5 Ways to use social media to lure talent and hire the best

How things change. Who would have known that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (and YouTube as well) would emerge as some of the best talent recruitment channels out there today? The proverbial headhunter is turning to social media as well, but while the old-fashioned talent recruitment agency hasn't altogether disappeared, more and more companies are looking to lure talent via social. Here are five ways that companies are looking to social media in helping their recruitment drive...

1. It's about storytelling. Yes, storytelling is the buzzword of 2013, and how. Besides engaging consumers and creating relationships between brands and products and customers and consumers, storytelling is playing a big part in establishing corporate credentials in front of a potential workforce. Social storytelling is live wire – far more dynamic, in-the-now, real, almost-unedited compared to website based trumpeting. Potential candidates get to know their prospective employers better via social. Often they can engage directly with employees or even prospective bosses.

2. Targeted contacting is possible on social. The stories or interest-focused contact points on social are far ahead of a simple web-based communication. A newspaper as has an email address at the end. A social post or tweet is on-going in opportunity and is totally scalable – it can fine tune-in to the interest and skill-set match, and that tune up or down in engagement depending on engagement level, result of the communications and progress in the recruit cycle. A page insertion in a trade magazine goes that far. But social contact is far more rewarding and facilitates very tightly focused moves to disseminate critical information about company, jobs, teams and leaders.

3. The talent search process becomes a lot easier because today's social platforms offer up huge and deep insights into both people and companies. LinkedIn can be micro-filtered to find someone out there, and the process works in reverse as well. Potential candidate listing and contacting has become a lot easier with these tools, and there are no hefty fees involved. As well, the word of mouth power on social works amazingly well via people's network of friends and their contacts. Companies are often requesting re-tweets of their job postings and looking for shares on facebook.

4. Real insights are making a big difference in the ways companies pre-profile candidates using social media platforms. Increasingly companies and HR departments dig deeper than the CV mailed in. They will look at a LinkedIn profile. Further, to "find out more about the real person" they'll try and access a facebook page.

5. Finally, companies today are being more open on their social media policies when luring candidates. Young candidates who are totally wired often seek 'social benefits' as much as they do vacation days. Two-thirds of college students ask about social media policies during job interviews, while 56% will either not accept a job from a company that bans social media, or they will circumvent the policy. The survey adds that 41% of employees say companies marketed a flexible device and social media policy to recruit them, says the Economic Times.

Get Innovation into your company's DNA

Are innovator's born that way? Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico worldwide. Maybe she was born with it? (Or is that Maybelline?). Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckergerg. Richard Branson. Jeff Bezos. Born innovators or can you download innovation? Can your company acquire a culture of innovation? Rebuild and create a new DNA that's got innovation as core?

Most brands or companies that are seen as innovators today have a common problem – and an even more common solutions approach to that. They first recognize innovation. Second, they encourage and let it thrive. Third they communicate innovation from every angle – make it oxygen. And finally, these leading companies, usually have innovators at the helm, or have leaders who strongly support the culture.

Innovation is born out of curiosity. Innovators observe the world around them, sometimes from different angles, but it starts with a keen sense of awareness. Then they ask questions, they get curious about the why, when, how, where, who and they tend to find answers that are obvious, or are incredibly intellectually out there and mould-breaking. The obvious solutions are usually out there for every one to have seen, but often they are hidden due to corporate ennui. And innovators always seek out challenges – they meet new people, ask new questions, travel to new places. They find because they seek.

By nature, innovators don't fit in. Too often, in my earlier days, I was part of agency protocol that ensured via interviews and testing that people we hired fit in. They had to be like us. Like me. Or we faced a threat of possibly hiring someone who would Think Different. Huh? This still goes on every day, in every way that companies are hiring today. Thus the profiling test, thus the personality modeling, the multiple-choice fill-this-in-our-way-or-go-elsewhere. It's the fear of the anti-establishment. The corporate numbing comfort of same-same.

If you really want to reconstruct your company's DNA hire some people who have different DNA's to yours. That's the only way to reconstruct. And then, find ways to cultivate and encourage this new, and different way, of thinking. This gets difficult as company sizes bloat. Big ships have large turning circles. Startups don't have this issue. They're nimble. One easy place to start is recognition. Step 2 is usually reward – and it's not always big-company-fat-paycheck reward. Freedom, autonomy, authority, and a sharp sense of go-get-it is often all innovators are looking for. Fair monetary compensation is important. Innovators get poached easily. You can't hide that light under a bushel too long.

One other area to keep an eye out for is the success/failure syndrome. Innovators by intuition are failures. If they don't fail, they cannot discover success, or re-invention. There is no challenge. The bigger challenge is to fall down, pick yourself up and then go on to win. Corporate leadership that instils fear of trying or failing is blunt and old hat. Corporate leadership also needs to recognize that innovation at Apple is different from innovation at HSBC and different from innovation at JWT or your corner store. You can't replicate form-factor innovation at Apple and apply it to a innovative new form of micro-wallet transactions at a bank.

I also believe that innovation is top-led. It's both participation and encouragement. It's about leadership making difficult choices that are outside the norm. It's keeping the playing field fair but open. And to be able to communicate that, to push that across everything the company does when possible. With the innate and keen ability to be able to move the goal posts as and when.

Yes, you can.

Instagram video leaving Vine trailing behind

Instagram video is the new king of the microblog video format. The 15-second format Instagram video is not only popular with the masses, but brands are flocking to it. Some top brands – already familiar with Instagram as a platform – have naturally taken to the newly introduced video blog on it.

Some brands are naturals on Instagram – using the earlier still-photo platform comfortably and successfully. Starbucks, Gap, Nike, Burberry were leaders on Instagram. Today, just over a week after the video-format launch other brands have joined the Instagram video bandwagon – MTV, Disney, Ford, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Intel and GE – just to name a few. Smaller, local brands are not far behind either. Mashable reported earlier that two-thirds of the world's Top 100 brands were already on Instgram. For them adding on video will come easy.

Intabrand studies done in the last week of June, 2013 show twice as many top brands using Instagram videos than Vine. Engagement figures were astounding – nearly 190,000 on Instagram that week vs only 225 on Vine-on-Twitter.

Vine wasn't huge. Ever. For starters, it launched on iOS, meaning that the huge Android base was neglected. Instagram on the other hand already had a base of 130 million users. Add to that Facebook – the Instagram parent brand – and you've got a massive 1 billion plus audience in the making. Video is naturally more engaging than photos. Facebook have always maintained that. The acquisition of Instagram was proof. Naturally, brands are excited about Facebook and Instagram together – a one-plus-one giving eleven!