What makes a healthy workforce? Ask a roomful of recruiters and someone will very quickly mention diversity. After all, businesses need employees from a wide variety of backgrounds who can inspire and challenge their colleagues and create a workforce that better resembles the outside world.
But if diversity is important, so too is inclusion. If recruiters can find people from diverse backgrounds, with diverse skills, but who share many of a company's perspectives and values it's more likely they'll fit in and contribute towards a cohesive, productive team. And let's not forget just how important it is to get that right fit: the most expensive part of the hiring process is when the wrong hire is made and the whole thing has to start again.
For HR departments and recruiters looking for congruence, it seems to me that social sourcing has a whole lot to offer. This is because social media doesn't just allow recruiters to advertise on a broader scale, but it can even enable them to channel campaigns through employees' networks.
Why is this important? Because most people's networks are networks of like-minded people. Recruiting through your number one sales rep's LinkedIn network is likely to increase your chances of hiring a new employee of similar calibre. Moreover, it will save money on recruitment fees. There is of course a caveat here: social media is only part of the answer. Let's face it, most people's social networks are made up of people of a similar demographic to them and this can be limiting. Yes, companies want like-minded people, but they do not want clones.
For this reason, transparency is hugely important. A potential employee must to be able to easily find out about a company and determine whether the company shares his or her values and is a good fit.
Social media not only makes it easier for a prospect to find out this information, it makes it absolutely inevitable. All that remains is for employers to ensure that when the right recruit looks at their business through the lens of social media they like what they see.
The real power of social media in the recruitment space is that it works both ways. Not only can employers find out more about potential recruits and access talent that may otherwise have been unavailable to them, but prospects can learn more about the inner workings of a business than ever before. The end result should be more right fits more of the time.