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If you’re hiring, you need to communicate and attract potential new employees. It used to be enough for a company to post its open positions on the web or purchase advertising on job boards. Now, an increasing number of candidates are turning to social networking tools to locate job openings. Will they find your job posting?

To help decide, here’s a guide to social networking sites as they relate to our hiring needs.

Although not as trendy as it once was, many people are still turning to Twitter to get information. Twitter allows users to send 140-character messages known as tweets, which appear in the newsfeed of those who are following them. Tweets are also searchable through the use of hashtags. This is a good way to keep a strong candidate base informed of your company’s hiring needs and stay connected with those who may be interested in joining your firm. For instance, we tweet about our new positions as they become available as well as topics candidates might find interesting.

Unlike other social networking sites, LinkedIn is focused specifically for working professionals. We find this site to be useful when searching for candidates and identifying potential client companies. It has become a major source for posting job openings. Many recruiters and human resource managers use LinkedIn to verify a candidate’s resume accuracy and to see who has recommended their work.

Who hasn’t heard of Facebook? The #1 social networking site in the U.S. Facebook is a great tool to keep in touch with current and past employees. It’s a great way to see what people are doing in their personal lives and at work.

Firms have discovered this is a great way to provide information to prospective candidates. Why not make a video about your employees and why they love to work for your firm? Once you have a video about what your firm has to offer and how excited your employees are to come to work, you can upload the video to YouTube. You can then direct potential candidates to watch your video through the other networking sites you use.

Instagram is a great tool for people to learn a little bit about your company and the openings that you have available. This platform allows you to upload a photo, write a post that will appear underneath the photo, and add hashtags that will help make your post searchable. Instagram also allows you to share the photo to both Twitter and Facebook when you publish your post so that it will appear on all three social media platforms. It’s a quick way to post about your job openings on multiple popular platforms.

Snapchat is a great platform for potential employees to learn about the lifestyle of your company. Potential employees can add your Snapchat handle to their contacts and will be able to see photos or short videos that are available on the Snapchat application for a limited time. Snapchat is available for your smartphone or tablet.

Google+ is Google’s social media platform. Google+ allows you to post updates that are easily shareable by others who you have connected with on Google+. Creating a Google+ account and connecting it to Google My Business will help raise the SEO value of your company not only when candidates search for your company, but when they search for similar companies or use certain words pertaining to your business in your area. Since it is run by Google, a Google+ page will likely appear as one of the first items on Google’s search engine.

Using hashtags (#): A lot of social media websites allow you to use hashtags to help others find your posts. These hashtags can be specific to your company or general buzzwords that will let people find your posts or page. Simply use a hashtag followed by a word or a phrase (no spaces) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Google+. Others can then search for the hashtag on different social media sites and any post where the hashtag occurs will turn up in their search results.

One thing is certain: social networking is becoming the mainstream of locating and attracting quality candidates. Get your firm online and start creating a buzz about your company.