As Millennials overtake the business world and the first few waves of Gen Z enter the workforce, more and more companies are reaping the benefits of a robust online presence. This presence isn’t strictly limited to branding and consumer-targeted pages, however.
Social Media Recruitment is a valid—and recommended— strategy to gain new, cutting-edge employees and expand your workforce.
By now, we’ve all heard of Social Media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are household names and well-known for their branding purposes. Even Instagram is getting a foothold in the business niche.
However, consumers aren’t the only targets browsing through these pages. Prospective Employees, both active and passive, are as well.
Online recruitment has been a growing HR function since we entered the digital age. From online applications to active accounts on job sites like Indeed and Career Builder, to mobile-friendly career sites and social media presences— all of these are part of a larger HR strategy to reach a wider audience of potential employees without an extravagant addition to cost.
Choosing and Managing Multiple Platforms
Social Media offers an ever-growing plethora of outreach options. You have mainstream networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and then you have the more niche networks like GitHub or Moz.
The first step in developing your online recruiting presence is deciding which platforms you will use— Google+, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter name only a few. If you are searching for specific types of employees, you will want to research niche networks related to your field for more targeted recruitment.
Each network has its own best practices when it comes to recruitment, as they all operate in different ways, but they share a few critical strategies—keep your recruitment profiles separate from your consumer profiles, fill out your profiles completely, and be active on all platforms.
Some platforms like Facebook also give you the option to advertise a job posting through a paid ad, which helps you reach prospective candidates who may be unaware of your online presence.
While prospective employees will browse your consumer pages to get a feel for how the company operates, your consumers and potential employees are after different things. You can use a separate recruitment page to post job openings and offer a glimpse of your work environment or on-boarding processes.
By keeping these to the recruitment page, you avoid cluttering up your consumers’ news feed, and you reduce the risk that potential employees may miss an important posting.
Consider multiple social media accounts for recruiting to widen your potential audience further. While many professionals are learning to take advantage of LinkedIn to tout their accomplishments and network with others, others lean towards the more casual sites such as Facebook and Twitter because they are less daunting.
Posting and tracking on multiple social media sites may sound challenging, but online tools such as Buffer, HootSuite, and others help make it a breeze. These tools even allow you to continually search through hashtags to monitor for any issues, such as an unsatisfied employee or consumer.
Homing in on Hashtags
Should you create profiles for recruiting on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you will need to learn the art of the hashtag. For the uninitiated, a hashtag highlights keywords or phrases with a pound sign.
If someone clicks on a hashtag, the site then redirects them to a myriad of posts invoking the same keyword. Popular hashtags for job searching include #jobs, #jobsearch, or Geo-Specific hashtags like #LondonJobs or #NYCJobs.
To see what a hashtag looks like on Twitter, check out this hashtag search for the #jobsearch hashtag. As you can see, each of these posts include the hashtag.
While you want to use general hashtags to broaden your audience, you should also brainstorm a few brand-specific tags. Examples would be #LifeAtDisney or #sbuxjobs.
These hashtags allow potential employees to not only see your latest job-related postings but also check what others are saying about working for your company.
These search results on Instagram for #LifeAtDisney give a peek inside the company culture at Disney.
Hashtags are also useful for filtering what type of position you are offering. #developers, #designers, and #engineers are but a few ways hashtags can help reach your target audience.
Geo-specific hashtags like the two above also help filter through potential employees, letting them know upfront if a job posting is in their area.
Targeting Top Performers
One significant risk with social media recruitment is that it encourages passive recruits— those who are not actively searching for a job— to gain an interest in your company. Research highlights this risk, revealing that passive candidates can lead to poor hires, and cost your company money in the long run.
Surveys have shown the main troubles an employee may have: they aren’t committed to the company, they had difficulty adjusting to the workplace, or they had difficulty adapting to the position.
All three of these issues are avoidable with proper strategy. Help potential candidates get a feel for your workplace environment, be upfront in your job postings and requirements, and have a solid on-boarding process in place to help new hires adapt.
Periscope, Facebook Live, and other methods of video streaming can give potential recruits first-hand experience with your workplace. You can stream special events, presentations, or even a standard day at the office.
These peeks allow candidates to get a feel for how things run at your company and what sort of opportunities they will have. Be sure and highlight any special events you hold for employees, to give an idea of perks outside of the standard benefits packages.
Also remember to advertise these streams on your other social media sites so that no one misses out!
Things to Remember
The two primary keys to Social Media Recruitment are the Plan and the Execution. This may sound like common sense, but some companies have learned the hard way that running blind into the digital recruitment stages can lead to poor hires or a negative online presence.
Ensure that your HR team has a solid plan in place before you activate social media recruitment pages. Know where you will post, what methods you will use, and how you will track each site. Have a plan for negative responses that includes acknowledgment and resolution.
Each post, comment, response, and personal outreach through the platform direct messaging is a reflection of your brand and company. Prompt follow-ups with interest or even questions will be critical.
Digital presence of any kind requires a sound strategy, from identifying targets to brainstorming hashtags and from initiation to follow-up.
Recruiting Employees Via Social Networks By The Numbers
If you’re still on the fence about recruiting new talent using social media, you might be interested in this great infographic created by the team at Staff Management | SMX. Some highlights of the data included in the infographic include:
- 93% of recruiters say they are using or plan to use social media to support their recruiting efforts. That means even if you aren’t using social media to recruit, your competitors are.
- 83% of job seekers are looking to Facebook to get input for jobs. So, if you aren’t using social media, you might be missing out on high-quality candidates.
- 93% of recruiters review applicant’s social media channels before making a hiring decision.
In other words, there is a lot of opportunity when it comes to pairing social media and recruiting. Are you taking full advantage of the opportunity?
|Eric Czerwonka is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Buddy Punch, a software company founded in 2013 that provides time tracking solutions for startups, companies with employees, as well as anyone with a remote team to manage.
In his endeavors, Eric works to fit each problem with the correct solution through the use of technology, as well as innovation. Eric also holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Thanks to James for sharing his insights on the topic of social media recruitment and tips on how to find the right employees using social networks!
|Thanks, again, to Eric for sharing his thoughts on how companies can use social media to identify and engage candidates. Be sure to follow Eric and the Buddy Punch team on Twitter.
The only additional tip I would add is to ensure that your social media community manager is involved in any activities, so they are aware of any potential inbound messages that might arise. Have a comment, experience, or tips on either passive or active recruitment of employees using social networks? We’d love to hear them, so be sure to share your experiences in a comment!