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How Small Businesses Can Leap Ahead With Social Recruiting

08/16/2012 05:39 pm ET | Updated Oct 16, 2012

Building a great team is an important aspect of any business. It is especially critical in the early phases when companies need the right kind of people with the mindset and attitude to remove all obstacles and keep the business moving forward at a fast pace. Small businesses are constantly changing and they need to hire (and retain) employees who can roll with the punches and add to the blossoming company culture.

Finding and attracting the right talent for a company's open positions is an intense process. Every year, nearly 40 million people change jobs. Moreover, with 8.3 percent unemployment, the talent pool is deeper than ever. Yet, employers state that it consistently takes them longer to fill their open positions, indicating that there are more positions than people in the talent pool with the skills to fill them. As a result, an increasing number of companies are now overcoming traditional sourcing challenges by leveraging social networks to reach and engage top talent for filling important positions within their organizations.

Here are a few ways social recruiting helps employers wade through the crowded candidate pool to find the best people:

Recruit From Anywhere
Thanks to the next-gen cloud-based recruiting platforms, small companies can now recruit on the go. There is no software to download or install, and no steep learning curves that require expensive training. Instead, everyone from the team can sign into the recruiting platform at any time, from any place. The right platform can make it easy for an entire team to get started and work in an agile mode. This makes finding the best people way less time-consuming than the traditional recruiting processes, where it could often take up to 45 days or more to fill a position.

Cloud-based recruiting platforms also make it easy to persistently store all of the recruiting-related content and data in one organized place, so you can search and track at any time. External systems, such as email and calendaring, can often be linked with these cloud platforms as well.

Once connected, you can be notified instantly when a new application is received or when a team member has commented within the system. You can also have event-based emails sent automatically to easily connect with candidates and keep them updated. These platforms can bring enterprise level recruiting capabilities to companies of all sizes, at a fraction of the cost that bigger companies have paid for older systems that are less effective and were not built to be social friendly.

Hire Collaboratively
Social recruiting combined with the collaborative feature of a next-gen platform can turn hiring into a team-based activity that tracks input and referrals from various stakeholders. Instead of needing everyone at the same time and place for interviews, content such as notes, impressions and other media can be shared through the cloud.

Small businesses are constantly evolving and need a staff that is able to adapt to changing requirements. A collaborative approach captures a wide range of input from current company stakeholders and friends to identify candidates that are a strong fit for establishing and maintaining the company culture. By making collaboration simpler and hiring more inclusive, social recruiting platforms save valuable time and assist in creating the a high-quality team.

Get Analytical
In addition to many other metrics, analytics can help companies see which online destinations bring in the most recruits for a particular position and what sort of candidates are applying from these outlets. This can help companies fine-tune their recruitment efforts and focus more on the platforms that have provided the best results for the respective positions, or invest more in those where the potential is greater.

Analytics can also reveal if candidates are deserting the job application before submitting. If the reason is the complexity of the application, companies might want to focus on the usability of their careers site and make it more engaging and easier to navigate. A few of the many ways to improve usability: show a video or allow candidates to apply with LinkedIn and see who they know at the company. Using social recruiting platforms helps small businesses look at hiring in a more practical and effective way.

In hiring top talent, culture and innovation are extremely significant aspects hiring managers need to take into consideration. But thanks to social recruiting, these companies can find employees with great ideas quickly and painlessly.

For growing organizations, making the right hiring decisions early on can have a big impact on the company's performance. Social recruiting can help activate referrals in an easy and pragmatic way, connecting organizations with the right candidates to fill open positions faster and cost-effectively.

What are some of the ways in which social recruiting can help small businesses with their hiring? Share in the comments!