Did you know that you are shaping potential candidates’ perception of you every single day? Every time you post, tweet, snap, like, or share, you tell your followers something about what it’s like to work for you. Whether it’s intentional or not, you are sending a message.
The question is: are you sending the right message?
Consider this: 70% of potential hires are passive candidates—they aren’t actively seeking a job. But they’re still absorbing information about your company, culture, and brand. And they’re open to a new position if the right opportunity presents itself.
Social media recruiting can help you reach those people—but it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Start Off On the Right Foot: Commit to the Process
You can’t just jump into social media recruiting with abandon and post whatever, whenever. You need a strategy designed to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. Here’s how to get started:
- Goals—What do you want to accomplish? Do you have specific roles you need to fill ASAP? Are you seeking to network with passive candidates for future opportunities? Showcase your culture? Make a list of the goals you want to accomplish with social media before you start posting.
- Great Culture—It’s not enough to make your culture look great. Your culture must actually be great if you want to recruit successfully. Social recruiting gives followers a sneak peek into what it’s really like to work at your company. If you don’t have a great culture, work on that first.
- Time—Social media requires time and consistency. You have to invest in building your audience, creating a content calendar, analyzing results, and adjusting as needed.
- Experimentation—If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. There is no single best strategy that will work for every business, all the time. Be willing to experiment with different kinds of content, different posting days and times, and different engagement strategies. Find what works.
Hit the Ground Running: Plan Your Strategy
Thomas Jefferson famously said, “The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Companies that recruit effectively on social media aren’t just lucky—they’ve put in a lot of work to plan a strategy that gets results:
- Know who you’re trying to reach. What does your ideal candidate look like? Develop candidate personas that include demographics, preferences, job skills, goals, interests, and even hobbies. These things will tell you what social channels they most likely use and what types of content they’re likely to engage with.
- Decide where you want to send traffic. Do you have separate landing pages for each open position? (Hint: you should.) Which posts will send visitors directly to those landing pages and which ones will go to your general careers page? Send candidates to a targeted landing page that will draw them in and invite further interaction.
- Build a posting strategy. Analyze the best times to post for each channel by looking at engagement metrics. When are people most likely to like, comment, and share? When are they most active online? What kinds of content do they interact with most frequently?
- Get current employees onboard. Current employees can be some of your best brand ambassadors. Recruit them to like and share your posts, interact with comments, and tag people who may be interested. If they love working for you, they’ll be glad to help promote your company to their network. And a little friendly competition never hurts either.
- Analyze and adjust. If your strategy isn’t working, find out why. Analyze metrics such as traffic to your landing pages, number of comments or mentions, number of new follows, frequency of likes, shares, and retweets, and number of paid advertising leads. Learn from the data and adjust your strategy as needed.
Stay In the Race: Learn and Grow Across Channels
Over time, you’ll find that you’ve hit a stride in one or more of your social channels as activity and engagement grow. Take what you’ve learned and tweak it across all of your social media venues to reach a wider audience. Remember, Twitter followers engage differently than Instagram fans do. LinkedIn has an entirely different purpose from Facebook. Discover what works best for each audience and tweak your strategy for better results.
And one final caveat: Use the information you find on social media carefully. Don’t open yourself up to discrimination lawsuits by allowing a candidate’s age, marital status, or other private information to affect a hiring decision.
Social media recruiting is a powerful tool that can help you reach otherwise unreachable candidates. Use it wisely to showcase your culture and build your employer brand intentionally—and have fun!