Four tips for recruiting in the age of social media

Hiring managers looking for the best candidates in a specific field, whether it's accounting jobs, risk management jobs, or any other position, now have to do a lot more than just sift through a collection of applications. As with all other industries, the Internet and digital technologies have compartmentalized the hiring and recruiting processes. One single technique is no longer enough for any company – a business owner or manager must now engage in a handful of different socially focused techniques to find the perfect applicant for a position. They need to be searching both online and offline.

However, there are a number of major positives that come with the social refocusing of the hiring process. There's a much lower cost involved with making your job openings as available as they used to be. The Internet allows your business a more global reach, helping your opening to reach eyes across the country and world, where previous listings would have only found local applicants. And, with social recruiting techniques, you're doing more than just searching for the latest applicant – you're establishing your brand, in your own community and beyond. Check out these four social recruiting techniques, and see if they're right for your next employee search:

Don't just use your Brand's Facebook page – use paid ads
Most business owners will think to cross-link their job opening posts on their social media page. But this step really isn't enough – you should consider purchasing paid ads that target users who have engaged with and "liked" posts on your brand's wall. Only a small percentage of your followers will even see most of the posts your business makes on its own wall. But with paid ads, you can directly target your most engaged readers. After all, you never know when one of your best customers could become one of your best employees.

Trust your employees, and their interests
Another way to expand your recruitment process is to quiz your employees on their favorite publications, online forums and journals. You want to find the best minds in your specific industry – and hopefully, you already have some of them on your team. By delving into the niche publications and websites that are focused on your particular industry, you'll find the most "plugged in" minds in your field – and you may also find your next valuable employee.

Turn to the community
While social media is revolutionizing the way businesses find their latest employees, it's important to remember that there are low cost ways to find top-level talent within your own town or community. Keep close contact with university professors and administrators with ties to your field – you'll want them to keep their most outstanding graduates abreast of any potential job openings at your firm. On that note, make sure you send a representative to as many job fairs or industry conventions as possible, as you never know when – or where – your next employee is going to be knocking on your company's door.

Offer referral bonuses
We all like to think that our employees have the business' best interests on their mind all day long – but it never hurts to give them a little motivation. Offer your workers a bonus if they refer an applicant to your company who ends up getting hired. No one will be able to top the industry connections of your own workers, so give them an incentive toward leading those connections to your firm. The key to recruiting in the social media age is to leave no resource unused, and your employees may just be the best resource you have at your disposal.