Social media is often the first place candidates turn to when exploring new job opportunities, however it's the last area where organizations are willing to invest real resources.
In working with many organizations to design custom recruitment solutions, I have found that there is typically a consistent gap or insufficient strategy around social media recruiting and employment branding. Because there are many industries, geographies and positions where the demand for talent exceeds the supply, using social media to engage these candidates is crucial. Take STEM positions for example, which, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has a projected 15-20% job growth through 2024. Knowing this, how can talent acquisition use social recruiting to create a robust pipeline of in-demand candidates?
The answer might lie within your employment brand. Now, let’s not confuse a company brand with its employment brand. A company’s brand exists primarily to sell its products or services. An employment brand, on the other hand, supports hiring and retention initiatives. In tight talent markets, like our STEM example, establishing your reputation as an employer of choice is a key factor to whether active or passive candidates will notice your organization and its job offerings.
How to Optimize Social Recruiting into Your Employment Brand
Social media is often the first place an organization will promote its employment brand. When executed properly, it can be one of the most successful strategies to recruit passive talent; particularly those in specific geographic and/or with niche skill sets. You may think your company has a successful social recruiting brand because your organization's social profiles contains adequate marketing content and a large follower base, but are those followers actual job candidates you can convert? Does your messaging distinguish your employment value proposition for working at your company? And if not, how do you start to make that transition?
Leveraging social media channels to proactively recruit candidates is critical, but often, the challenge many organizations face is not knowing where to start. By using the following tactics below, you can craft your approach to using social media to help strengthen your employment brand.
Define Your Employment Brand
The first question to ask is who owns your talent branding: HR, Talent Acquisition, Marketing, IT, Operations or a cross-functional team? Who are the subject matter experts that can assist with social media content development, delivery and reporting? Who currently owns the career site and what technology is being used?
Once you establish ownership, it is time to begin defining the employment brand. For example, if you are an Agriscience company that primarily pursues STEM positions, you will want to make sure your message aligns with the candidates you are actively pursuing. Identify what is important to these candidates. Is it collaboration? Continuous technological improvements? What are the candidates talking about?
Establishing your overall employment brand message is the most important first step because as you continue on, all of the best practices will be rooted in this message you develop.
Identify Social Recruiting Tools and Technologies
According to SHRM, social recruiting is growing with 84 percent of organizations using it currently and an additional 9 percent planning to use it. If you don’t have a social media recruitment strategy in place, you need to prioritize this now.
Start by reviewing existing technologies and tools currently used to post and track your social media efforts. Then, take the time to understand your organization’s current level of social media maturity and adoption.
To help you assess your organization's current social media recruiting strategy across common social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Indeed and Glassdoor, use these social media metrics:
- Social follows: number of followers on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook
- Social engagement: how many people are liking, commenting, and sharing your posts
- Video views: how many people are viewing your videos
- YouTube subscribers: how many people are subscribing to your channel
- Social link clicks: how many are clicking your social links
Make a sustained effort to continue to communicate across those platforms. For example, companies that continuously interact and engage with followers on LinkedIn have candidates that are 97% more likely to accept an InMail, are 61% more likely to continue to share your content, and 79% more interested in jobs from your company. This is your future candidate pipeline. These are the passive candidates that will take notice to what your company has to offer.
Develop a Candidate Marketing Content Strategy
It is vital to understand what candidate marketing content (i.e., videos, blogs, testimonials, etc.), if any, currently exists for your company. Think about how your content positions the company and check out your industry competitors' candidate brand content. Make sure you are sending the right message based on your established candidate brand. Once you have the right content, place blogs, newsletters and postings across identified social media platforms. Use them to highlight your employees as thought leaders, display your culture, and provide employee testimonials. You can also optimize that content in other ways. Have a great blog? Make a video! Have a great video? Make a shortened version!
Surprisingly, talent is attracted more to what your company represents rather than what jobs you have open.
Analyze the Data to Create Concrete Goals
Think about the resources, tools and tactics required to develop your strategy: job marketing, social recruiting, career site, content marketing, mobile, employee referrals, candidate relationship management (CRM), email marketing, analytics, etc.
Where do you stand? What data will you need to be able to demonstrate your results and ROI to get budget approval? This will help you establish what budget will be required in 2017 to support your goals.
Developing a successful social media recruiting strategy may require a business transformation and a paradigm shift for some, and for others or it may just require some simple tweaks and recalibration. The goal is to develop talent communities with both active and passive candidates, and work via social media to proactively fill your candidate pool in advance of job openings. According to Glassdoor, 79% of candidates are likely to use social media in their job search. If you aren’t working on a strategy to capture that audience, you can bet that your competitors are.
To know which elements will enhance the existing "perception" of your company, identify the right internal resources to develop and convey a strategic vision for your employer brand. From there, you can begin to establish benchmarks and invest in new technologies that will really move the needle on awareness and engagement.
About the Author: This blog was written by Jim Hein. As Vice President of Enterprise Solutions for Yoh, Jim bring 20 years of experience obtained from leading staffing industry sales and operations functions to Yoh’s Managed Services and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) clients. Having a strong proficiency in the design, development and delivery of workforce strategies enables Jim to deliver a wide-range of innovative workforce management solutions. His focus is to continuously exceed Yoh's client expectations by crafting customized workforce solutions that meet each clients’ unique talent management requirements.