6 Unique Ways to Build a Better Talent Pool With Social Media

481113941Building and populating a talent pool can be a great way to jump the skills gap and provide your clients with quality candidates. However, it’s often easier said than done.

Thankfully, social media is easing the process of building a dedicated talent pipeline of candidates. The online space has made it easier for smart staffing professionals and recruiters to attract great candidates, engage with smart people, and make better matches between candidates and clients.

While recruiting on LinkedIn is great, there’s way more out there in the social media wilds you might not have even considered. By walking your own path, you’ll be able to avoid most of the competition while still pulling in the best candidates. Below are six unique ways to build a better talent pool using social media and a few outside-of-the-box approaches:

1. Create a cross-platform brand. Employer brands aren’t only for employers. Staffing companies should be on the cutting edge of branding efforts as well, especially if you want to build up a talent pipeline. Look at what some of the best companies are doing in order to attract talent, and use these techniques for yourself. You might not be able to tout your company culture like Facebook, but you can show happy employees you’ve placed in action.

Create a brand around your staffing company and disseminate this brand through multiple social platforms. This brand voice could be fun, casual, or informative — just make sure it’s authentic. Creating your own social media talent communities online, with low barriers to entry and plenty of engagement, is a great way to bring more people in the door and keep them in your pipeline.

2. Write a list of the employee attributes you need. You know what kind of employees you need, what industries you work with, and what’s on your client’s wish list. Before diving into the search, write out a list of these qualities and review the list. Once you’re familiar with the personality attributes and skills needed, then you can think about which social platforms to target.

3. Target the right platforms. You know what your client is looking for, you’ve got your list, and now it’s time to find the perfect candidate. Easier said than done, right? Targeting the right social channel might be the difference between a well-built talent pipeline and an endless search for the right person.

For instance, graphic designers might spend more time on visual-focused social platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr. Technical wizards might be uploading their code to Github, while healthcare professionals might be chatting about new regulations in a LinkedIn group. It’s your job to research your target candidate audience and find where they spend their time online, so you always expend efforts on the right outlets.

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4. Break down geographic barriers. The skills gap is growing, yet 60 percent of companies aren’t doing much (or anything) to combat this massive problem. Social media might be the answer, with the medium’s ability to connect smart staffing professionals to top-notch talent around the globe. If you’re offering a great opportunity at the right price, you might be surprised how many candidates (44 percent according to CareerBuilder!) would be willing to relocate.

Social media makes it easier to connect, engage, and even interview these candidates. After taking part in an industry-related discussion, you can easily invite talented candidates to connect in a video interview, no airfare required. Candidates who don’t end up working out for the job, but have shown willingness to pull up stakes for the right opportunity, can become new superstars in your talent pipeline.

5. Embrace emerging social channels. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn aren’t the only social media channels around when it comes to recruiting. New and emerging social channels can provide quality candidates if you’re willing to give new platforms a try.

For instance, you can find great writers on Medium and Wattpad or smart creative talent on Pinterest and We Heart It. There’s always another new social media platform popping up, from Vine and Instagram to Snapchat. Becoming a recruiting pioneer on these platforms means tapping into a completely uncharted talent community.

6. Gamify the process. We all love games, which is why gamification is being used for everything from employee motivation to fitness. Why not for recruiting as well? Turn your talent community into a competition, and create skill-specific games, quizzes, and tasks for interested candidates to complete.

Award points or badges to those who have gone through the process, making it easy for you to judge skill levels. It can also motivate interested job seekers to take the plunge and show off their skills. Creating a gamified and competitive environment can lead to high engagement, and might even convince a few passive candidates to throw their hats into the ring.

Building a great talent pool for your staffing agency and your clients is far from easy. Utilizing social media tools, however, can help you break free from the pack, get creative, and scoop up the right candidates.

What do you think? What are some unique ways you use social media? Share in the comments!

MORE: Where is social recruiting heading?

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform. Learn more about using video interviews for staffing and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

Josh Tolan

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