A Day in the Life: How Recruiters Use Social MediaSocial media and recruiting — yep, I’m at it again. I recently wrote about why social media should be a part of your job search strategy, detailing how recruiters rely on social media to find, research and hire candidates. Social media is an integral part of a recruiter’s workday, but what does that use actually look like? Following a day in the life of a recruiter like me can help you create a strategic social media plan that supports your job search.

The Channels Recruiters Rely On

I’m not alone in my focus: 93 percent of fellow recruiters use social media to support recruiting efforts. The three below are the most commonly used channels, but recruiters are increasingly adding such other outlets as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.

  • LinkedIn: The first channel most of us visit during the workday is LinkedIn, by far the most popular tool for recruiting. The numbers don’t lie. Recruiters are finding and hiring candidates through LinkedIn, and a rock-star profile attracts attention. I use LinkedIn a number of ways:
    • To promote the great things that we are doing at Burns & Mac.
    • To provide relevant and timely industry insight on a number of topics including recruiting, sourcing and engineering.
    • To connect with professionals and develop a network that views me as a reliable and integral subject matter expert and resource.
    • To showcase the Burns & McDonnell innovative brand and culture.
    • To post the employment opportunities available with the organization.
  • Facebook: I visit this channel every day (for professional reasons, of course). Like 20 percent of recruiters, I’m looking at Facebook to learn about a candidate’s professional experience. But I also use it to get a handle of a prospect’s worldview to better understand if he or she would be a great fit at the company. For instance, community involvement is an essential part of our identity at Burns & McDonnell, so I love seeing posts about a candidate’s volunteerism.
  • Twitter: I use Twitter for quick and timely interactions with candidates. In this digital age, recruiters use every tool in their arsenal to post openings and find qualified candidates. On Twitter, this means hashtags like #recruiting, #jobs, #hiring, #HR, #LinkedIn, #FF and #career. Search for these hashtags to connect with companies who are looking for you. My Twitter looks very similar to my LinkedIn — except with a more personal touch. You’ll find Tweets about Kansas City, KC sports teams and my family.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter also present an excellent opportunity for recruiters to share more about a company and its culture. At Burns & McDonnell, our career social media accounts include a mix of job listings, blog posts, photos, videos and relevant links.

Better Recruiting Through Building Relationships

For me, social media is about relationship building. Recruiters use an online presence to promote brand engagement and interaction. If a candidate leaves a page wanting to experience more of our organization, I’ve done my job. I also appreciate how social media makes it easier for me to find the right people, from easing communication to providing research opportunities.

Recruiters, does your day on social media look anything like mine? Tell me what sites you visit as part of your efforts. Candidates, does knowing how recruiters use social media aid your search?

Mike Myers is a recruiter on Burns & McDonnell’s HR team. He actively uses social media to find new talent for the firm. If you’re interested in learning more about Mike or about opportunities available at Burns & McDonnell, connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter (@MSMrecruiter).

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Job Search Etiquette: When You’re Contacted but Not InterestedPicture this: Your phone dings. It’s an email from a recruiter reaching out about a job. You’re flattered, but not interested. How do you respond without eliminating future opportunities with the company?

Whether it is a LinkedIn message, an email or even a phone call, you’ll likely be faced with this scenario at some point in your work life. Regardless of how often you’ve faced this situation, the approach should be the same: Respond honestly, and remember to maintain professional job search etiquette.

Think Before You Say No

Remember, recruiters are contacting you to start a conversation. They think you might be a good fit within their organization and want to learn more about you to find out if their initial instinct is true. Often it’s valuable to echo that approach, setting aside your own initial instinct to say no to learn more about the company. What you hear might surprise you.

Sometimes, though, you’re just not into it. Maybe you are completely content in your current position or just took on an exciting yearlong project. Honesty and candid conversations about your general career path help recruiters better understand your current position and how to continue the new relationship.

Keep the Door Open

What if you aren’t interested in the position but are interested in the company? Use it as an opportunity for two-way networking. Ask the recruiter for more information about the company’s culture, the people or the work. You’ll better understand whether the company is a place you’d like to work and express interest in future opportunities.

Save the recruiter’s information. You never know when these connections will come in handy. Connect with the recruiter on LinkedIn or, if you meet in person, ask for a business card. On the back of the card, write something memorable about the conversation you had. Maybe you cheer for the same baseball team or are part of the same professional organization. This information will help you associate the conversation with the person and give you talking points for future exchanges.

Say “No Thanks” the Right Way

Some people believe saying “thanks, but no thanks” burns a bridge, but that’s not the case if you approach it the right way. If they’re reaching out, recruiters see potential in you and understand the timing has to be right; good recruiters will wait.

Not answering the message is never a good idea. Recruiters appreciate any response, even if you aren’t interested. And if you have any inkling you may be interested in the future, it makes sense to respond warmly to make the connection. Offer a thanks for reaching out, provide a general outline of your career goals and tell them you’ll be in touch if your situation changes. It will close the issue of the position they’re looking to fill but keeps the door open for future interaction.

Tell us: How do you handle recruiter inquiries when you’re not interested in opportunities that they’re offering?

Mike Myers is a recruiter on Burns & McDonnell’s HR team. He actively reaches out to potential candidates in hopes of finding new talent for the firm. If you’re interested in learning more about Mike or about opportunities available at Burns & McDonnell, connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter (@MSMrecruiter).

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