Social Media in Your Recruiting Program

More and more students and new college graduates are using social media as a job-search tool, according to NACE’s 2012 Student Survey. And employers are advised to use social media to connect with students “because that’s where they are.”

Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter offer a treasure trove of information about potential job applicants. However, employers accessing and using personal information posted on the Internet face legal risks, privacy infringement, and discrimination issues.

Some states, including Maryland, Illinois, and California, have passed laws prohibiting employers from asking for job applicants’ social media user names and passwords, and many others have introduced or are considering introducing similar bills. Also, federal legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would prohibit current or potential employers from requiring a username, password, or other access to private online content. In addition, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has issued a position statement that says the practice of asking for social media logins and passwords “violates ethical standards.”

So how can you use social media in your college recruiting program?

Align your social media efforts to match how students use social media in the job search: They use it to network with and research potential employers. Students are using social media to find salary and compensation information, job descriptions, and information about a potential employer’s training and development programs. Build your efforts around providing this type of information.

Author and Gen Y consultant Lindsey Pollak has identified three rules for recruiters to follow when using social media tools to recruit:

  1. Go where you know you can interact with talent;
  2. Show your organization as it really is: Post pictures of employees and talk about what it’s like to work at your organization; and
  3. Include a lead back to your website and job opportunity information.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, copyright holder.

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