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Why Social Media Makes Hiring on Attitude Even Smarter

Social-MediaWe say “attitude is everything” and the boom in social media over the past few years just compounds this opinion.

Most small and medium-sized Australian businesses (and certainly the larger ones) will have dipped at least one foot in the waters of social media…maybe just in the shallow end, but at least they’re getting their toes wet.

Some will have dived straight into the deep end. Whether you are B2B or B2C, there is a platform that can help market your business better, no doubt.

The point is this: even if you are not intentionally embracing social media your employees probably are. That’s where they are gathering, hanging out whatever you want to call it. They spend time there, engage with a lot of people and exert an influence over them.

As a business, you need to be taking it seriously, and looking to influence the message that is out there and connected implicitly to you through your employees – by hiring those that match your values and attitudes.

Social Employees with Influence

Whether you like it or not, most of your employees probably have a LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and/or Google Plus profile that says they work for you. They are linked to your company and in the public eye. This cannot fail but create some impression of your company in all the dealings between your employees and their contacts on the social networks.

Your employee has, through no effort on your part, become an extension of your company name and what you stand for… part of your reputation…your “brand”, if you like.

Now, that can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you hire an employee who quietly does a great job for you during the day but has a side business and is spamming everybody with direct sales messages on social media at night, how does that reflect on you? By very association it may create a bad impression.

Hiring entry level candidates on raw potential, you are likely to be gaining someone well-versed in social media. It is worth, as an employer, trying to find out about this before hiring – what is their behavior like on the social networks? What is their attitude to using social media?

Some simple research can uncover quite a lot about a person, as a lot of it is publically available, but also the right interview questions can help identify attitude – and whether a candidate is going to be a liability or an asset on social media.

Creating a Positive Social Media Culture

There are plenty of tools around that can help organisations use social media to grow a positive, collaborative culture where people have an opportunity to provide input within the working environment; this can help them use social media responsibly after work too.

Community-building tools like Yammer, Newsgator, Jive and Connections can be used at work to share ideas, improve information flow, mentor new hires and spread ways of improving communication and messaging.

This satisfies the employee need to feel part of something (your business) and provides a place for them to have a voice and an influence, making them feel more fulfilled at work and less to use social media to take out their workplace frustrations.

Enhancing Reputation Through Employees

If there is one place where attitude comes out loud and clear, it’s on social media sites – and bad news travels FAST. A bad experience used to travel quite gradually via the spoken word to one’s circle – now it can be broadcast to the world immediately. But so can a good experience.

Hiring people that are a good fit for the values of your organisation, rather than blessed with an abundance of skills, experience and academic certificates, is a great start to ensuring that these positive attitudes spill out into social media circles. This becomes an extension of what your company represents, enhancing your reputation and brand through your employees.

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