If your organization is fully invested in utilizing social media in recruitment practices, your current strategy most likely includes the big names in the game already (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). For those looking to be on the cutting edge or possibly just looking to expand your current social media recruitment campaign, smaller sites focused on specific talents may push you to the next level. Social sites are quickly replacing the traditional résumé which makes understanding the various niche social media sites that much more crucial to professionals in the recruitment and talent management sector. Quora, Dribbble, and GitHub are a few of the larger niche sites to consider. An explanation of each site is detailed below along with a recommendation for how you might incorporate it into your current strategy.
Quora is a question and answer site where users ask and answer questions as well as follow topics, questions, and other users. 1.3M users. 14.5M questions. User profiles highlight expertise and experience, detail the number of questions and answers the user has asked and given responses for, as well as the specific topics related to the user. You can search the top five answerers by topic. For instance, if you are looking for a Ruby on Rails expert, you can search for that keyword and find the top contributors.
Quora for Recruitment
Social media training site Social Talent puts it nicely: “Go fishing where the fish hangout”. As Quora is a site where individuals ask questions and other users answer them, Quora subsequently has become “a gold mine of top talent”.
People using Quora on a regular basis, having their answers voted highest aren’t afraid to share their opinions and their expertise. They are comfortable with the subject matter they’re discussing, they are thought leaders that drive industry topics, their opinion is held in high esteem by their peers and their knowledge is clearly credible. They are therefore, a wonderful pool for recruiters to pull from. But how do you, as a recruiter, approach them?
The key to recruiting on Quora (and many social media platforms for that matter) is respect. For Quora, that means joining the community and participating in the conversation, and in order to do that effectively you need to follow these 4 steps:
1. Fill Out Your Own Profile Properly
- Participate in the Conversation
- Identify Thought Leaders
- Reach Out to Industry Experts
Number one, just as you are assessing those you are interested in on Quora, they will be looking at you as well. Properly filling out your profile is key to generating interest from potential candidates. Number two, by participating in conversations (asking and answering questions), you will build up rapport with users and establish a reputation. Creating a profile gets your name out there, but participation generates respect from those you may want to hire in the future.
Third, Quora allows you to search by topic. If you are looking for someone with a specific skill set, you can search by keyword, view questions relating to the knowledge arena your potential hire should be in, identify the top answerers for those type of questions and voilà! You are on your way to a compiling a list of qualified candidates. Fourth, reach out to these candidates, introduce yourself and let them know what you’re looking for. Even if they aren’t interested in making a move then, you can keep them on your candidate bench for the future. Successful recruiting with Quora will rely on establishing and sustaining these relationships.
Dribbble is a site specifically geared towards designers, from web and graphic designers to illustrators, typographers and logo designers. A smaller social media site, Dribbble is invitation-only to sign up and post and has just above 300k active users. Using Twitter as a comparison, on Dribbble, designers follow other designers whose work they are interested in and similar to a Tweet, a unit of activity on Dribbble is called a “shot”. According to the site, “Dribbble is show and tell for designers”. It is “A community of designers sharing screenshots of their work, process, and projects.”
Dribbble for Recruitment
What Dribbble provides is a candidate database and a forum for contact and conversation. Many, if not all, designers will have their own portfolio or website where you can view their content. Utilizing this site is made that much easier. You can search for talent on Dribbble and then hire them for test assignments or visit their portfolio and website to see if you may be interested in proposing a job opportunity. Fairly straightforward…
GitHub has over 3.3M users and over 3.5M repositories, touting itself as “The world’s most popular open source code repository site”. What does that mean? In keeping with the Twitter analogy, Vivek Reddy, Founder of recruitment firm Entelo, says to think of GitHub like Twitter. “Engineers follow engineers whose work they like”. Again, Twitter has tweets. A unit of activity on Github is a code commit. “Code can be forked…think re-tweeting (or re-mixing!)”. Code repositories are referred to as “Repos”. Starring a repository is the same as bookmarking it and those that have “starred” a repository are known as Stargazers. If someone on Github has a high follower count, this could mean “better developer” and could also mean they are harder to recruit.
If you aren’t a techie, that entire explanation probably sounded like a foreign language (it is). In a nutshell, GitHub is a social network for programmers, a site where code can be shared and projects can be collaborated on and developed easier than ever before.
GitHub for Recruitment
The use of GitHub for recruitment will be similar to other niche sites. Create a profile, and search for the skill set that you need for the position you are trying to fill. Keep in mind that users do not connect to these sites in order to be scouted for job opportunities, so be respectful of those boundaries. Don’t mass email job opportunities to every developer on GitHub. Contribute to the site to establish rapport or simply craft a personalized message as to why the user interests you and provide your contact information.
Niche sites are not going to be for every recruiter. A hard to fill position or perhaps a lot of open positions in a certain field may necessitate this type of strategy. For every site you utilize, however, coming away with even one high performing new recruit will be worth the effort.
For more recruiting and engagement strategies, continue on in the Social Media Series for articles about: LinkedIn. Facebook. Twitter. Google+. YouTube. Pinterest. Instagram. Yammer. Also look into advice on Managing Employee Use of Social Media, How to Create A Social Media Policy and Social Media Branding and Marketing strategies.