Social media brings awareness to your company, but is also great for posting open jobs and reaching out directly to passive candidates. It gives others an opportunity to tag your company via social posts and share career opportunities.
Social media recruiting allows you to research more about potential candidates as well. Through social sites, you can identify skilled professionals in any given field and establish a connection with them. Here are the most important tips you should keep in mind while using social media to recruit job candidates.
1. Identify Which Platforms Serve Your Brand and Purpose
Social media platforms are not a one-size-fits-all. Finding the right people is about knowing where your audience lies and connecting with them.
Social Recruiting on LinkedIn
LinkedIn, for instance, is a social network that focuses specifically on making business connections and, for this reason, any updates you post to your company profile and interactions you have will have an audience of potential job candidates.
LinkedIn is an excellent foundation for creating a company presence through an official Company Profile, job postings, and relevant company updates. Since 80% of employers say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates, LinkedIn is a solid place to start.
Social Recruiting on Instagram
Instagram, as another example, is a social networking platform that many companies use to display the culture and initiatives of their company through the use of photos. Although it may not be an ideal place to post open positions, Instagram boasts over 1 billion monthly active users.
It is likely that your potential candidates are already using Instagram and they’ll leverage it to determine what is important to an organization and if their values align. Once you build your Instagram following and start connecting with the right people, you can post an announcement that you’re recruiting, and add links to your LinkedIn profile or Company career page.
Employers can also use Facebook and Twitter to build their employer brand and level up their hiring process. It is important to determine what your goals are around attracting and hiring talent, and then focus on social media networks that will enhance that goal and attract the candidates that they are interested in hiring.
Did You Know?
79% of job applicants use social media in their job search (per Glassdoor), and according to a study done by CareerProfiles, 73% of millennials (18-34 age group) found their last position through a social media platform. In order to keep up with this demand, companies must broaden their reach and increase accessibility by utilizing social media to attract and hire.
2. Establish Your Goal
In addition to creating a brand presence to attract candidates via social media, many companies are also using social media as a critical piece of their recruitment strategy to learn more about who they’re hiring. How you use social media to inform the strategy, however, can vary in many ways. Become clear about what you’re trying to learn about your candidate.
- Visiting LinkedIn can help you to learn more about a candidate’s professional experience.
- Engaging candidates on Twitter may assist in educating you more about their interests and what they value.
- Monitoring Facebook will help you to get a glimpse into how candidates present themselves to strangers, friends, and family.
- Pinterest and Instagram may help you to get a sense of where candidates spend their free time or what they might be passionate about.
It’s important to keep in mind that mitigating the risk of bias is a critical part of any successful recruitment strategy. Determining which social media profiles should be visited (and at what point in the recruiting process) should be established before determining what hobbies a candidate enjoys and where they spend their free time.
Misuse can lead to infringement of privacy or unintentional discrimination. If, for example, you allow information gleaned online about an applicant’s age or marital status to affect a hiring decision, you could invite a lawsuit. Proactively vet your recruitment strategy to avoid this risk.
3. Create a Captivating Brand Strategy
With an estimated 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide, there is a lot of competition for your potential candidate’s attention. It is of utmost importance that employers create captivating online content to catch and hold the awareness of their audience. Establish your company’s online reputation by displaying your company values (and, ideally, how your company lives these values).
Top talent wants a straight line between their own ethics and the beliefs of the organization they work for. Creating a place for company values is an opportunity to start that emotional connection by displaying what is important to your company beyond revenue.
Use photos, video streaming, and blog posts to tell the story of your company in your own voice. There is no better way to give your audience direct access to your company than displaying photos and using video to spotlight events, speakers, employees, and a day in the life where you work. Remember to add links to your Career page and mention that you’re hiring in the caption!
4. Get Your Company #Trending
If you are interested in creating a viral buzz about your organization to attract talent, then it’s important to understand which hashtags to use in order to increase traffic.
A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#) used on social media websites and applications, to identify messages on a specific topic. When you use a hashtag, the platform aggregates all social media content with the same hashtag, so it’s easy to find content in one place.
Twitter is well-known for the use of hashtags, but most other social networks use them as well. By using hashtags before keywords, candidates will be able to find content about your company, even perhaps without looking for it directly. Many job seekers follow hashtags such as: #resume, #jobopening, and #HR. Be sure to use relevant hashtags and even hashtag specific positions (i.e., #software engineer) to attract a more curated audience.
5. Find Passive Candidates
Social media is a fantastic way to attract candidates that may already be interested in working for your company. However, it is also a very effective tool in gathering information about candidates who may not be currently looking for a change.
LinkedIn is a widely used social media network for passive recruiting. Its products, “Recruiter Lite” and “Recruiter Corporate,” help recruiters to source and contact candidates. LinkedIn provides access to candidate profiles (which serve as resumes) and advanced search filters to assist with finding candidates with the right skill and level of experience for any given position.
Employers with Facebook pages can also post positive events that are happening at the company, which can help to promote the brand. Employers can also post open positions on Facebook and, in turn, ask employees to repost the positions to their pages (if they’re comfortable). Because news on social media travels so quickly (especially with the right hashtags) there is a plethora of opportunity to attract candidates who may otherwise be outside the reach of your immediate circle.
Remember, passive job seekers are generally happy with their current job and will not be willing to leap into another job without serious consideration. This is why building relationships with this particular target group is important. The first step to building a relationship is to reach out with a personalized message, so be sure to use the correct name and mention relevant experience when reaching out to the potential candidate.
6. Don’t Be a Stranger
It’s hard to maintain relationships with people that you don’t hear from—imagine how easy it is to lose connection with a company that hardly posts. Candidates need regular reminders of why your company is interesting and why they would be excited to join the team. Make it a habit to post multiple times a week, and be approachable and friendly (a little humor never hurts either, if it is appropriate for the brand).
Consider interacting with your online audience and use this as an opportunity to comment on and “like” work that you admire, and respond to supportive comments about your company.
First and foremost, your business’s reputation rides heavily on how you interact online, so before engaging, determine a social media strategy and establish how you will respond to any negative feedback.
7. Use Groups and Sub-Networks to Find Your Next Hire
Some social media sites offer users the ability to sign up to networks or groups devoted to particular business sectors. Over two-thirds (68%) of job seekers feel that signing up to these groups is important to progression in their own career and cite these reasons for joining the groups:
- Gaining intelligence on the market
- Leveraging an ideal platform for discussing trends
- Interacting with like-minded professionals
- Job-hunting opportunities
- Ascertaining the identities of key players in the market
Companies should use these same groups to find engaged job seekers to interact with and to provide relevant market data, trends, and curated information about open positions. Developing value-driven relationships is an excellent way to make an impact on potential candidates.
8. Follow up on Leads
Social media tends to move quickly and with all of the real-time interaction, it is easy to forget to follow up on leads or direct messages. If you are reaching out to passive candidates via direct message, check frequently for responses and keep the conversation flowing. The ultimate goal is to transform a direct message into an actual conversation—which is difficult to achieve if there are lags in replies.
The intention behind using social media for recruiting is to leverage your network. Should you receive a referral from someone in your network, be sure to follow up in a timely manner. Your company’s reputation relies upon it.
9. Measure Your Metrics
Any initiative worth its weight needs to be backed by HR metrics, and social media recruiting is no different. LinkedIn offers LinkedIn Talent Insights, which are aggregated and standardized data points that are retrieved from member profiles. These data points shed light on metrics around topics such as talent availability, demographic breakdowns within any given industry, how many people applied for a position, skills held by your applicants, and possible average salaries for similar roles.
Regardless of which social media network you decide to use, it’s essential to remember to collect data to determine the reach and impact of using a particular network, thus leading to understanding your ROI.
10. Manage Your Reputation
While it’s easy to get caught up in creating a social media recruiting strategy focused on what your company is doing, it’s as important to protect your reputation by getting ahead of what your company is not doing.
Employees tend to use social media websites such as Yelp and Glassdoor as a way to honestly share feedback on how the organization is managed, what benefits are provided, and the efficacy of Senior Leadership. Potential candidates often use these sites to make judgments about a company’s culture, and will determine whether or not they wish to entertain an opportunity from your organization based upon these reviews.
In an ideal world, only positive reviews would exist for your company. If you do, however, find that you’ve received a less than stellar rating, don’t respond defensively online! This often escalates matters and while it may be entertaining to read, top candidates will not want to join a company where there is drama online. Instead, consider responding by thanking the reviewer and extending an invitation to resolve the matter offline. Your goal is to always take the high road and maintain a baseline of respect. Your future employees are watching.
Social media recruiting is a fantastic way to reach your target audience and create a curated experience that feels hands-on and authentic. In order to maximize social recruiting for your company, however, it’s important to determine which networks will provide the most value and which audiences you’d like to address.
Creating exciting content, following up on any leads, and interacting with a friendly tone will ensure that you will grab the attention of your audience and, in the meantime, you may even find yourself hiring an amazing passive candidate. Win-Win.