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February 4, 2013

When Google+ first came out, I signed up right away even got an early invite. I’m that cool. Even cooler? I also shut down my Facebook profile. Total social media bad-assery!

I missed a lot of parties that month.

I also missed out on friend’s engagement announcements, concerts, and I can’t even imagine how many hilarious cat videos. All this (okay, so mostly the cat videos) sent me crawling back to Facebook, tail between my legs, begging for forgiveness. It also left me feeling pretty non-plussed by Google+ (luckily, it did not effect my incredible pun-making abilities). Instead of learning my lesson, and maintaining both my Facebook and Google+ accounts, I dropped Google like it was hot.

Now, thanks to a recent slew of blog posts about Google+, I’m really wishing I hadn’t. Not that I’ve missed any good parties due to my nonplussed status, but I’ve definitely been missing out on some great networking and SEO. Active users on Google+ are up up up, possibly surpassing Twitter, although the data is a wee bit sketchy. But still, that’s a whole lot of users, which means a whole lot of talent. And, as with Facebook, in the hunt for that perfect candidate you’ve gotta go where the talent is.

As far as employers are concerned, there are several key reasons to try recruiting via Google+. My favorite of these is Circles.

Circles

G+ Circles allow you to divide and conquer your contacts. This is awesome for so many reasons. First, you can tailor your posts to your audience.

Candidates are already bombarded by ads, posts and Tweets that do not interest them. A graphic designer doesn’t want to be inundated with posts offering “exciting careers in retail”. With circles you can streamline job posts, links and updates to match the interests of specific talent pools. It’s a great way to have a more personalized interaction with a large group. It also means less spamming, which is a win for everyone involved.

Up next, Communities.

G+ Communities is a newer addition. Communities is Google’s answer to Facebook Groups. An online venue for users with similar interests to get together and learn with, and from, each other. As with Circles, Communities is another area in which Google tops Facebook. The design is much more intuitive when it comes to sharing images, links and ideas as well as facilitating dialogue. With G+ communities you have the ability to filter which posts you look at by discussion categories or topics, you can also post Hangouts and Events directly onto the page. Anyone in the group can share content like photos, contests, chats, and events.

Another nice touch is the ability to post to one of your Communities from your Google home page. Awesome. Oh, wait… How does this relate to recruiting!?! Well, if you’re hiring a graphic designer, it only takes a couple minutes to join the Graphic Design Community on Google+, and then you can share your job post. That particular Community has over 1500 members (not a huge number, but Communities are new and growing like crazy) and I have yet to notice a single job post shared to it. Hmmmm…

Hot Tip: Ask for referrals when you share a job post with a G+ community. Designers hang out with other designers, so if they’re not looking for work, likely someone they know from school, work, or some random conference is!

Extras

Apart from recruiting, employers can use Google Hangouts for interviews (both one-on-one and group), for meetings and “career fairs”. Skype works just as well, so Hangouts, although useful, are not a huge draw.

Google Company Pages, on the other hand, are a must. Google has integrated them with their search engine, which means that without a Google+ Business Page your SEO is soooo not optimized, nor will your business have a solid presence on Google Maps. This is not good. Like, Spider Man 3 not good. Possibly worse.

Now, will I be shutting down my Facebook Page anytime soon? Heck no! Nor will I be allocating any of my Facebook time to Google+. I will have to shave a few minutes off of Twitter, Instagram and my beloved Pinterest (sniff) to make time for it, but I’m convinced it’s worth it.

I’m also convinced it’s worth a second look for employers as well. Even if Google+ recruiting isn’t something you have time for, the SEO bump gained from setting up a G+ Business Page is definitely worth the ten-minute time investment!

I’m off to add some more people to my circles, watch The Ultimate Fighter, and Tweet about it. Told you I love octagons best!