By Jim Wong, CPA | October 1, 2013

It’s more important than ever to hire the best people for your organization, but finding and attracting top accounting, finance, and IT professionals to fit within your company culture is a challenge.

So the question is how? Our suggestion: Add social media, word-of-mouth, and employee referrals to your recruiting mix. Using word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways to attract top talent. Imagine its power amplified through the use of social media networks.

Word-of-mouth and Employee Referrals
Job seekers want to feel connected to potential employers, know what they are getting into before they accept an offer, and want to hear from people they trust as to why X workplace is the one they should invest in. Word-of-mouth and employee referrals are a powerful way to spread the word to qualified networks.

Create a well-structured employee referral program to generate new hires. This can increase retention, lower costs, and boost morale among current employees. Make sure you spread information about open positions to employees so they can look in their own networks of friend’s and friends of friends.

Make the most of career fairs. Career fairs are a great way to get employees in front of candidates to recommend your organization, answer questions about your company culture, and exchange information with potential candidates.

Create recruitment videos with employee testimonials. If you can’t get your employees face-to-face with potential candidates, having your staff record short testimonials about why working for you is such a great experience is a great way to entice job seekers, and tell your ‘company culture’ story. A great example of this is Noodles & Company.

Social Media
The world of recruiting is evolving and technology’s role is in recruiting is growing. With Facebook at one billion users and Twitter at 500 million accounts, it’s safe to say most recruiters and hiring managers use social media to find and connect with talented candidates.

In order to use social networks as recruiting tools, you need to understand how each function.

“The power of LinkedIn lies in the ability to leverage networks of your company, colleagues, employees, and their connections to find the best talent,” says Sajjad Masud, contributor to Mashable. Engage with candidates that are passionate about your industry and your company, take part in LinkedIn group discussions, and share interesting content. Most importantly, share updates about open positions with your connections, which will then share it with their contacts, and so on. This creates a “powerful viral effect, giving you a web of verifiably talented potential applicants,” adds Sajjad.

Facebook is where a lot of potential candidates spend time. “Not only does Facebook have the most members of any social networking service, its members spend an average of 405 minutes per month on the site,” said Sajjad. Have a dedicated careers tab on your company page to make it easy for candidates to not only find, but also apply for open positions. “The purpose of your Facebook page should be to give job seekers a taste of your workplace culture,” says Sajjad, so share industry related content, start discussions, encourage engagement and keep your eyes peeled for interested, qualified candidates.

When recruiting on Twitter, the key is to stay active. Make sure you are not only tweeting about job openings, but are also reaching your target job seeker audience. Use keywords and hashtags potential candidates search for and use themselves, and participate in industry related Twitter chats. Your goal should be to build a community of followers who represent the talent you might be looking for, Sajjad suggests. “When you have a great community of engaged talent, it becomes easier to get your message out to them and identify those who would be a good fit for your open positions.”

Social media, combined with word-of-mouth networking and referrals, is a successful formula for finding and attracting potential accounting, finance, and IT candidates.

Not only do you get a consistent, high quality source of hires through referrals, social media provide a channel for you to build a community of interested and eager talent, allows employees to tell their own stories about your company, and also gives potential employees a taste of what it’s like to work for your organization.

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