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Social media has changed the landscape in the way organizations conduct almost all aspects of business. It has affected marketing, communications and more. Because of this monumental shift, companies are deviating from the traditional ways of finding candidates to fill open positions. Social media has become so common it is frequently where people begin their job searches, especially the Millennial generation.
With the average age of loan officers being between 52 and 55, it has become critical for mortgage leaders to replenish their sales forces with new talent. Turning to new avenues of recruiting is one of the most lucrative options for fueling a sales force.
If you are considering using social media in your recruiting strategy, there are three main platforms I recommend using, including Facebook, Twitter and of course, LinkedIn. These three sources are a fantastic way to not only find new candidates, but also have potential candidates find you. Studies show that companies with a social media presence are 58 percent more likely to attract top talent. People want to see the people behind the Web site. They want to see what it would be like working for your company. While making a presence for your company on social media, these platforms have specific tools that can help you with seeking qualified candidates.
Facebook is one of the best places to find potential candidates because almost everyone has an account. Even though Facebook is seen more as a social platform rather than professional, if someone is looking for a job, their eyes are always open for the opportunity.
Use this flexibility to your advantage by posting the job posting to your company page, or even your personal page, and call upon your network to share your post. By posting it on your company page and your personal page, your friends will see it and if your network shares it, their friends will see it, creating an infinite amount of people you could touch with one post.
Facebook ads are also a valuable resource for recruiting. These ads are inexpensive and can be targeted to a specific audience. You can target people based on location, demographics, interests and connections. Facebook ads also give you the opportunity to segment based off behavior, meaning if someone has indicated on their profile they are in a finance position, you can choose that target audience.
As LinkedIn is designed for businesses and professionals, it should be your main focus when recruiting through social media. Nowadays, anyone seriously looking for a job, or even settled in a career, should have an online profile.
Like with Facebook, posting your job description for your network to share is always a best practice. They can share your post with their network and you can receive referrals from your trusted connections.
Also like with Facebook, LinkedIn ads give you the capability to segment your audience. You can be even more specific with LinkedIn such as with industry, job experience, job title and other distinctions. Since this segmentation is more specific than with Facebook, your ads are going to be a bit more expensive. Fortunately though, you will most likely see a higher click-through rate since your ad will be more relevant to your specified audience.
Another avenue LinkedIn offers is LinkedIn Recruiter. Large companies like Google and Facebook consistently use LinkedIn Recruiter to find top candidates because of its easy-to-navigate dashboard and advantageous features like the “People You May Want to Hire” section. The add-on also lets companies look at any candidate’s entire profile without the person ever knowing. These are just two of the many features LinkedIn Recruiter offers to find the most qualified candidates for your open position.
If you’re not looking to spend money in your recruiting endeavor, there is also the option of searching through specific LinkedIn groups. There are countless groups people can join and participate in based on their interests, industry, job title and more. For example, if you are looking to fill a loan officer position, you could search for “Mortgage Professionals” and find a group matching that description. From there, you have access to add and message countless professionals in the industry.
Twitter is the newest of the three and possibly the least utilized form of social media for recruiting. Even though it has not been adopted by as many as LinkedIn or Facebook, it is another place filled with qualified candidates. It is also another form of social media that does not require spending money to distribute your job posting.
Like Facebook and LinkedIn, you can post your job and call upon your network to retweet your post. Your followers’ followers will then have access to your post and the link to your job.
Another way to distribute your job posting is to be liberal with hashtags. For those not familiar with Twitter, hashtags are used to create groups in a sense. For example, if you post a tweet with #job, your tweet will automatically be picked up and placed in a group with other posts with the same hashtag. This is beneficial because people looking for a job will search #job and come upon a list of people posting jobs.
In order to stand out even more with your hashtags, consider using more than one. For instance, if you are looking to hire a loan officer in Atlanta, you could tweet with hashtags such as #job #ATL #sales. These hashtags will be matched up with similar hashtags and people looking for a specific kind of job will be more likely to find you.
As you can see, there are numerous ways other than job boards to find qualified candidates, especially young professionals. Social media has transformed the business and recruiting world, and will only continue to change the way we do business. It is critical we continue to stay on top of these new methods to properly grow and prosper with the professionals of the future.
Casey Cunningham is CEO of XINNIX, having co-founded the company in 2002. She has more than 26 years of diverse retail mortgage sales and leadership experience, beginning her career as a loan officer and quickly became a top producer with an annualized production of $60 million and 500 closed loans.
This article originally appeared in the July 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.