Social media, it seems, has taken over new talent acquisition schemes for C-suite personnel. Internal and external recruiters rely on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as much as traditional outlets such as CareerBuilder and Indeed. In fact, 73 percent of recruiters have hired a candidate through social media, according to a recent Jobvite study.

Previously, in-house recruiters relied on executive search firms to find C-level candidates. Now, with social media's reach, it's easier for internal recruiters to build relationships with executives around the world to create a diverse pool of talent. It's just a matter of leveraging social media.

5 Ways to Leverage Social Media

1. Find high quality active and passive talent

New C-level networks, like OppRtunity, are appearing more frequently, which open new avenues. Use these lines of communication and post available positions on a range of networks. This allows a diverse pool of candidates to view your openings.

2. Develop connections

Interests and backgrounds within candidates' personal networks are similar to their connections'. Use relationships to promote brand reputation and credibility, use digital introductions to identify connections through external networks and then share opportunities.

3. Optimize internal referrals and promote internal mobility

Inside the enterprise, recruiters use collaboration tools like socially enabled cloud infrastructures to find candidates. In fact, 39.9 percent of all hires are internal according to the 2015 Jobvite Index. Per the Index, these hires are 55 percent faster than any career site hire and are more effective. Forty-six percent of internal hires stay three or more years as compared to 14 percent from career sites.

Those same social tools can assist with internal mobility. They show people there can be a future for them across functions, departments and locations. These social tools can be used to sift through existing talent that fits your openings.

4. Convey value

Social networks are tailor-made to help employers convey their value to the employment relationship. That could mean announcing a new benefit, flextime opportunities or other perks. Use social media platforms to engage employees and keep workplace topics in the forefront of their minds.

5. Retain and engage with social platforms

Workers in their 20s through 40s, who make up the majority of the workforce, want to be connected. They expect technologies to go beyond something as archaic as email, and want instant communication in their professional lives. As a result, communication through social collaboration is critical for HR professionals who want to engage with people where they're most comfortable.

Once social collaboration is established, recruiters can engage with those who are and are not actively seeking employment. Recruiters may find themselves with loads of qualified candidates, but the potential is only on paper. Talent gathering aside, four essential competencies in new talent acquisition remains the same according to Caldwell Partners' recent study: research, assess, reference and negotiate. All necessary aspects of a successful hire.

4 Essential Competencies of Talent Acquisition

1. Research

Fully understand each position's needs and create a detailed profile. Along with job responsibilities, include thorough descriptions of specific competencies and expectations. Perform a three-pronged research strategy of: 1) interviewing current executives in the same or similar positions, 2) interviewing potential direct reports and 3) studying your strategy and goals.

2. Assess

Obtain an online profile or traditional resume and perform a phone screening before the actual in-person assessment interview. Most successful recruiters use assessment tools like behavioral or competency testing, for example, Myers-Briggs and DISC leadership profiles, at this stage to evaluate candidates.

3. Reference

With so much reliance on social media, it's critical to check references and verify educational and professional backgrounds. Is the candidate published? Check out their work. This extra information will pay dividends and ensure your efforts are fruitful.

4. Negotiate

Persuading an executive to leave a position with a known employer and leap into the arms of another is difficult. Besides negotiating a compensation and benefits package, recruiters must interact enough after the initial interviews to learn about family and other issues that may weigh on the decision to make a move. Discussing the position change within the context of the candidate's entire career and how it could help them achieve long-term goals could be the difference between landing or losing them.

The Way Forward

The four competencies cannot be ignored or digitized, yet they remain an important HR skill set, vital to successful recruitment. Digital tools are powerful and economical in finding good people. They make the process move forward faster. Once hiring managers are fully trained in assessment and recruiters are fully versed in how to leverage social media, the organization will have a fast-track to securing elite talent ahead of any competitors.

Tags: Recruiting Talent New Talent Acquisition Executive Acquisition