In recruiting, like real estate, success comes down to three words: “location, location, location.”
Considerations like commuting and relocation have always played a critical role in the recruitment process; with the rise of location-based services like Foursquare, recruiters and talent organizations have a new weapon for winning the war for talent.
At the upcoming Talent Net Live (#TNL) event in Chicago, I’ll be partnering with Craig Fisher to speak about the use of these location-based social media tools, providing some background and examples of location based best practices and how these emerging technologies can be effectively integrated into the hiring process and your current HR strategies.
This highly interactive Human Resources and Recruiting conference features a jam-packed lineup of top thought leaders and influencers like William Tincup, Trish McFarlane, Ryan Leary, Lars Schmidt, Maren Hogan, Sarah White, Marianthe Verver, Geoff Webb and Monster’s own Matt Charney.
Tickets are still available for next week’s event; click here to register.
While location matters, if you can’t make it to Chicago, don’t worry. You can access the #TNL stream online thanks to sponsors JSTN, or participate in the Twitter conversation using the #TNL hashtag on Twitter.
Whether I’ll see you in Chicago or online, here’s a sneak peek at what we’ll be discussing during our session on location based services and what HR practitioners and talent management professionals need to know to “check in” to this potentially powerful recruiting tool.
Location-Based Services: A Primer for HR and Recruiting Professionals
Perhaps the most prominent location-based social networking website is Foursquare.
This service, which is available to users with GPS-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones, has enjoyed exponential expansion over the last year, growing from 7 million registered users to over 10 million between February and June of 2011.
With a growing user base and a truly global reach that’s also highly localized, Foursquare, which allows users to “check-in” at venues using a mobile website, app or text message, represents a powerful tool for identifying and engaging potential candidates and consumers.
According to AdWeek, over a half a million brands are already utilizing Foursquare as a component of their social media marketing efforts, with more than 10, 000 developers utilizing its open API to increase or enhance user experience and functionality.
Increasingly, these efforts are becoming integral to building a breakthrough employer brand, integrating such hot HR topics as mobile recruiting, improving candidate experience and engagement into a single solution which allows for highly localized, highly relevant recruitment messaging.
Here are some tips and tricks for integrating location-based services like Foursquare throughout your organization’s talent acquisition and management process:
Location Based Sourcing
Events: If you’re at a trade show or a professional networking event, location based services are a great way to see what potential candidates or customers might be worth targeting or connecting with. Because users often integrate Foursquare with other social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
These connections or leads can also be leveraged in other online initiatives, continuing the conversation, and tapping into (or creating) talent communities across networks.
Tips: Foursquare and other services like Gowalla allow users to leave ‘tips’ on venues or locations, which are publicly visible to any user checking in or looking up the venue. This can be used to insert your employment brand, and the fact you’re hiring, into the conversation.
An example would be leaving a tip at a direct competitor with the name of your business so that whenever someone checks in, they’ll immediately see a message like, “Check us out down the street, we’re hiring!”
It can also help position your employer brand as a subject matter expert by leaving pertinent advice and insights on locations commonly frequented by your targeted industry or function.
Checking In: Pre-Screening Top Talent
Develop References: Location-based services can help generate visibility into a candidates’ references by allowing users to see who they’re connected with as well as when they’re checked into any location with their connections.
Frequent check-ins with the same users, particularly at work-related locations, can provide not only additional candidate leads, but also potential references with direct, personal experience within a workplace.
Social History: A candidate probably won’t tell a potential employer that they’re going to potentially nefarious locations such as adult clubs, or if they’re closing out the bars every day before work, but location-based services provide a check-in history that can be valuable for employers during the screening process.
This not only creates visibility for employers into a candidates’ behaviors, but can also be used to identify potential work-life trends and assess fit with company culture.
For instance, while many job descriptions require “passion” or “commitment, ” location-based check-ins can effectively demonstrate these traits by effectively showcasing the overlaps between business and pleasure.
Employee Engagement and Retention
Locating Employees: Location based services like Foursquare provide visibility to where existing employees might be, which can help leaders and HR practitioners spot potential business development or client engagement opportunities (e.g. asking an employee who’s checked in with a potential customer to follow up on a lead).
It can also be used to verify things like whether someone who called in sick is truly at home recuperating, or that the employee has just cause for missing a mandatory meeting beyond, say, going to Chili’s to grab a margarita.
Encourage Employee Check-Ins: Encourage your current employees to check-in while at the office. This allows co-workers to connect and engage with their fellow employees on new platforms while meeting or engaging with co-workers they might not know from other functions or teams.
It can also function as a potential time-clock; when an employee checks in, you’ll be able to see when they actually arrived at the office and if (or when) they’re leaving early or punching out for the day, or whether they’re reporting accurate hours on a time sheet.
Boost Brand Ambassadors: Checking in at the office is also a great way to identify potential brand ambassadors among employees already active on social media or to increase the reach or social share of voice as users share their check-in status across their social networks.
Encourage your employees to share tips, photos and other information related to the world of work within your brand’s location-based profile. Feature photos of things like team-building activities, special events or other occasions which make your organization a truly unique, and desirable, career destination.
This will help strengthen your employer brand by giving visibility to what working at your company is really like and creates a rich repository of social assets which can be re-purposed, or shared, across other platforms or within social recruiting collateral.
Of course, if you’re doing any of things utilizing location-based services, it’s important to incorporate location based services utilizing check-ins to your current or existing social media policy.
You’ll need to let employers, candidates and consumers know why, and how, their location-based data is being shared or accessed, and fully disclose how you intend to leverage or utilize any information gleaned from these services.
Monster is proud to support TalentNet Live (#TNL), an event for talent managers and human capital leaders featuring some of the brightest minds and biggest innovations in the HR industry and continuing the conversation – and learning – for practitioners around topics like social media, social recruiting and HR training.