Use Networking in Recruitment
Not all companies formally advertise open job opportunities. These companies have an established network base that makes them competitive enough to go after the people they want to be part of their organization. Some of the ways you can use networking to attract job candidates are:
1. Use social media to attract the right candidates
You must maintain a presence where qualified applicants hang out. Because LinkedIn is the most used social media site used for recruitment, most companies use LinkedIn. Facebook is also growing in popularity among recruiters. They are discovering that many passive job seekers spend free time on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Every industry is beginning to advertise on Facebook. It is quickly becoming known as the new Craigslist offering an inexpensive job posting platform. To use Facebook as part of your recruitment plan, your company should develop a career or business page. If your company has several areas of employment that it advertises, you should create a separate page dedicated to the specific role.
To be added to a group that has members who are compatible with your organization, the individual recruiter must ask to join. Their request would be made as an individual, not as a company. The group administrator must approve your admission to the group.
Once you are approved, you can make regular posts on the group’s page. These posts will help increase your social media presence and gain more exposure for your company. It will also help if you also link with the professional associations and training facilities for your specific industry.
Find out more about Social Media Recruitment Trends in this blog article.
2. Use your employees’ networks
Besides social media, your employees’ networks are a valuable resource for finding new talent that shouldn’t be forgotten in your recruitment strategy. Within these networks, you can not only find family members and friends but also former university and work colleagues. By asking your employees to advocate for your company, you can reach those hidden talents, even if they are not currently looking for a new job thus expanding your passive candidate reach. As an additional bonus, your employees will be able to give you feedback for prospective candidates on whether or not they would be a good cultural fit for the company.
3. Keep in contact with your prospective candidates
Once you have made various connections through your networking efforts, maintain those relationships by keeping in contact with those persons. Periodically provide them with information that is useful to their profession. Even if they are not able to apply or do not appear to be interested in working for your company, things could change in the future.
Three Tips for Creating A Meaningful Recruitment Network
Be intentional when you create your recruitment network. Anyone can build a contact list. You want the people in your network to be ones who fit the persona profile of your potential candidates or people who can help you reach those persons. Here are some tips on creating a meaningful network.
1. Update your Linkedin profile to generate new interest in you and for your organization
Help create interest in your company by posting useful information. Make sure you have a current photo and that your profile correctly describes who you are and the company you represent. Under your new profile, you can create how-to videos and videos that talk about current events that affect your industry to post them. Also, create a group or page for the organization to share information and post information about career opportunities.
2. Organize recruitment networking events. You can offer training courses and invite attendees
If you are unable to provide face to face meetings, you can conduct meetings and conferences through sites like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. You will be able to establish connections through the persons who attend these meetings. Persons looking for employment will be able to see the types of training your company offers and ensure they possess the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
3. Attend career fairs at high schools, colleges, and universities
These traditional networking activities may not be new, but they are still useful if done correctly. As a recruiter, you must not fall into the trap of complacency. If you continue to attend the same career fairs each year, you will not reach candidates in other places. Try new places like holding career fairs at churches and other non-traditional locations. When you expand on the areas where you recruit, you can hire people of different nationalities, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds to help create a more diverse workforce.
To use recruitment networking, you want to build strong professional relationships that you can tap into for leads on potential candidates for your organization.
Remember that satisfied employees are secure in where they work and attracting them can be challenging. Networking is a long-term process that should be started immediately and last continuously.
Currently, social distancing is a considerable concern for employers and employees. If the ability to work remotely is something that your company can offer, consider expanding its use.
Staying in touch with persons with whom you have forged a relationship is important. Contact them regularly and share information that is relevant and useful to them. When people see that you are willing to freely share information, they appreciate it and want to interact with you more.
Lastly, always remember that you are trying to reach people, so you want to maintain the personal touch. If you are not careful, you can easily forget the human touch when communicating in the world of social media, where you speak with others through an online screen.
Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Majella completed her studies with a Bachelor of Business majoring in advertising from Queensland's University of Technology. After a few years of working in the gaming and entertainment industry in the APAC market, she moved to Vienna, Austria and joined the Firstbird team as a copywriter in 2016. She has never looked back, and now works across marketing, partnerships and sales in Firstbird’s international team.