Social media is sure to go down in history as being one of the greatest and most disruptive methods to share information and communicate with each other of our time. Social platforms have changed how and who we communicate with by infinitely expanding our digital reach. If your company isn’t part of the conversation, or worse, saying the right things, then you are missing out on billions of meaningful interactions with both your current and future employees.
As a digital marketer at a staffing firm, I find the ownership of social media marketing to be, well, perplexing. In many respects, social media tends to fall under the bucket of employer branding. First coined in the early 90’s, unlike many of the one-hit-wonders of that era, employer branding continued to gain momentum through present day. Today, employer branding is more important than ever. Never has there been such a dependency on marketing to tell the company story to attract a number of unique segments; including customers, prospects, employees and candidates.
Since recruiting went digital, every prospective candidate has a robust experience with your brand. Think about it. A candidate visits your company website to understand what you do. They spend hours combing through it to prepare for their upcoming interview. When they arrive at the interview location, maybe they may check-in on Facebook or connect with your company’s social media pages while they are waiting to be seen. After the interview concludes, they might check out Glassdoor to see what past and present employees have to say.
Whether you like it or not, your recruiters, and frankly all of your employees for that matter, are leaving breadcrumb trails to your company with every tweet, post, and photo upload. Having the ability to create and implement a cohesive employer branding strategy, particularly across diverse social media channels, has translated into big wins in the areas of employee engagement, employee retention and attracting new hires.
GET TO THE BOTTOM OF SOCIAL RECRUITING
Now you can look at social media recruiting as both a strategy and as a tool. As a leader in talent acquisition, you certainly don’t want to get caught in the nitty-gritty, day-to-day operations, and nor should you. But, as the visionary of your company’s employment brand, you ought to have a crystal clear picture as to how your recruiters are using social media to recruit prospective candidates.
Social Recruiting Tools
In the infancy of social media, the challenge was to identify how these sites could be used as effective recruiting tools. As time went on, recruiters found that social media allowed them to reach passive candidates in a way they were never able to before. In fact, recruiting passive job candidates remains the top reason that organizations use social media recruiting today.
As social media grew in popularity, so did the number of adopters. As of 2015, nearly two-thirds of Americans have a social media profile. While going after passive candidates is one way to leverage it as a tool, you can make more of an impact by understanding how to increase the reach, or number of people, who follow your company on social media.
Posting Jobs on Twitter
Take Twitter, for example. As a digital marketer, one cringe-worthy offense I often see is something I call hashtag stuffing, or placing the pound symbol in front of every word in the post. Recruiters must identify which hashtags are most relevant to the position and/or industry that they are recruiting for. Using a site like HashTags.Org can help you to increase the likelihood that your post will be seen by selecting the most widely used hashtags. Not only does this target your message to the right audience, but more importantly, it increases the chance your message will be seen and clicked on.
How to Develop a Social Recruitment Strategy
You get it. In order to create a meaningful social media recruiting strategy, you must first understand how your recruiters are turning their social contacts into candidates. Once that's checked off your list, only then is it time to focus on the bigger role social media plays within your recruiting strategy.
According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey, over one-third of companies reported disqualifying candidates because of information they found on public social media accounts or in online searches. Which begs the question: are your recruiters and HR managers maximizing their use of social media recruiting to find and dismiss candidates?
Many talent acquisition leaders simply look at social sites like LinkedIn as a means to recruit passive candidates. But by making social media a priority, you have the ability to exponentially multiply the number of people your brand can reach (for free!).
Now this is where that ying and yang from Marketing to Talent Acquisition comes into play. The posting company (read, your brand) has to have a strong social brand in order for your corporate social recruiting strategy to be effective. If this isn’t the case, take the time to understand why. Talk to Marketing, and learn how active your brand is on social, which platforms and how wide your reach is.
In the meantime, if you need to move the needle on social media recruiting now, you might consider implementing one or more of the social media recruiting strategies.
Example Social Recruiting Strategies
- Create a mechanism to share the latest company job openings, and if one already exists, encourage employees to post openings to their social media pages. Be sure this function can be both monitored and tracked for performance.
- Engage with marketing and/or your employees within the company to share relevant social content to attract new hires. Make it interesting by creating a contest around the person who shares the most.
- Have recruiters diversify the various social groups (on LinkedIn and Facebook) they are a part of. Is everyone swimming in the same talent pool?
- Determine how well versed your recruiters are in the social tools your company uses to recruit. These might include such social platforms as LinkedIn Professional Recruiter or Facebook Publishing Tools & Analytics.
- Tap into best practices by staying up to speed on hiring trends in your industry. Here's a great article from BrandWatch for social media for beginners.
For better or worse, social recruiting isn’t something that is just going to fade into the background. With widespread adoption of mobile platforms and technologies, social media recruiting, like marketing, will continue to evolve and become more crowded. By building a strong presence now, you can guarantee you are setting up your social recruiting efforts for future years to come.