Unemployment is low, consumer confidence is steady, and retailers expect a strong holiday season. With a shorter-than-usual holiday selling season ahead, that means small businesses will need to be at the top of the customer-service game.
To ensure that it can be the most wonderful time of the year for you and your customers, it’s important that you’re staffed up properly (whether you’re an online or physical store) to ensure a hitch-free shopping season. Social media can and should be a key part of your hiring strategy.
Why? It is cost effective, for one thing. Posting a job is free on most social media platforms, which can help any business that is strapped for time and resources. On social networks, you can also put your company culture and values on full display – taking advantage of your digital accounts to show more about your employees, traditions, and culture.
For instance, on Facebook, job posts appear on and link to your Facebook Business Page. That’s good for business and good for recruiting — if your applicants are more invested in your company and brand, they are even more likely to become a more engaged employee.
Here are five tips for making the most of social media for seasonal hiring – or even year-round:
If you’re just getting ramped up for the holiday and you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of hiring, here are five tips to attract and hire the right talent this season – or even year-round:
- Polish your social pages. Leveraging social media allows you to tap into your existing community online to find potential employees. Make sure your business page and accounts have all of the basics – who you are, what you do, your location and how people can reach you. You should also consider adding more about what makes your business unique, like a cover photo, or sharing why and how you started your business. If you have employees already, share photos so people can see what it would be like to work with you.
- Tap your community for candidates. One of the best parts of using social networks to hire is that you can tap into your existing fan base as your applicant pool. Who are your most engaged followers? Who are your biggest advocates? Try reaching out to them directly.
- Reply promptly and professionally. In a tight job market where openings outnumber candidates, it is even more important to respond quickly to applicants. To save time, keep your replies short and to the point. Develop canned responses that you can easily customize to ensure responses are polished yet personal. If you are using Jobs on Facebook, Messenger is a fast and easy way to reply to interested applicants.
- Try using video for screening. After people apply, try asking them to record a short video on their computer or phone introducing themselves and explaining why they’d be a good fit for the role. Video is a quick way to get a sense of a candidate’s personality, especially if you are hiring for customer-facing positions.
- Know what to look for in a candidate profile. Tapping into social networks is often the first step for job seekers – 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a business owner, one of the best things you can do is to know what to look for in a candidate’s profile. Savvy job seekers know to put their best foot forward on social:
- Is their own profile up to date? Check for recent work and education experience and other details in their bio such as projects they are working on.
- Do they share posts related to your market? Like a resume, job seekers often help their own effort by publicly sharing industry news articles or thoughtful posts timed to a job search that also can showcase their own talents, interests and experiences.
The holidays are fast approaching! Apply these tips and get started on shopping for your best seasonal hires.
Jackie Chang is the Director of Product Partnerships at Facebook. Her organization is focused on unlocking product partnerships that power everyday business outcomes between people and businesses. In this role, she has supported a variety of Facebook initiatives, including Event Ticketing, Jobs, Developer Platform, Internet.org, and Local on Instagram. She has been with Facebook for nearly thirteen years. Prior to working on Product Partnerships, she led several of the company’s strategic marketing partnerships.