The way companies attract and hire candidates has gotten pretty competitive, and the companies with the capacity to change and adapt with technology are the ones that succeed in recruiting top talent. By having a strategy that involves social media and consistent brand awareness, HR teams can surge ahead of the competition and make a real difference when it comes to staffing needs. Here are 3 components that can make you and your team successful in recruiting top talent:

#1. A Social Recruiting Strategy

The expansion of social media technology has had a major impact on HR recruiting. In some cases, it’s decreased hiring time: 34% of recruiters in Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey said social recruiting improved time to hire. Another 44% of recruiters said it increased the quantity (and caliber) of candidates. Moreover, to not increase social recruiting is to lose that competitive edge: 73% of recruiters surveyed said they intend to increase their investment in social recruiting. It’s clear that an understanding of how to use the technology at your disposal is critical to creating and maintaining relationships in today’s recruiting climate.

#2. A Consistent Brand Experience

When you or your company invest in social media, you need to invest in a consistent brand across each platform. No matter if you are using Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook—the mission needs to be clear. Any company with a diluted identity won’t be as attractive as the one whose identity is crystal-clear. I suggest creating a webpage or YouTube video that illustrates your company culture, whether it’s family-focused or more professional with suits and ties.

Additionally, if you are going to utilize social media, you need to be accountable to your customers in responding to customer service concerns and questions. To utilize social media means to interact—not just post.

#3. A Networking Mindset

While I mentioned understanding technology and using it to the fullest, human connections—relationships—in recruiting have become underrated. Too many people use technology as a crutch. I love recruiting technology as much as the next HR professional, but as long as there are humans involved in recruiting, it needs to remain a relationship-driven process. Are you connecting outside of work? At the grocery store? At your church? Do people know what you do and who you work for? How many candidates contact you through word of mouth or because your name was given to them? I encourage you to take every opportunity to network and meet someone new every day. HR recruiting is not just an 8–5 job; networking is 24/7.

If you think relationships don’t matter, you’re wrong. There are companies—like my college dorm-mate’s New Town Connections—whose sole focus is networking with young professionals. It’s that important. Do you frequently hand out business cards at the grocery store if you are being provided excellent customer service by the cashier? Are you a salesperson and the employee at the carwash just upsold you to the highest carwash package? They may not be ready to make a career move now, but when they are ready, they will remember you and your company—IF you build that relationship.

HR Recruiting Success

In the end, hiring the best talent is all about connecting and building relationships. It doesn’t matter if you have the latest technology, or if you are simply handing out business cards wherever you can. We all need to be open to change, open to technology, and open to creating relationships along the journey.

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