(Creative commons licensed from Flickr user Zach Klein)

Bringing in the right talent can be a taxing and costly undertaking, particularly for start-ups. In today’s competitive hiring landscape, larger corporations that enjoy limitless recruitment resources and widespread brand recognition attract high quality candidates with ease.

Start-ups looking to build an extraordinary team often find themselves at a serious disadvantage. For them, social media recruitment is the new, powerful way to hire the most qualified candidates.

 By providing a platform for open and authentic career content, social media enables start-ups to effectively attract and target top talent without the deep pockets or big names. New technology empowers all employers, no matter how small, to affordably broadcast their company brand and share exciting career opportunities to the largest possible talent pool.

 In addition to being the most economical recruitment option, hiring through social media is a perfect match for the start-up culture. By nature, start-ups tend to foster a more nonchalant, word-of-mouth approach to branding — making it easy for them to cultivate sizeable Facebook and Twitter networks. Larger and more established organizations, on the other hand, often rely on the traditional recruitment model, and have yet to adapt to this new arena where ‘buzz’ is paramount. Social recruitment platforms allow start-ups to make the most of their grass-roots methods and leverage these networks in order to bring in top talent.


Optimize your social media presence

 Optimizing your company’s social media presence is the easiest, most cost-effective way to attract the highest caliber candidates, and with 850 million users on Facebook alone, the networking opportunities are endless. To make the most of this enormous market, businesses must maintain engaging career profiles with rich and relevant information that users will want to share with their own networks.

 In social media, prospective candidates are reached by means of viral distribution of job openings. In order to ensure that your company brand and career opportunities reach second- and third-degree friends, you must provide immersive, career-focused content that will encourage liking, sharing and recommending. Publish job openings and information on career events to your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feeds and pages. Contribute noteworthy stories, and stimulate relevant industry dialogue. Be sure to incorporate elements that display your company’s personality, as well. YouTube channels, blogs, photos, and the social media profiles of your recruiters will give users a glimpse into your corporate culture and foster direct relationships.

 In short, the more users enjoy the social media image you present, the more likely they will be to share your company job opportunities with their friends and networks. Ultimately, this creates the buzz that will maximize the reach of your employment brand.


Highlight the perks of working for a start-up

 Start-ups already have the upper hand when it comes to cultivating digital communities, but it is equally important to continue to present the right image once you’ve cast your net. Make the most of the start-up culture’s reputation for being an attractive place to work. Most quality candidates looking outside large corporations are drawn to the excitement and fresh perspective inherent to start-ups, so be sure to highlight your relaxed office environment, desirable work/life balance, unique projects and impressive customer list. Social media recruiting offers abundant opportunities for start-ups to brand themselves.

 Use your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages to paint an attractive picture of your company culture. After visiting your social media profiles, potential candidates should have a thorough understanding of who you are as a team, and be able to visualize how they would fit into your company.


Tap into employee networks

 Teamwork and a collective vision are vital to the success of start-ups organizations. These same values also create a win-win scenario in referral hiring. Candidates who are discovered through employee networks are the most likely to be a good fit with the company culture. The referral hiring process also emphasizes feelings of solidarity and employee collaboration. Lastly, employee referrals deliver the results at significantly lower costs than other approaches.

 Recent developments in social media recruitment technology have made this process easier than ever. Using the right social media recruitment platform, companies can leverage the networks of their existing employees and access an even larger audience.

If the average social media user has approximately 300 friends, a company with 100 employees can reach 30,000 first-degree friends and a staggering 9 million second-degree friends. All employee referrals are tracked and rewards and referral bonuses can be awarded to employees for their contribution to the team.


Jindrich Liska is chief executive of Jobmagic, a Boston-based developer of a social recruiting platform. Jobmagic platform powers social recruiting for companies of all sizes; from the world’s largest companies such as Walt Disney and JCrew to fast growing mid-size companies and start-ups.