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6 Social Media Rules for Hiring A+ Talent in 2016

Face it, if you want to recruit the best and brightest minds, you’re going to have to go after top talent in your industry. There is no avoiding it. And with more than 75% of the workforce active on social media, ignoring it is a detriment to the bottom line. So, there are new rules for attracting A+ talent in the workplace, and some of them might surprise you.

Recently, Cisco Systems released a study about what professionals want in a work environment. They studied more than 3,000 young professionals from 14 different countries around the world.

They asked workers questions about what they are looking for in a company, and what kinds of perks would sweeten the deal. They also asked about deal breakers, or things that might cause them to look elsewhere. Here is what they found, you do not need to have many perks if you give employees freedom to check social media at work for a reasonable amount of time.

After looking at the numbers, the most important thing for attracting the best talent was the use of social media, mobile device freedom, and the ability to work remotely. 45% said they would actually take a lower paying job if they had more of these freedoms in the workplace.

So, after reading the entire study, I have distilled the takeaways down to 6 social media rules for attracting top talent.

Rule #1: Salary isn’t as important as the freedom to communicate.

30% of college students said that they would consider freedom and reputation above salary when weighing potential job offers. They also said that ultimately the reputation of the organization and any customer complaints against them would affect their decision to join. That means giving them freedom and watching your Glassdoor reviews. Here are the five things rated as more important than salary in the study.

  1. Social Media Freedom
  2. Company reputation
  3. Device Flexibility
  4. Work Mobility
  5. Corporate culture

Rule #2: The line between personal time and work time is vanishing right before our eyes.

 56% of college students globally say they would either turn down a job that banned access to social media, or find a way to circumvent corporate policy. That’s making a pretty strong statement if you ask me. It’s not just students and prospective hires making these demands, companies are adopting this attitude to attract top talent. 40% of employees said they’ve come across companies that marketed a flexible social media policy during the interview process.

Rule #3: Company-issued devices aren’t just for ‘company business’ anymore.

The days of one mobile device are over. 77% of employees have multiple devices, and 33% use at least three devices while they are work. To my previous point, the line between work and personal communication is becoming increasingly hard to find. Some folks might be shocked by this one, but i’m not. When asked about company-issued devices, an overwhelming 71% of college students believe that company-issued devices should be approved for personal and business use.

Rule #4: Freedom to use, means the freedom to choose.

It’s not just about using preferred devices, it’s becoming more and more about choosing the device. 81% of students surveyed said they want to be able to choose their own device for work. It’s all about the connection, as young adults suggested a desire for their company to “stay empathetic of their need to be connected via social media and personal websites“.

Rule #5: You don’t have to come to work anymore to have a job.

Amazingly, almost a third of college students (29%), believe that once they start working for a company, it’s their right and not a privilege – to be able to work remotely on their own flexible schedule. The majority of them, around 70%, believe it’s not necessary to work in the office on a regular basis, barring any meetings of course. Sounds like a data security nightmare, or a growing market depending on your point of view.

Rule #6: A+ talent demands you support their lifestyle.

At first glance, it seems like some adults and many college students have major entitlement issues. But in reality it’s just about supporting the things at the office that make up their life out of the office. The lines aren’t just blurring, they are vanishing altogether. Be prepared, college students expect to get compensated for the following

  1. Surfing the web
  2. Checking their Facebook account
  3. Watching YouTube videos
  4. Making personal calls
  5. Texting
  6. Not being in the office
  7. Accessing sensitive corporate data remotely
  8. Using work devices for personal use
So, back up a moment, and realize this isn not anything unusual. The best always demand a little more money, and a lot more flexibility.
Today's workplace faces a particular set of recruiting challenges, something each company needs to consider before recruiting new employees. These are all things to keep in mind as you ramp up your recruiting efforts in 2016.

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