When used effectively, social media can be a powerful recruiting tool. Shanil Kaderali, Executive VP of Global Talent Solutions at the global recruitment process outsourcing firm, Pierpont International, spoke with the Society for Human Resource Management about the emerging role of social media in recruiting and the unique challenges of finding candidates through social.

One way to ensure a successful social recruitment strategy is to stay focused. Instead of a blanket approach, consider choosing one or two sites and opt for a pull marketing strategy. A pull strategy is more effective than a push strategy because it attracts (or pulls) talent toward you. This is done by sharing relevant and meaningful content that goes beyond hiring and career-related information.

Kaderali predicts that within the next three to four years, Facebook will catch up to Linkedin as the most widely used social platform for recruiting. This is due to the fact the younger generation has grown up with Facebook, so they will naturally turn to it when searching for career-related advice and activities. He also predicts Snapchat will grow in popularity for recruitment in the advertising, entertainment and retail industries.

Amidst the increasing popularity of social media recruitment, the role of Social Media Sourcer has emerged. A Social Media Sourcer is responsible for identifying the best candidates for potential hires by serving as one part researcher, one part social media strategist as well as an online relationship-builder and marketer. Like any position, this new role comes with challenges. Developing relationships, a key component of this role, can be a long process. Methodology can be another challenge. Since most potential candidates aren’t posting their resumes on Facebook, other means must be used to identify them. Keywords can be used, but not as effectively as on a job board. It is important to identify where potential candidates are; which social communities they are a part of and which blogs and people they follow.

The next step is to engage with candidates. A direct message or e-mail may grab someone’s attention, but will they respond? This is why it’s so important to have a good social presence and engagement, which means staying active and providing compelling content for your target audience. The more value you show, the more likely a candidate will be to engage with you.

Originally on SHRM.org

Read the original article by Roy Maurer.