CEO, Is Social Media the Future of Building Your Team?

Can social media help you build a great team?Can social media help you build a great team?

What’s the biggest challenge facing your organization as you grow?  For my clients, it’s finding, developing, and retaining the right people for their team. As the economy continues growing and many baby boomers move toward retirement, many organizations struggle with finding the best people for their organizations.

Several years ago, I attended a presentation in which the speaker shared that organizations would spend more money on finding talent than marketing their products in the next ten years. To be candid, you could hear some laughter among many senior managers in attendance.

At the bar after the meeting, the discussions carried on and after several adult beverages, several senior level executives continue to laugh at the fact they would never spend more money on recruiting than revenue generation. The question I asked these leaders was how much would they invest to build a great team?

They were very shortsighted and they are no longer leading their organizations. No surprise to me, they still saw this Internet thing as a passing fad. As all of you know, digital business is here to stay. Today revenue and recruiting are connected in ways we couldn’t even imagine five years ago.

Social media disrupts how we do business, in more ways every day. As successful entrepreneurs, we must learn how to build great teams. I attended a meeting two weeks ago where we heard how social media is impacting our growth potential (Virtual Perspectives on Social Media, moderated by Liz Claman and sponsored by Deloitte Consulting.  Click here to see the video replay).

Just as social media is disrupting how we market and sell our products and services I believe it has a greater impact in how we attract great talent to our teams. With over 35% of college educated people on LinkedIn today, if you’re not building social media into your recruiting efforts you’re missing the boat.

Let’s talk about why.  According to some research, over 65% of the workforce is not engaged in the work they do every day. Many of your key people are considering looking for another job, if they’re not looking already. Baby boomers are looking to leave and millennials are looking to build their careers.

Social platforms provide a unique opportunity to build a community with your key stakeholders. The Deloitte panel members all believe that to become an employer of choice, you need to be well positioned in your markets to attract great talent. Today, your most cost effective way to extend your brand’s influence is social media.

Younger team members have many different employment options. Your ability to attract great talent comes down to your ability to create a culture where people want to work and play. When I started my career in talent acquisition, the most challenging part of my job was to find people with 3-10 years of experience in what they did. It was much harder to find an engineer than an engineering manager.

Today when I teach, almost all my students are on social networks, most on several. One of the great capabilities of social media is it allows you to maintain contact with great people at little or no cost to your organization. It may not cost much, but it requires a more creative way of nurturing your relationships with others. Social engagement is the name of the game.

Successful organizations today are learning how to use social media to fill their talent pipelines.  It’s no longer just about the major social platforms but also finding new platforms to connect with your key stakeholders. My manufacturing clients are just starting to create social campaigns that make manufacturing cool again. Their early results are impressive. In software and emerging technology, my startup clients are no longer paying fees to search firms but investing in events that would attract key hires to their organization.

Successful organizations are investing in software to better track where they are getting the best results for both their marketing and recruiting investments. When a campaign to recruit people works, it is quickly replicated on other platforms. Potential hires see and support these campaigns for the positive impact it had on their careers.

Social media provides jobseekers an opportunity to stand out before they get into the interview. Imagine having the ability to directly target the people you want to work for on social media. There is tremendous opportunity to network with people you want to work for in advance to an interview process. More innovative companies are invested in training to help everyone on their teams become good at recruiting talent.

As a former executive search professional, I see almost unlimited possibilities to how recruiting might be disrupted. Here’s what I also know, most organizations won’t invest the time in recruiting great people. They believe people should want to work for them just because of who they are. This attitude provides entrepreneurs and midmarket CEOs with a great opportunity to identify, attract, develop, and retain members for your team.

We started these discussions talking about how social media is changing the landscape for your midmarket business. Take time today and review the video. As an entrepreneur I’m excited about the possibilities. Share it with your leadership team and see how they respond. I think it will help you better understand where to invest your time and resources.  See you Friday.

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