Social recruiting is the new frontier of the job market. Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have long been used by recruiters and by employers to find the employees who are most ideally suited for their business. And now one of the newest social engines is being tapped by the business world: Google+.
Google+ hit social media with a bang in 2011. Unlike most social media outlets, it is backed by the powerhouse that dominated both the search engine and smartphone operating system markets in short order. If those events are anything to go by, Google+ is positioning itself to outclass its competition and smart recruiters are learning its ropes now before the market is saturated.
The Perks of Google+
Although the future of Google+ looks bright, it is not nearly as pervasive as its counterparts. Because of this limited scope, many recruiters overlook Google+ in their recruitment efforts. While Google+ may not be ever present (yet), it has some benefits that other social media sites do not.
One perk of Google+ is its demographic: it really has none. Facebook is tailor-made for the young and social. LinkedIn is strictly for professionals. Google+ reaches everyone. Through Gmail, Google search and other avenues Google+ reaches a wide range of professionals no matter their background or social preferences. Some even argue that in the near future a Google+ page will be the touchstone for everyone's web presence.
Google+ is also ideal for recruiters because it focuses on the personal profile. While Facebook focuses on pictures and Twitter focuses on 140 characters, Google+ encourages its users to flesh out their profiles giving recruiters valuable information about prospective employees right off the bat.
Available Google+ data also allows the use of some valuable tools which can be used for recruitment purposes - you can use FindPeopleOnPlus.com to search Google+ profiles by country, city, places lived, employers, and, most importantly, by occupation. Google+ Communities are also a great place to start your search for professionals in a certain occupation, or to promote your recruitment page.
Hangouts are another very useful Google+ tool, which allows up to 10 people to participate in a video chat, which can be a great way for recruiters to easily connect with applicants and talk face to face without having to meet in person.
How to Approach Google+: Social Circles
Much like LinkedIn or Facebook, Google+ features social circles. The first step for a recruiter after building their own account is to connect through others, and the way you connect with others on Google+ is by creating circles.
The way these circles are used is what sets Google+ apart from other social media sites. While your web of connections may be large, you can create circles within them to target individuals with your promotions and messages. The right circle allows you to communicate with professionals on your own channel, and you can even email a certain post to all people added to a certain circle. For example, you can create circles by occupation, location, or even the position a group of people applied to, and include each circle only in posts that they will be interested in. This way, your messages do not get lost in the constant flood of information constantly updated on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. The result is an unprecedented amount of personalised communication with a large group of people.
Another benefit of Google+ circles is that you can reach out before your audience reaches out to you. Most other social media sites require you to first send out a friend request or connection request and then wait for a response. With Google+, you can send your message to those in your circle without them having to add you to theirs.
How to build those circles in the first place? With Google+, your inbox is key. If you don't have a Gmail account with all of your e-mail contacts integrated into it, do that today. Google+ will then use those Gmail contacts to begin creating your Google+ social network. From there you can drag those contacts into circles and start getting your messages out.
How to Approach Google+: Branding
As you connect through those circles, turn your attention to branding. To attract the right contacts you must first make it clear who you are. One of the most recent Google+ updates is a Facebook timeline-like header for your brand and photos. It is the first thing that potential contacts see when they land on your page and it is your opportunity to communicate your brand identity.
How to Approach Google+: Social Search
One of the most important aspects of Google+ is social search. For users of Google+, the Google search engine will tailor your searches based on your preferences. One of the preferences that Google+ recognizes is what other people in your social circle like.
For recruiters, this is a great way to publicize their blog posts. If your website has a blog, make sure to share your blog posts on Google+ once you publish them. Others in your social circle will then be presented with your blog when they are looking for a job or searching along other lines related to your blog's key phrases.
Google+ is still in its infancy. However, it is positioned to be a major player in social media, social recruiting and internet connections in general. Start using this tool now and you'll be ahead of the pack when Google+ becomes the gold standard.