As our need for employment branding and recruitment marketing grows, it’s important to have a presence in a variety of online communities and audiences to engage the qualified candidates we all want to attract. This means looking outside of traditional social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and turning to platforms where the candidates in your industry with the tenure and experience you’re looking for spend their time.
Here, we’ll take a look at some other communities through which recruiters can engage and build relationships beyond the standard big three of social media.
- Quora. People come to Quora to find answers to their questions. The easiest way to get started is to set up and build your own professional profile and include all the credentials that make you an expert on industry-specific topics, like technology, recruiting, human resources, hiring, and so on. Follow other “Quorans” that have large followings and engage by upvoting and commenting on their responses. Recruiting on Quora is more hands-on than other social communities, as you only get noticed the more often you engage and answer the questions from other users. Eventually Quora will send you alerts when relevant questions that you can likely answer are submitted, but in the beginning you’ll need to find those questions.
Your expert profile is just the first step. Once established, you can begin looking for experts that fit your talent profiles. For example, if you’re on the hunt for full-stack developers, search for questions under that topic and see who the experts answering the questions are. You can then reach out to the expert Quoran to get an idea of their interest in open positions. Introduce yourself and see if they would be open to a quick conversation. Then you can informally talk to them about your company and your open positions.
- Reddit. You may know the popular online forum Reddit.com as a place to get answers to your questions or find news stories. If you haven’t used reddit before, you can start by setting up an account. If you plan on using reddit for recruiting, it’s a good idea to be transparent about it in your bio (by identifying your job title, company or agency). Next, you’ll want to read the reddit faq. Reddit is different from other platforms in a lot of ways, so you will want to make sure you are using it properly. Additionally, the acronyms might be confusing, and there’s an extensive glossary here.
There are over 400,000 subreddits, and each one is governed by its own set of moderators who volunteer their time to remove spam, create community guidelines, interact with users, and answer questions. These communities (subreddits) are going to be key to finding talent and understand the profile of the type of candidate you’re trying to find. For example, if you’re looking for specific tech talent like developers, there are hundreds of developer subreddits, but it’s important to get familiar with how they’re used, what the purpose is, and whether or not the redditors in that subreddit might be receptive to outreach from a recruiter.
- Meetup. You can set up your own Meetup account to host local events. You can also connect your Meetup account to your company Facebook page, so if you host events on Facebook, they’ll be on Meetup as well. Members of Meetup can find your group via preference suggestions based on locations and topics of interest, so you’ll want to write an engaging bio that identifies the purpose of your account and the groups you’ll set up. For example, if you want to target industry groups on your local Meetup site, add those topics to your interests list and take the time to join other groups in the same general interest area. Plan a small event that focuses on a specific topic, like best practices in UX (source the passion projects of your team leaders for ideas), and cast a wide net for attendees. You can also offer to be a guest speaker for other relevant local Meetup groups.
How this translates to relationship building and adding new candidates to your hiring funnel: At your event, have a sign-in station for attendees and capture email addresses to add to a list for follow-up communication. If you’re speaking at another group’s Meetup, make sure you’re prepared with your direct contact information or to get contact information from attendees (without hijacking someone else’s event).
- Facebook Groups. While still part of Facebook, the future of social is private and these groups offers a great way to engage the community, offer up advice and build on those relationships. I’ve seen this use effectively by companies such as Whole Foods to reach a small but effective technology group of job seekers by offering up their offices to host a meetup group. A member of their recruiting team swooped in to offer their meetings as a location and thereby building trust and potentially engaging a very sought after group of technical talent in the highly competitive Austin talent market.
No matter which online community you dive into, knowledge sharing is important for candidate engagement. Participate in industry-specific community threads on topics where you are genuinely able to offer advice or assistance. For example, if you’re sourcing for front-end web developers, but you don’t speak the language, stick to hiring or resume communities, not the tech threads. Look for career guidance topics, resume topics, city-specific topics, or other threads that are topical for you and what you do in your work life.
While it’s remains increasingly important to be visual digitally in your recruiting efforts, it is also important to be watching, sharing, and building relationships in these more private communities.