17/10/2015 8:13 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Why Social Sourcing Is Your Best Weapon For The Talent War

Pole lifting rubber duck with hook in its head
Andy Roberts via Getty Images
Pole lifting rubber duck with hook in its head

As today's workforce gets increasingly dynamic, the difficulty in retaining talent keeps rising. The silver lining, however, is that because of the availability of social media tools today, everyone out there can now be your potential candidate. In order to remain relevant in the market, your business must accept and adopt these changes. The future belongs to social sourcing.

Attracting and retaining talent is an issue which is gaining importance worldwide. Let's consider some facts. The average millennial will probably have 17 employers spanning five careers during their lifetime. Merely 28% of respondents in Deloitte's fourth annual Millennial Survey trust their current employers to make full use of their capabilities. Research from Roy Morgan has found more than one in four Australian workers will consider changing organisations within the next 12 months.

The reactive approach of searching for the candidate after a position is vacant exposes the organisation to unnecessary talent gaps. The proactive approach of building a pool of people who are talented and are interested in your organisation can result in significantly reducing the time that it takes to hire. You can keep this pool engaged by the use of social media until a suitable role becomes available.

To do this effectively, you need a social sourcing strategy that considers the audience segments you're going to target, where you plan to engage them and the messaging you want to deliver. Here are four key steps in the process.

1. Understand your target audience

The first step is to identify specific candidate segments with the essential qualifications and experience. You need to develop an understanding of their possible career path and the challenges they might be facing in their current roles. This information will help you in determining whether their objectives align with yours.

2. Pick your communication channel

The choice of social networks which you will use to engage this audience Is the next step. You might use LinkedIn to share content with relevant groups and identify potential targets. You could also distribute your messaging through Twitter using relevant hashtags. If it's a creative role then Instagram or Pinterest might be part of the mix.

3. Develop tailored content

Clear messaging is the trigger you need to engage potential candidates and pull them into your organisation. This content needs to be focused on the candidates. You need to show them that you understand the challenges they're facing and demonstrate how you can help them achieve their career goals.

4. Deliver business outcomes

With a pool of readily available talent at your fingertips, you can reduce the time and cost associated with hiring new staff. A sales role might be fairly straightforward for your organisation to fill but a vacant back-office job can quickly have a negative impact on customer service. With social sourcing you already have a handful of vetted candidates as soon as that role becomes available.

Social sourcing is an opportunity for your business to take a more proactive approach to finding and attracting talent. The other important point to remember is that this is an addition to human interaction and not a replacement. Social sourcing brings you the opportunity to connect your business with available talent and build a relationship. Nothing can replace people skills in defining how successful social sourcing strategy can be.

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