Social media channels are not just a place to build your brand; they are also the place to be building your team. If your organization would like to improve the quality and quantity of applicants for your next job opening, consider social media recruiting as a key part of your strategy.
Social media recruiting is a combination of branding your organization and using your marketing efforts to find talented applicants. According to a recent Inc. article, 79% of job seekers use social media as part of their job search. That percentage increases to 86% for millennials in the early stages of their careers. Despite those large numbers, the same article states that two-thirds to three-quarters of organizations do not seem to be using social media for recruiting talent.
Assuming you already have several social media accounts for your organization, creating and implementing a plan to leverage them as recruiting tools will be a simple and cost-effective way to grow the talent pool for your next important hire. We will explain many of the reasons why social media is a great tool and how you can create a social media recruiting strategy to fit your company, your industry, and meet your goals.
Why Social Media is a Valuable Recruiting Tool
As referenced above, 79-86% of job seekers are using social media as part of their job search. That statistic refers to people actively searching for a job. Another category of potential employees is referred to as “passive” recruits. Passive recruits are not necessarily looking for work and may even be very happy at their current position, however, they see your well-curated social media posts and think that the grass may indeed be greener at your organization.
According to a second Inc. article, 70% of the workforce are considered passive recruits. These professionals are not checking the job boards and websites where openings are posted.
They are, by definition, not looking for new opportunities — but they might be exactly who your organization is looking for.
Another benefit of recruiting through social media is that you can view a candidate’s social media accounts to vet them as a possible employee. Are they posting things that would represent your organization well if they became a teammate? Are they commenting and sharing industry-specific information that shows their knowledge base and desire for growth?
All good social recruiting strategy is also going to have the benefits of building your brand’s reputation and growing your audience. Branding is one of the goals of all your marketing efforts. It is how you are perceived in your industry and in the marketplace.
How to Create a Social Media Recruiting Strategy
1. Define Your Audience
Identify your ideal candidate and create a persona for them. This is similar to a buyer persona that is used in sales and marketing campaigns. Decide what social channels they are on and find them there. Consider a direct message to a potential candidate or comment on their posts in a friendly, conversational way.
2. Set Goals
Do you currently have openings you need to fill? How many candidates do you hope to identify for the position? What is the deadline to fill the position? What are the non-negotiable qualities a candidate must have?
And if you’re not actively hiring right now, are you building your brand through passive recruiting in anticipation of future openings? Do you want others in your industry to see you as a viable competitor or a source of expertise?
3. Assess Your Competition
Research how your competitors are using social media well, especially as it relates to recruiting. Follow your competitors to stay updated on what they are doing. What posts get the most engagement? Where could they improve? You should also look at companies you want to emulate that are not even in your space.
4. Choose the Right Social Platform(s)
If you are only going to work one channel for recruiting, it should be LinkedIn. One key feature of LinkedIn is industry groups. These groups are a focused gathering of professionals in specific fields or niches and can be an excellent source of talent for your organization.
Your company should have an up-to-date page on LinkedIn that represents your brand and culture well. You can post job openings on the site, search for professionals looking for work in your field, and interact with potential future employees in a business-specific social setting.
Search for relevant hashtags and join in on conversations being had in your industry. Create hashtags of your own and encourage your employees and customers to post and use the hashtag where appropriate. Like, follow, tweet, retweet, and comment on posts by potential candidates.
Video and photos are the primary posts on this highly visual platform. A brand that creates engaging, quality content for Instagram can get shared and become a resource. Instagram is a relatively untapped medium for recruiting and may be the perfect fit for a brand that can execute well on it.
Whether on your company page or through Facebook ads, this ubiquitous social channel is a great place to show your culture, grow your brand, engage with clients, and recruit talent. Another benefit of Facebook is that a potential candidate’s page is generally more casual and less curated than their LinkedIn profile. That glimpse into a potential hire’s life as they choose to post it, can give valuable insight into how they would represent your company in the marketplace.
5. Empower Your Team to Post and Engage
This is an important part of both passive and active recruiting. Your current team is the best group possible to be sharing videos, photos, and insider info about the culture of your organization. Are you doing a team-building adventure race or grilling on your rooftop patio every Friday? Posting those activities with good photos and video make people want to work with and for you.
Establish clear guidelines with your team about what is acceptable to post and encourage them to do so. Monitor the posts to make sure the brand voice is consistent and representative of your company. They can also share industry-specific information like case studies, infographics, and blog posts to show your brand as a valuable resource. You will incrementally increase your reach by empowering your team to post on social channels.
Start Recruiting with Social Media
Social media can be an effective recruiting tool if strategies are defined and executed well. Your next great hire is already engaging on multiple social channels, so finding them where they already are is a simple tool to recruit talent for your organization. Your efforts will also serve to grow your brand and highlight your corporate culture.