Nowadays, just about everyone is plugged into Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These social channels have opened up a completely new way for recruiters and companies to find skilled candidates for job openings across a range of fields. Beyond those three leading platforms, recruiters have also seen an influx of new social recruiting tools, like Jobs2Web. These new developments provide substantial evidence that recruiters and organizations are searching for innovative ways to source candidates through new and existing social media networks.
It’s interesting, then, that despite this clear ambition to make the most of available social recruiting channels, recruiters and organizations continue to underuse one prominent social network, Google+.
Maybe the raw numbers are the reason recruiters aren’t using Google+ as actively as they should. Having been around for about two years, Google+ has only a third of Facebook’s users. Maybe 343 million active users don’t seem attractive compared to Facebook’s 1.06 billion, but recruiters should pay more attention to who these users actually are. While Facebook’s user base spans generations, occupations, interests, and skills, the majority of Google+’s active users are tech-savvy professionals. Google+’s user base is small (relatively speaking), but it’s a pool of potential “purple squirrels.”
Technology pros are attracted to Google+ because there are major SEO benefits to having one’s online presence on the search giant’s owned network. Also, top tech industry influencers like Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki have lent important visibility and credibility to the Google+ community for techies. Although Google+ may not be used for recruiting as much as LinkedIn, for the tech recruiter, it is a key social media platform that can be used to connect with influencers and professionals. Google+ plays host to a massive pool of engineers, programmers, developers, and designers just waiting to be tapped for a multitude of positions.
Given this, how can companies being leveraging Google+ to connect with IT talent today? Here are four recommendations:
Search Google+ Using Directory Tools
One of the simplest ways to find tech talent on Google+ is to use existing tools. FindPeopleOnPlus.com, for example, allows recruiters to sort IT talent by industry, position, and demographics. These types of tools display Google+’s user base in directory form, and also provide links to users’ other social media accounts, allowing recruiters to further research a potential candidate before reaching out directly. According to a recent report from FindPeopleOnPlus.com, the top 10 occupations on Google+ are almost all technical professions, which is further evidence of the opportunities recruiters can find within Google+’s talent pool.
Host a Google+ Hangout
Google+ hangouts have been generating a lot of buzz for their ability to connect top industry influencers with their fans and followers. These virtual events can be equally powerful in connecting technology companies with potential hires. The key is for companies to use their own “rock stars” to attract like-minded professionals. For example, a Fortune 1000 company could arrange a Google+ hangout with its CEO to attract brand admirers. During the event, the executive could encourage participants to check out the company’s career website for openings, while the Google+ hangout facilitators send participants a direct link to the site using the chat box.
Actively Engage to Reap SEO Benefits
If companies hope to attract skilled tech talent by using Google+, they should become active users themselves. Companies should “like” or “+1” industry-influencers’ content, while simultaneously creating and sharing original content, as a means of attracting followers and building their own networks. Once a piece of content is +1, whether it’s an article or an advertisement, it will appear on the company’s profile as well as in Google search results and websites that have a +1 feature. Building a following by engaging in this type of interaction on Google+ is well worth the effort. As a company Google+ network grows, so does the company’s visibility in Google searches performed outside of the network.
Tailor Communication to Contacts through Circles
A unique feature of Google+ is the ability to separate your followers into different groups, or circles. This function allows recruiters to group the people they are following based on specific relationships, including personal, professional, and prospective connections. Users can then push out specific, tailored content to these groups. Additionally, recruiters can import contacts from email into groups, such as current applicants, past employees, candidates with mobile skills, and more. These features enable recruiters and organizations to tailor communication to targeted candidates.
As Google+ looks to create new features, gain new users, update displays and expand the offering, this social network will become more influential. With the added features, Google+ will continue to be a hot spot for tech-savvy users looking to expand their professional networks. When organizations think about hiring new tech talent, they should consider tapping into the wealth of candidates currently plugged into Google+. Accessing these prospects is easy once organizations and recruiters know how to harness the features of Google+ for their candidate sourcing needs.