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Get the most from using social networks: Top tips for HR Directors

social networkPreparing for the recent launch of our Market Insights Guide has identified the key recruitment issues for many HR/Recruitment Directors. High on that list is the need to fully embrace the use of social networks.  We’re focussing on Linkedin and how to maximise your investment in terms of both time and money to create a real impact with different target audiences.

Why Linkedin?
The potential of Linkedin as a tool to increase your commercial networks, promote your business and build employer brand awareness really is unlimited.

Linkedin is one of the world’s top 20 most visited websites with 225 million+ members in over 200 countries with 20 million in Europe, 5 million of which are in the UK. All members have the ability to search on companies, skills, job titles and functions, so the importance of having an up to date personal and company profile with relevant and current content is clear.

Linkedin allows you to promote both your personal and company brand, develop professional networks to share and obtain knowledge, as well as creating a forum for regular contact with all your connections. As your network develops, you can follow companies of interest to your business, competitors to track their latest market activities, as well as requesting endorsements and recommendations.

Build Brand You
Firstly the basics – a professional photo, your current job title, employer and contact details and also a summary that covers your experience, projects and achievements.  Make your profile as comprehensive as possible in terms of your career history too, not just your most recent role.

Once the basics are in place, focus on identifying individuals you wish to connect with, remember you can further broaden your network to reach 2nd and 3rd level connections. Join a variety of industry related groups – then actively and regularly contribute to them, at the very least ‘Like’ comments made by other members. Also use groups to request information and initiate your own discussions and consider creating your own group – all with the aim of becoming a top influencer within your area of expertise.

Your Company Linkedin
Your personal profile is never used in isolation as it will always be aligned to the company you work with.

Company profiles need constant focus – regular updates should be a way of life with relevant and current content, news and comment from key employees, not just the marketing department, as well as Slideshares and video to further promote your employer brand too. Lead by example and encourage your senior leadership team to regularly create and share content.

You should ensure the strategy of your business includes proactive development of your company Linkedin profile as a tool for candidate attraction. Utilise groups and status updates to communicate opportunities within your organisation, just make sure any company group is not used solely as a forum for promoting your latest vacancies as these groups are generally not that popular.

Enhanced Options to Network
Linkedin has a range of solutions to increase your opportunity to interact with your target audiences and these include customised advertising and dedicated careers pages as well as proactive sourcing and opportunities to build your talent pipeline. Subscribing to these is a serious investment so a clear usage policy and full buy-in from all relevant staff and management is the only way to ensure it is money well spent.

What Next?
It’s one thing embracing social media and immersing yourself into this way of networking but there are a few things to consider to ensure you gain maximum impact:

• Conduct an audit of your company’s social media footprint before taking any action.
• Evaluate and choose the right platforms for your business.
• Ensure your company has a social media policy in place as well as clear guidelines for content control.