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A few years ago, the Department of Labor implemented a Social Media project that provided grants to three states wanting to “expand awareness and use of social media tools among a range of stakeholders, including job seekers, employers, and staff.” The impetus for the project was the ongoing need for efficient ways to quickly and successfully connect job seekers with job openings. And since social media had taken off at hyper speed, this seemed like a good place to start.

States who took part in the initial project used grant money to educate job seekers, as well as employers and their staff members, on using social media to effectively job search, network and find training opportunities. In addition to expanding their current knowledge and use of social media options like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, the money was also used to introduce new tools such as virtual job fair and electronic chat.

At the end of the three-year project, participants agreed that there are a variety of ways social media is an asset for increasing productivity and reducing time and costs related to staffing. An excerpt from the project report “Experiences of Three States in Developing Social Medial Strategies” states:

“Facebook can be an effective tool for making agency announcements and providing job listings, as well as for responding directly and quickly to customer inquiries. It can be an important device for prompting two-way communication between a state agency and job seekers.

Twitter can be a useful tool for making announcements to the stakeholder community, such as the number of job openings in the state’s automated job bank or about an upcoming job fair. The grantees also found Twitter effective for driving job seekers and other interested parties to the state’s or a local workforce agency’s website or Facebook page to obtain more detailed information.

YouTube can serve as a readily accessible repository for videos to inform job seekers or employers about workforce programs, policies, or procedures. Videos also can demonstrate how to effectively access and use specific workforce services…. Videos targeted to employers can include information on how to submit a job vacancy listing to a state job bank. Job seeker information can focus on how to use social media tools such as LinkedIn to effectively network, how to “dress-for-success” for a job interview, or how to handle certain types of questions during a job interview.”

Overall, these social media tools offer some great benefits for connecting job seekers and employers, especially when it comes to those individuals who probably wouldn’t have visited an agency’s website otherwise. However, project participants also found that “one size does not fit all.” Using a variety of tools and strategies, as well as keeping up with changing trends, is important. It can also get a bit complicated or time consuming to handle independently, so working with a vendor like TalentCircles can make the process much easier and more efficient.

Susan Magrino, TalentCircles President and CEO, says, “TalentCircles provides the talent connection platform which is already designed for social media tools. For state and local agencies who want to get started with a social media recruitment or add more depth to an existing program, we can discuss a variety of options to choose from based on individual need.”

In fact, TalentCircles provided the platform for one of the states that received a social media grant, and Ms. Magrino shares, “We were very pleased to see the grass roots growth of the candidate pool and the connections job seekers were making.”

Considering that social media tools can be inexpensive yet play an important part in enhancing communication, as well as result in time savings and productivity gains, the government sector should make using them a priority. Having them integrated into an intuitive platform should be mandatory!

Call us at 415-835-0202 or email us at sales@talentcircles.com and we’ll help you begin to incorporate social media into your staffing strategy.

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