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Business Journal
How Social Media Could Save Christmas
Business Journal

How Social Media Could Save Christmas

by Justin Heifetz
How Social Media Could Save Christmas

For frustrated job seekers, seasonal hiring could offer a glimmer of holiday hope.

A recent CareerBuilder survey shows 43% of retailers plan to recruit seasonal help this year, up four percentage points from 2013. And some big companies are getting more creative in the recruiting process.

A spokesperson for FedEx told National Public Radio that the company usually posts seasonal job openings on career websites, but it's also relying on social media to get the word out. The company plans to hire more than 50,000 employees for this holiday season.

But can recruitment over social media platforms succeed -- and perhaps even surpass more traditional recruiting channels?

"Advertising seasonal jobs via social media can be a smart way to engage applicants with your brand," says Brandon Rigoni, Ph.D., Gallup's associate director for selection and development.

Rigoni says that these social media initiatives should enable recruiters to promote their organization's identity, convey a unique message that differentiates the company from its competitors and appeal to the most talented candidates.

"By satisfying all three of these strategies, recruiters will maximize their opportunity to reinforce their organization's brand promise and attract solid employees, even for seasonal hiring," Rigoni says.

Using social media for seasonal hiring is also a clever tactic to reach more talent in less time. Many major retailers -- including Macy's and Wal-Mart -- have turned to Facebook and Twitter to get the message out.

But as with any targeted communication strategy, Rigoni says a haphazard approach on social media could prove ineffective or possibly even backfire. Companies must carefully craft messages to attract talented applicants who are the right fit for their workplace culture.

"Whether or not organizations realize it, every ounce of communication reinforces what it's like to work for them."

Justin Heifetz is a writer and analyst at Gallup.

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