As a recruiter or human resources professional, you may already be using social media sites to make contacts and bolster your list of prospects. Social media platforms liked LinkedIn and Facebook can be helpful in identifying individuals looking for employment. In addition, they help provide a way to get a relatively good idea about what personality traits and skills potential candidates might bring to the table. Sources contain millions of users with public profiles and contact details. But if you haven't added Google+ to your social media recruitment efforts, then you may be overlooking a great resource.
Google+ currently holds more than one billion users, based on data measured in early 2014. Profiles and interests indicate many audiences have a technical background or interest and experience in technical fields, such as engineering, science and software. This is good news, especially for those doing social media recruiting for technical professional staffing or positions requiring technical knowledge.
One strength of the Google+ social network lies in the Google search engine. Algorithm updates are rolled out frequently by search engine giants in the constant battle to make searches more accurate. Given the history of Google, algorithm updates will likely remain a regular practice, making searches and suggestions more powerful and keeping them fresh over time.
You can search Google+ in the traditional way, by using keywords, hashtags, and Boolean operations. To get suggestions, just use the 'suggestions' button in your Google+ user interface (in the 'people' section). Both options let users sift through tons of user generated content and information.
The feature that Google+ calls 'circles' allows users to create their own lists and fill them with individuals who have specific talents, requirements or skill sets. Recruiters can make lists, for example, that include areas of special expertise, salary requirements, location or years of experience. Candidates can be placed in multiple circles. Using this segmented approach, professionals can focus their communication to specific circles or multiple circles, optimizing the effort.
The maximum size of a circle is 5,000 members, which is typically large enough to meet the needs of most recruiters. There is no limit to the amount of circles a user can make.
Organized groups of people who are interested in the same subject can form 'communities' in the Google+ social media network. Users can make their own communities, and they can search for existing communities or have Google+ recommend them. This can be a handy tool to quickly identify candidates with specific interests.
Google+ 'hangouts' is a feature that gives users access to video conferencing with one or more people. It's free and available to everyone on the Google+ network, and it can be a fast and easy way to conduct online interviews with candidates. It also offers the option to hold a live video conference with other members in your human resources group.
This feature works with Android-based mobile phones. It allows users to upload videos and images through a mobile device as soon as they are created. As a human resource manager or recruiter, you may find ways to leverage this feature by sharing interviews or exchanging information on new developments and important projects.
In the world of social media platforms, Google+ presents a fairly young entry. It first opened to adult users in September of 2011 – younger users were able to join in 2012. It is growing fast, and with useful features like circles and an ever-improving search algorithm, Google+ can make a powerful addition to your social recruiting tool box.