Social networks have infiltrated much of the retail industry in the past few years, and recruitment hasn’t escaped.


Social Strategy

  • Make sure your recruitment team is visible on the web, especially in industry circles
  • Increase followers by being active on the networks and making offline customers aware of what you’re doing
  • Get to know people, network and engage in conversation to find out who might fit a certain role
  • Tools like Tweetdeck and Google Alerts can keep you up to date with who’s saying what
  • A simple keyword search for
  • your brand name and ‘job’ or ‘career/retail’ might be a good place to start

With so many people using them for everything from socialising to self promotion, the web is becoming a vital tool in finding the best candidate for a job.

Not only can social networks help attract good people - it’s possible to start conversations, entice people who suit the brand and show them what your company offers - but they can also prove useful in finding the right people for roles. “We are finding more and more creative ways to attract talent,” says Faye McLean, talent manager at Asos, which uses a range of networks to recruit.

The numbers keep climbing; Facebook has half a billion members and, as well representing potential customers, every person who ‘likes’ or follows your brand page can be seen as a potential employee.

The way to use social media effectively, therefore, is to communicate to these potential employees properly. James Whatley, marketing manager at digital agency 1000Heads, says the first step is to build followers, using everything from clever online content to shop windows to engage people and get them to go online and ‘like’ your page.

“Once you’ve built up your engaged follower base, you can use them to help spread your ‘we’re hiring’ message,” he says.

Each network can be used to send out information, although it needs to be aligned with advertising information in-store and on other websites. And once the message is out, it needs to be monitored - putting an update on LinkedIn saying you’re looking for people and not checking back for two weeks isn’t advisable, Whatley adds.

He says independent retailers currently do it best. There’s room for larger retailers to get a lot out of the medium, he adds, especially when it comes to young people. He advises looking to confectionary giant Mars for inspiration after the FMCG brand has ramped up its online presence. Its @marsgradsuk Twitter account and blog is produced by its graduate trainees and allows potential candidates to see what it’s like to work at the company.

Asos has 401 employees on LinkedIn, about 20 Twitter accounts and more than half a million Facebook fans. McLean says there is a generation of potential employees for whom social networking is a part of life. “We already engage with our audience in a conversational way, so as not to miss any of the great talent out there,” she says.