One of the fastest-growing recruiting trends in recent years has been social recruiting—searching and scouting people on social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter—to fill open positions. With billions of people using social networks, it’s no wonder that recruiters are turning to them to find potential candidates.
If you’ve never done social recruiting or implemented a social recruiting strategy in your company, the task may seem daunting. Where do you start? What social networks do you go after? What are the best practices for successful social recruiting? If you are thinking about implementing a social recruiting strategy this year, here’s something to get you started!
Using Social Networks for Recruiting
Social networking is a two-way street. Implementing a social media strategy doesn’t mean stalking people online and messaging them about openings at your company. Remember, the best approach to social recruiting is a passive one. You want to build awareness about your company, its culture, and your career opportunities, so candidates come to you.
Regardless of the purpose, social media’s success is based on interaction. It’s a conversation. As such, you should look at social recruiting as an opening line. What would you say to a candidate in person? How would you present your company? How would you talk about a job opportunity? Consider how all of these conversations happen in person, and then develop a strategy that mimics it on social media. Here are some tips to remember.
Create a page for your company on the social networks you think are best suited to your needs and your capabilities. Why capabilities? Because in order to successfully implement a social media strategy you need to commit to it 100%. That means if you open a Twitter account for your company, you have to be prepared to tweet several times a day. You need the staff hours and time commitment in order to make your venture into social media successful.
- Brand yourself
Your presence on social media is like your introduction to prospective candidates. It’s an opportunity to tailor your tone and approach to fit your company, thus creating a brand—a voice that people will recognise as your company’s. This can help strengthen your identity and make you more appealing to potential candidates.
- Tell us who you are
Give people an inside glimpse into your company—what’s a day at your office like? What makes your company unique? Get creative by posting insights from current employees in a Q&A or a short video tour of your office. Provide profiles of your top management so people can read more about them. Share interesting facts about what makes working in your company fun, like your company cricket team or monthly barbeques. Paint a picture that attracts possible candidates to you.
- Tell us what you do
Okay, you’ve told us who you are; now tell us what you do. Share what your company does—what you’re good at and known for. Whether it’s software development or public relations, talk about the work you do. Give examples of specific projects or campaigns that were very successful. Better yet, show us what you do. Use platforms such as YouTube to upload videos of sample training or advertisements your company created.
- Talk industry
Social networks shouldn’t be used as a soapbox from which to shout about how great you are. They can be used to introduce your company to the world and, sure, brag a bit, but always remember that the social conversation is bigger than one organisation. It is a forum in which to discuss what’s happening in the world and in your case, it’s a place where you can discuss what’s happening in your industry. Use your social media channels to discuss issues that are affecting your industry. After all, the people you want working for you are likely to be interested in this information.
Since social media is a two-way street, don’t make the conversation one-sided. Engage your audience by asking them questions. You can keep them specific to your company or be broader, like asking how they hope to grow their careers. Ask questions about your industry as well, something that will get your audience talking about the topic on your page.
- Post opportunities
Ultimately what we’re talking about here is using social media as a recruiting tool, so remember to post all your job openings. An effective way to do this, especially if you have a lot of job opportunities, is to target your job opening posts. That way your followers won’t feel like they’re being spammed; they’ll just see the posts that might interest them. For instance, on Facebook you can target the post to the geographic location where the job is, or on Google Plus you can run a search for your followers that fall within the job’s skills, and target only them.
- Start a conversation
Once you start attracting potential candidates on your social networks, start a conversation there, too. You can use it for pre-interviews with candidates, to talk to hiring managers across the country, and even to offer training. You can ask interested candidates to send their resumes and cover letters via private messages on Facebook and Twitter.
- Think SEO
Activity on your social networks translates into visibility online. Always remember that the more content you create and share on social media, the more your company, your insight, and your career opportunities will come up in search results and therefore will be seen by more people. Use keywords that are relevant to your industry and your company often. Always remember to choose the social networks that suit your company best. Start with a LinkedIn profile, since that’s the most professional and career-centred of the social networks. Then, consider your time and effort commitment to determine whether you should open a Twitter or Facebook account. Also consider your industry. If you’re looking for technology professionals—social media experts, IT professionals, software developers, etc.—then Google Plus could be the choice for you, since its user base is skewed heavily toward those professions.
- Measuring Results
Any HR manager knows that the recruiting process, whether done traditionally or through social media, is time-consuming—from the time spent promoting your company and its job opportunities to the hours reviewing resumes, checking references, and coordinating interviews. And once the candidate is hired, more time is spent on orientation and training about the company, its policies, management, and the new hire’s role.
Since you’re spending so much time on recruiting (and time = money) you should make sure that the social media strategy you’re using to find and hire candidates is paying off in the end. Although different companies and industries measure quality of hire differently, there are a few key things to look out for when measuring the effectiveness of your social recruiting.
Engagement –Social media is all about engaging with your audience, so a quick way to find out if you’re effectively implementing your social recruiting strategy is by noticing how much (or little) people are interacting with you on your social networks.
Successful Hires – So a candidate found your company through a social network, applied for an open position, and got the job. Now it’s time to gauge the employee’s “fit” in the company. If the employee turns out to be a bad fit, then this may tell you a bit about the type of candidates you’re attracting. Maybe you’re not portraying your company accurately, and thus you’re attracting the wrong candidates. To ensure you are measuring “Fit”, consider using one of Peoplogica’s JobFit assessments.
Turnover and Retention – Another way to tell if you’re sending the wrong message about your company and attracting unsuitable candidates is by determining how long new employees recruited through social media are staying with the company, and the rate at which they’re leaving. High turnover may mean something is wrong with your hiring process, and it may mean you need to rethink your social recruiting strategy.
Cost per Hire – All companies should have a cost-per-hire measure of the efforts taken to staff an open position, whether they involve traditional or social recruiting. This sets a benchmark for the effectiveness of your overall staffing process.