Lets face it, the moment your company creates a Facebook profile (no pun intended) and starts interacting with candidates, you have opened yourself up to online conversations – both complimentary and controversial.
It will make a huge swing from the very ‘official’ forms of sourcing for candidates, e.g. job advertisements and managing applications, to having conversations with candidates online, who may have had a bad experience with your company’s recruiting process or have heard something negative from others, even if this could be a set of false assertions.
The ability to keep a straight face in social media and have resourceful conversations, with the intent to attract the right talent, can be daunting. Unlike email correspondences with one individual, comments made in social media and the Internet at large, are always in the open for all to see.
If your company have a recruitment or HR blog and this platform allows comments (which is expected), how do you deal with comments made by candidates that might be seen as negative or a complaint about any aspect of your service?
Many employers always want to have and keep a squeky clean image, so they can continue to present themselves as an employer of choice in order to attract better candidates still.
But, it is fair to say that human nature could allow some errors or mistakes to happen at certain times during standard hiring processes or in order areas of managing and running a business.
While one of the ideas behind social recruiting is to promote a company via social media, and source for talent in a potentially effective manner, social media recruiting also creates a platform for Employer Reputation Management.
In the cases described above, it is important for whoever is handling the social media conversations not to allow emotions and bias to make a negative comment in your blog or a controversial issue discussed on your Facebook page to add any more taint to the image.
It is important not to restrict conversations or over censor comments that might seem to be negative. Of course abusive, insultive, derogatory etc speech tends to be moderated in most blogs, but comments that challenges discussions or that presents an opinion should be responded to, while realizing that other people also have and can share their thoughts.
Opinions and Facts can be at two ends of a stick, hence it is your company’s Social Media Recruiter that can respond to the critisms or negative comments with facts. If an apology is expected, please do so.
Humans make mistakes, and they can be understanding when companies also make mistakes. Companies are peopled by humans.
So employers can continue to build their reputation, by not shying away from negative comments, but address them with facts (or an apology) in the most friendly and conversational manner.