Aggressive use of technology, including social networks, in recruiting no longer begins and ends with a firms Web site. But it sure plays a major role.
The recruiting section of East Brunswick, N.J.-based Wilkin & Guttenplans Web site features What We Have to Say, recordings of staff talking about their experiences at the firm.
Weve received a lot of positive feedback on this feature from the college students weve met with, says Janine Zirrith, firm administrator.
W&G also created an interactive quiz on the Web site that introduces potential interns to the firm.
Minneapolis-based Froehling Anderson provides video testimonials of both partners and staff on its site as well as an accounting quiz.
Were trying to make our site a resource for students: how to interview; tips on resumes; and other subjects, says Laurie Simonson, director of operations. Our next step is to use a Facebook or blogging.
The only social networking site we currently use is LinkedIn, which a lot of younger staffers arent familiar with, reports says Sarah Jialanella, recruiting coordinator at Akron, Ohio-based BCG&Co. We send invitations to link to students weve met or younger staffers whove landed at other firms in the area and explain what LinkedIn is and how it can be used. If they sign up and link with us, we now have a definite way to follow up with the candidate. Also, if they really go on to use LinkedIn to its full potential and link to classmates and co-workers, we gain a lot of second-level contacts to possibly recruit.
Social networks can have a down side, however, even in the eyes of younger staffers.
Laura Beyer, scheduling and staff resources director, and Paula Frerichs, recruiting director at Michigan-based Plante & Moran, polled several younger staff who told them, unequivocally that they did not want potential employers viewing their Facebook sites, as they were used for social interaction only, they say.
To overcome this concern, P&M is looking into creating a fan page on Facebook that would allow recruits to interact with the firm, and at using blogs and instant messaging in recruiting.
Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith, of Birmingham, Ala., already has a page on Facebook, allowing students to find out more information about BMSS in a medium in which they are extremely familiar, says Lacey Bacchus, marketing coordinator.
Weve included pictures and videos of our employees at community and firm events, and theyre able to see current employees on Facebook, she says. BMSS also has uploaded videos about our firm and our work environment to Google Video and YouTube.
Daszkal Bolton is developing Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn pages to supplement the firms Twitter account, according to Susan Kaplan, recruiting manager for the Boca Raton, Fla.-based firm. The firm also is recruiting on Craigslist.
Craigslist is an under-utilized yet highly effective recruiting tool, Kaplan maintains. The volume of traffic on the classified ads portion far exceeds that of Monster and CareerBuilder, and the potential candidates tend to be more technologically savvy.
Her firm beta-tested posting ads on Craigslist a couple of years ago.
Its free to account users, gets more visibility than any other recruiting sites, targets a specific portion of our candidate pool, and is easy to use, she says. Simple ads are the most effective, but if youre clever in your wording, you can also weed out the unqualified candidates efficiently. Kaplan just hopes that as the recruiting popularity of Craigslist spreads, the online classifieds site doesnt decide to change billing practices.
Look for Practical Accountants cover story on onboarding new staff in the May issue or on WebCPA. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.