Facebook Talent Communities 101
Today is the most important holiday in my new home, Utrecht. In fact, it's the most important day in all of the Netherlands.
It's Queen's Day, or Koninginnendag in Dutch. To an outsider, Queen's Day sounds like any other boring statutory holiday. Well, at least to this Canadian it did. But, here in Utrecht, it is anything but.
The Dutch are completely, utterly, head-over-heels in love with their queen. The royal colour orange is featured in every window display. Dutch men wear orange pants, Dutch women wear orange dresses, and Dutch kids wear orange everything! Orange flags hang like canopies over the parks, there's a party on every block, a flea market on every street, and people everywhere sharing bright orange pastries.
The Dutch know how to do a party.
They also seem to really understand community. How to build it, how to keep it strong, and how to enjoy its many benefits.
We've been focused a lot on community lately at Jobcast.
It is in part because we believe social recruiting is all about engaging with one's online community, but also because we're working on some cool additions to our Facebook recruiting app!
Our last two posts have sought to give our readers some practical tips to grow their social networks and Facebook communities. Today we're going to look at every recruiter and employer's most important type of community:
The Talent Community
A talent community is different from a talent pool, in that it's not just a spreadsheet filled with data on potential candidates. It is in fact, a type of network created by employers and recruiters for the purpose of improving their talent pipeline (here's a definition of a talent pipeline — sorry for all the jargon!).
This network usually consists of potential hires, current employees, former employees, and past applicants. This group forms a community that can engage with each other to give referrals, stay up to date on job opportunities, and simply share information related to their profession, all via social networks. Cool eh?
Facebook is the perfect place to foster a talent community. Its very nature encourages engagement, and you (hopefully) already have a strong employer brand presence on Facebook. Maybe (ideally!) you even have a branded Facebook Career Page with listed jobs.
Now, before we get too excited, keep in mind that unless you are hiring chocolate-tasters, potential candidates are unlikely to spend a great deal of time engaging with your talent community. If you are not offering immediate employment, active candidates will probably be more inclined to spend their time looking at specific job postings. Passive candidates will, as always, be more inclined to spend their time on Facebook Liking pictures of kittens in fancy dress.
Okay, so that's the cons out of the way!
Let's look at why Facebook talent communities are awesome:
Easy to join
People are busy. And aren't we all sick of filling out online forms? That's a huge part of why only 10% of people who visit career sites fill out applications. To join your Facebook talent community, all they have to do is Like your Career Page. 'Nuff said.
Encourages a Good Fit
The key to a successful talent community is your current employees. Get them on board, engaging with your Facebook Page, and they will be a testament to your company culture. The way they interact, and what they post, gives potential hires insight into what your company culture is like. And vice-versa.
Your current employees are always an asset when it comes to referrals. Facebook talent communities make it even easier for them to recommend their peers to you. It also creates a place where you can actively ask for referrals and get real-time answers. There's also the potential to crowdsource referrals by finding connections between potential candidates and current employers or peers.
You Can Snoop
(a little, don't get creepy!)
Unlike with spreadsheets, you can engage with potential hires who are part of your talent community. You can ask them questions, either as a group or selectively, to get to know what kind of talent is out there. Try asking candidates what they think constitutes a positive work environment, or what they look for in an employer.
That's a whole lot of pros! Oh, and not to mention that positive interactions on your Facebook Page help to strengthen your employer brand. If you still need convincing about the awesomeness of talent communities, check out this article by Lou Adler.
I'd stay around and try to convince you more, but I have a queen to celebrate, and my face won't paint itself orange.