Whether you consider yourself “social media-savvy” or not, your prospective employees likely are. The days of placing want ads in the local paper are long gone. Certainly, you can post job listings on standbys like Monster.com, or aggregators like Indeed.com, to cover your bases. If you want to target your search to the people most likely to be a good fit, though, you need to go to the places where they are looking for a firm like yours.
Today, for better or worse, that is online, using social media sites. And that is good, really, because the employees you want to hire are those who have a degree of technical capability — who understand the ins-and-outs of social networking, online research and related skills that will benefit your law practice. Here are a few things I’ve learned about using social media to look for good job candidates.
Using LinkedIn to Find People You Want to Hire
LinkedIn is a professional networking powerhouse. One of the best ways to attract good job candidates is by having a robust LinkedIn company profile. Once you’ve set up that profile for your law practice, you can do a few things to promote the jobs you’re looking to fill. First, you could post a paid advertisement in the job search section. There’s a good likelihood that you will be inundated with resumes, though, and it might even be more choices than you were hoping for.
As a second tactic, you can identify and join local networking groups with members who are likely to be the kind of employees you are targeting. LinkedIn’s groups will probably be a job-seeker’s first stop as he embarks on a job search because they have the potential to be local and very specific with respect to industries. For example, there may be a group specifically for entertainment lawyers in your city, or you could join a group for the local law school’s alumni network or bar association.
LinkedIn can also be used to recruit someone who may not be looking for a job. If you are looking for an associate or staffer who has a certain number of years of experience, or experience in a specific area of the law, you can use LinkedIn’s advanced search feature to find people geographically and by keyword. You can identify exactly the type of employee you need, then reach out to that person — and hope for the best.
Facebook as a Search Tool
Facebook can be a great way to do some free searching for candidates. If your firm already has a Facebook page, you can share your employee-seeking status. By adding job descriptions to your Facebook profile, you’re increasing the chances of finding the right employees because you will reach the people who are already interested in your firm. Facebook is a way to network in a far more viral capacity than you ever could by attending networking events and shaking hands. View it as a virtual handshake — your firm’s Facebook page might be the first interaction a job seeker has with you, so be sure that it sends the message you intend to project.
You can also join job-seeker Facebook groups. Facebook groups are a way for strangers to network (and even become friends), and it works the same way for job searchers. You can watch the posts on job-seeking group pages and see if there is anyone there you might want to recruit. On the flip-side, you can post your jobs on the seekers’ groups and let candidates come to you.
There are other social networks out there, of course, such as Twitter. Unless you’ve been building a Twitter following for a long time and are regularly engaging with the public through that medium, though, it’s unlikely to be a good way to find a candidate. However, if you post on a local job search site that regularly tweets, that is one way to market to the Twitter audience, though this won’t be as targeted as Facebook or LinkedIn.
The greatest benefit to using social media to recruit job candidates is the potential to reach a much wider pool than you might otherwise. With that and the capability to research a candidate before you’ve introduced yourself, social media could be your best asset in finding the employees who are the best-suited to your firm. Next time I’ll take a look at how to use social media as a screening tool for potential employees.
Noble McIntyre is the senior partner and owner of McIntyre Law. The Oklahoma City-based personal injury firm is focused on making the community safer, and has been very involved in charity work over the last few years. You can connect with him at @NobleMcIntyre, @McIntyreLaw, on Facebook and on Google+. Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com