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The Social Networking Explosion

It is reported that Facebook® has over 300 million active users, 50% of which log on to Facebook® on any given day. The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years and older. Millions of people use Twitter® to connect with others which promotes itself as a “simple way to connect with people”. LinkedIn® has over 50 million members around the world and states, “Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”. These sites are just three of the top 25 social networking sites available to connect with people.

Because the business of staffing is to connect people with opportunities, social networking has become a popular way of supplementing that effort. But connections do not end with social networking sites. Jobboards for posting jobs and searching for candidates has never been more influential in the business of staffing and recruiting.

Let’s take a look at a simple site like Twitter®. You may think this site is used to let people know that you are taking your dog out for a walk. The real truth is that highly regarded flagship companies are using Twitter® to stay in touch with their customers. A business can use Twitter® to share information with people interested in their company, gather market intelligence in real-time, and build relationships with customers and partners who care about their company. Staffing firms can post job orders to Twitter® and even allow people to link to their website directly from that posting.

Imagine the power of reaching your candidates in a format that is easy for you and convenient for them. It adds an extra dimension to your customer service ability and incidentally could potentially help you fill a lot more orders. Other social networking sites can be used similarly, extending your marketing to an entirely heightened dimension.Social networking and job sites cannot add value in isolation. Organizations should assess their internal business processes and identify how social networking and job site initiatives can play an added role to the company’s business plan. As sites grow in popularity companies can no longer afford to rely solely on traditional marketing means. This translates to implementing a strategy that will encompass your basic business processes with social networking and use of job sites.

One of the areas that you will want to look at is how your software can integrate with these new ways of marketing and finding talent. The key is to make this process simple and to make it a part of your normal software operational process. Your CRM system should manage all relationships and be able to utilize tools that will help you reach out to your clients and candidates in new and meaningful ways. You want your software application to be as flexible and as service oriented as you are.

The best way to start is to do a little research into all of the sites that are available. Decide what you want to accomplish. Find out what each one offers. Check with your software vendor to see what tools are currently available to interface with social networking sites and job boards. The more integration you have the easier and more effective these new tools will be to use. In order to effectively manage your business and stay connected with your customers and talent, it will be important to incorporate some of these new engaging tools into your business strategy.

This article made an appearance in the November 2009 issue of staffdigest Magazine. www.staffdigest.com

Terri Roeslmeier is President of Automated Business Designs, Inc., software developer of Ultra-Staff software for the staffing and direct hire industry. Ultra-Staff is a staffing software business solution with components for front office, back office and the web. Terri’s email address is TAR@abd.net or for more information on Ultra-Staff go to www.abd.net

 

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