Employers – creating a good impression through social media

The benefits of social media and the importance of maintaining an up-to-date and positive social media persona are discussed widely in recruitment, particularly in relation to candidates. We’ve blogged and written about this topic many times, our last piece was “tips for successful social profiles”.

We should, however, remember that candidates are active too, scouring online networking sites to get a feel for the companies they’d like to work for and the people they are interested in connecting with. This is particularly common in those serious about their job search and career, so having a social media presence is essential if you want to attract the best talent.

It’s just as important for your company to have an accurate, up-to-date social media profile and presence, as it is for candidates, to avoid turning-off the people you’d like to welcome into your organisation. In fact, it’s increasingly common to find that company profiles on business networking sites, such as LinkedIn, are a candidate’s first impression of a company. With this in mind, you should ensure that your company profile gives a realistic impression of the business, reflecting the culture of the organisation. Keep it current by adding your latest news and company updates to your profile.

Having a profile on business networking sites provides the opportunity to tell your company story, and highlight products and services, providing potential employees with the opportunity to learn about what you do as well as your latest news and developments. Remember that friends and colleagues of the business will also be visible so make sure staff are also engaging professionally with your profile to give the best impression of the organisation.

Once a candidate is familiar with a company’s social media activity, it is likely that they’ll turn their attention to the people within the organisation to get a feel for the type of people who work there. This is even more likely if they are at interview stage as they will look to find out a bit more about the people they are about to meet. With this in mind, it’s important that those usually involved in recruitment and interviewing maintain their own professional profiles, particularly on business networking sites. There is more information about creating effective personal social profiles in our candidate blog.

There have been some stories in the media relating to employees – past and present – accessing and misusing their employer’s (or former employer’s) social media accounts. It’s important that you protect your organisation by developing a set of procedures for the access and use of these important communication tools.

This may involve restricting password knowledge to an agreed group of people, ensuring you have up-to-date records of those authorised to maintain your accounts and ensuring effective tracking is in place to help identify and manage any negativity. Activity may also extend to the creation of a social media policy and even seeking legal assistance. A well-considered social media policy will help employees understand the boundaries and role they play, as well as help protect you from risks such as staff posting inappropriate comments or leaking sensitive information.

A positive and well maintained social media strategy can help your company stand out from the crowd and attract the best talent. It will also equip potential employees with the insight and knowledge they need about your business before interview day.

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