Ten years ago “Google” was only a noun. Five years ago “friend” became a verb. Social media is rewriting how we interact — and it’s happening in every aspect of our lives. Twitter transformed how we get our news; Groupon revolutionized how we consume; Foursquare revamped how we ‘check-in’; and now, social media is redefining how we hire.
Human Resources saw the emergence of Job Boards around a decade ago; they allowed employers to reach a wider talent pool, easier than ever before. Since that time, they have dominated sourcing. However, as social media infiltrates everyday life, companies need to leverage these outlets to connect with consumers and candidates alike.
One out of every six Americans uses social media. Of those, 59 percent interact with businesses through social media sites, with one in four checking in more than once a week. (Source: Cone Communications) And consumers who “like” your business give your brand and your bottom line a “thumbs-up”: 61 percent of Facebook users who have ‘liked’ a brand note that they are more likely to purchase from that brand. (Source: AllFacebook) Capitalize on your online influence by integrating social media into your hiring processes. For foodservice businesses with a following, it’s the obvious next step — especially for the fast casual segment, where social media campaigns have already shown marketing success.
Social media is already revolutionizing the restaurant industry. The NRA's 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast found that more than 80 percent of restaurant operators will increase social media marketing efforts. Over the next two years, more than half plan to add online review sites, Facebook, Twitter and blogs into their marketing mixes. Furthermore, the 2011 HR Toolbox survey reported HR pros currently spend 7.62 hours each week on social media sites.
What are they doing? Social media is a powerful recruiting and sourcing tool for restaurants. The people who live and breathe social media are also the people who are most likely to work in foodservice businesses. They are using online profiles — originally reserved for connecting socially — to hunt for jobs, build credibility and a personal brand, and network professionally.
Social media takes the old adage of hiring based on ‘who you know’ to a whole new level. Employers’ ability to tap into these social networks is quickly becoming an indispensable resource. Hiring managers can reach their target demographic much easier, employ a proactive sourcing plan and drastically reduce costs. Most social media sites allow businesses to post, Tweet and message open positions for free … unlike job boards, which can end up costing employers hundreds for each position.
In October, BranchOut, the largest professional network on Facebook, went mobile. The program lets members use their Facebook network to look for jobs, source leads, recruit candidates and cultivate professional contacts. Three months earlier, LinkedIn launched an "Apply with LinkedIn" button, allowing candidates to submit résumés directly from their profile with just a click. Sophisticated talent management systems can pool social media sourcings and quickly filter through applications to identify the highest-quality candidates.
Evolutions like these continue to drive innovation in restaurant HR. The future of foodservice hiring is a two-way conversation … if you’re not speaking the lingo, it’s time to reference a tech-tionary.