With the development of social recruiting come increased points of engagement with your company’s talent community. This collective of potential candidates needs to be cultivated and maintained, and social media tools and activities make it easy to do so.

Members of your talent community are more than just their stats – they are real people who are touched by your brand on various levels, and who want to enjoy more personable, interactive relationships with you and your team. Since at any specific time they each have varying degrees of interest in working at your company, the interaction should be transparent, informative, helpful, and genuinely “you”. This way, they get a better picture of what kind of employer you are – and by the level and content of their interactions, you get a better idea of what stage they are at and how close you are to converting them to an applicant.

Five Tips to Get Started

1. Consistent Presence. First things first. Open a Facebook company page, LinkedIn company profile and Twitter account. And Be Active. A consistent social media presence will increase awareness of your employer brand and provide the foundations upon which you can build a favorable online – and by extension, offline – reputation. Give your talent community common forums on which they can congregate and gain general insights about your company.

2. Employees. In addition to the outreach that you do on your own social media accounts, don’t forget about your company’s best brand ambassadors: your existing employees! Who better to help you reach out to potential candidates than the amazing talent you already have. Strong employees know strong candidates, and to best hone in on others who have certain skills/degrees and who have the right company culture fit, leverage their social networks. Post statuses that they will want to share with their own networks (see #3 for examples).

Engage your employees even more by integrating social recruiting with your employee referral program. Click here to find out more.

3. Content. The key here is sharable, engaging and informative content. This can include job postings, employer branding videos, interviews with employees, feature articles, reviews of employee ‘fun days’ and relevant industry news. Also, consider creating exciting competitions. For example, Marriot launched a giveaway contest to encourage people to like their Facebook Careers page, with the chance to win a $100 gift certificate.

Provide content that spark comments, likes, discussions and questions. Give your talent community a reason to frequent your page.

4. Give Back. Respond quickly to comments, likes and shares. Answer questions, or thank them for their actions. Make it clear that there is a person on the “other end of the line.”

Encourage your community to subscribe to your organization’s blog and newsletter. This is to create parallel, long-term, and more permanent communities, and show them the “whole you.”

5. Paid Ads. Organically developing a talent community can become a timely investment, so strongly consider jumpstarting your engagement with an advertisement campaign. Options such as standard PPC ads, Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets can boost your visibility and outreach potential, providing your community with an extra element of attraction. Plus, paid ads won’t break the bank; a budget of about $200 is sufficient for a quality campaign.

The beauty of the talent community is that while you may start the ignition, it is ultimately propelled by its members. In the world of social media, the power lies in the fingertips of the people (literally!), who dictate trends and the conversation. Remember that maintaining a community necessitates a two-way collaboration of ideas. You can – and should – learn from yours, via their responses, discussions and how they interact. Your mutual dialogue can give you clues as to how to focus your talent search, and what might appeal to your ideal talent pool.

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