By Scot Morris, OD
Social media can provide a clear picture of job candidates and help you find ideal matches for your staffing needs.
Socialmedia sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Monster.com and Craig’s List are primary tools to recruit and screen potential employees. In using them for this purpose, you are going to thevery place where good candidates are looking for you.
You still can use traditional recruitmentmethods, such as classified ads,but recruitment the “old fashioned” way is costly and arduous. So consider looking where many talented people are looking, on social media sites. With social media you can attract a much bigger audience, even those who are passive job seekers who just happen to be surfing and find the perfect job opportunity–with you.
Job Search Site
Social networks, such as LinkedIn, along with job search sites like Monster.com, offer a convenient avenue to find candidates. But you also have a resource available to youin the form of Local Eye Site (www.localeyesite.com).
There is a fee(www.localeyesite.com/subscription), but in exchange for the fee, you get a pool of candidates specifically interested–and often specially experienced in–work in optometric offices. –ROB Editors
Start withMost Popular Social Networking Channels
Get started by using your existing social mediachannels. If you are new to social media, try the more popular (and free) channels. If you are not already on Facebook or LinkedIn, consider opening an account, build your profile and join the social revolution.Then start developing your network of professional colleagues.By connecting with them and their friends (and their friends and so on), you dramatically increase your net of potential candidates.This is a much bigger net than more traditional advertisements in a professional journalor local newspapers.In many instances, people in your network may pass your potential job opportunity on to one of their friends.
Try Using Online Job Boards
Consider using one (or more)of the many online job boards in the market, such as Craig’s List.I have stopped advertisingin print for staff,and rely solely on Craig’s List for local hires.When using an online job site like Monster.com or Craig’s List, be sure to be very specific aboutwhat you are looking for so you won’t have hundreds of unqualified applicants to sift through.
Monitor Competitors’ Employee Retention
You can use social networks towatch howwell your competition is retaining employees.To do this, type “optometrist” into the search box on theCraig’s List, Monster.com,etc.,employer’s, or job lister’s, searchbox. Then look at the results thatcome upoffering candidates interested in working in optometric offices. You will be able to see their resumes and may notice that some currently workfor your competition. Not only will this give you competitive insight, but it may also allow you to spot qualified personnelwho are looking for a different opportunity.Through social media you can start an informal conversation in which you can pick these potential candidates’ brains. You canlearn about their areas of expertise and strengths and whatmost interests them professionally.Those conversationsmight lead to the ability to fill long-vacant positions, or even the creation of a new position and new businessopportunity.
Vet Potential Candidates Online
Don’t forget to vet potential applicants online. Most peoples’ lives are an open book in cyberspace.By using simple tools like Google, Bing or Facebook, you can quickly gain insight into the personality of your candidates.Type in their name, present city of residence or any recent job listing.Click on images to reference pictures theywere tagged in.Perform criminal record checks by using their name and public record as keywords.This type of research can also be used to confirm employment and background provided by thecandidate on their application.
Afew months ago, I had three great candidates for an optician position.When I Googled each of the candidates, I found that one had a warrant for his arrest on a theft charge–which is great to know before the interview process begins.You will also likely gain insight into past accomplishments, or be able to find outif they have a personal blog or Facebook page.Though some people are cautious about what they put online (and rightfully so), a little online snooping may help identify traits that you either are looking for or choose to avoid.After all, you are looking for the most complete package in new hires.
Understand the Value of Social Media Footprint
Acandidate’s social media footprint gives you (and others) the best insight into their passions, interests, communication styles, work habits, work/life balance and other valuable information.When combined, the information gleaned from social networkingweb sitesprovides a great deal of information to help fill in the blanks or flesh out thetraditional written application and interview.Anyone can look good on paper.We all have a right to personal opinions and avenues of communication with friends and family.
As a prospective employer, you don’t have to agree with everything candidates say, or with all oftheir opinions, but you do havetounderstand howthose words and opinions will impact your business.Screeningjob applicants online gives you a preview of how their online lives maydangerously–or helpfully–intersect with your practice.
Scot Morris, OD,of Eye Consultants of Colorado in Conifer, Colo., is an international speaker and educator on optometric subjects. He directs anophthalmic consulting service, Morris Education & Consulting Associates, as well as Ocular Technology Solutions, Inc. To contact him:firstname.lastname@example.org.