So when I started this series on recruitment marketing, I mentioned that it’s an area that typically takes HR professionals a bit outside their comfort zones. It’s challenging to think from a different perspective on the best of days, but it really doesn’t help when you’re just starting the process and get chucked right into the deep end.
Of course, that’s exactly what happens when you try to take the first step on your recruitment marketing journey – you get swept almost immediately into the wild and crazy world of social media. What social media recruiting tactics should you focus on? Which platforms matter most? Why is all this so #complicated?
Don’t worry. Social media on its best day is an overwhelming rodeo of chaos, so I’m going to try and cut through the noise and get your recruitment marketing train back on the tracks. See the truth is that even though it seems super complicated, the best way to attack social media recruiting is actually to get back to basics and work in a few specific, targeted areas to make an impact. Let’s explore three ways to do that.
Think quality, not quantity
There are tons of social media platforms out there, and it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones reach the types of talent you’re looking to recruit. Some focus just on the current moment, some allow longer-form content or even full job listings, and still others rely more heavily on graphical content. Do you need to have a presence on all these different sites to recruit effectively? Luckily, the answer is no. You can start small and focus on just the places that will have a bigger impact for you.
Now bear with me, because the first suggestion is going to sound kind of obvious. Yes, you guessed it, it’s LinkedIn. You got me. I know you’ve heard this one before, but there’s a reason LinkedIn is a key ingredient in any social media recruiting strategy. After all, with 260 million active users and over 500 million users total, LinkedIn is a massive hub for professionals of all kinds. The trick is of course getting the right kinds of attention for your organization from this channel and directing it appropriately. Some quick ways to do this are making sure you post not just your job listings but also announcements on your company page linking to those listings to drive more traffic. We also recommend linking back to your specific career site from your LinkedIn listings to have people apply there so you can better control branding and have more of a chance to communicate your culture. Bonus points if your recruiting system allows LinkedIn parsing so applicants can use their profiles to fill in your applications.
The topic of company culture brings us to our next social media recruiting recommendation: Twitter. Thanks to its ability to capture quick thoughts in the moment, Twitter is an ideal platform not only for timely job updates but also for promoting what makes your organization special. Beyond just posting links when you put up new jobs, you should also tweet about moments that highlight why people like working at your company. Think things like internal team-building events, community service efforts, company outings, etc. It also doesn’t hurt to post about career fairs or other recruiting events you’re attending. Since close to two-thirds of job seekers use Twitter as part of their search, you’ll gain a lot of awareness for your job opportunities and get a chance to tell your company’s unique story using this channel.
Now, these are just two of many potential social media recruiting options, but if you make a targeted effort and build a foundation on these platforms, you’ll have a solid start and will be able to extend out to other channels that fit your needs over time.
Culture is everything
You probably started to get this from the previous points on social media channels, but it’s critical that you use social media to communicate your company culture as well as to post jobs. Make sure you build profiles for your organization on the channels you use that have consistent branding, messages, and cultural highlights. Scratching your head about what to say? Ask your employees. What was it that made them want to be part of your team? What do they like most about their daily jobs? What benefits matter most to them? Remember, it’s a candidate’s job market right now and competition is fierce, so some of the best insights you can get will come from the people who used to be candidates that chose your organization out of the options they had available to them.
Remember to take advantage of your HCM platform to communicate culture as well. Most strong HCM solutions will offer an embeddable careers site or applicant portal as part of their services that collects applicant information and allows it to feed into your wider HCM ecosystem so you can easily track candidates and transfer data when hiring. Make sure you have customization options built into your careers site so you can insert appropriate company branding and colors, add photos representative of your workforce, and place strategic descriptions that showcase core values, key benefits, employee quotes, and other similar information that applicants will find attractive.
Data helps you grow
Beyond just using social media to bring in good candidates, you also need to measure how well the channels you’ve chosen are working for you. Where are different roles coming in from most frequently? What’s your percentage of first offers accepted? What’s the quality of hire from your different channels? How are your time to fill rates looking? These are just a few examples of things you might want to measure based on your social media recruiting strategy, and people analytics can help you do it.
If you run your application process off of a unified HCM platform, it’s easy to track applicants, candidates, and hired employees back to the channels they came in from and figure our where you want to invest more heavily in social media. You can add fields into your applications that tag where an applicant found your job listing so you can easily keep a pulse on volume from different places. Also, for candidates you’ve hired, you can compare their candidate data against their performance data or likelihood of succession to more senior roles to start getting a clearer picture of what characteristics your ideal applicants should have and where they’re likely to find your job listings. People analytics is a whole topic unto itself, but these are some ideas of where you can start.
The bottom line is social media recruiting can get crazy fast, and it’s just the tip of the recruitment marketing iceberg. That’s okay, though. All it means is you need to take a deep breath and carefully pick the channels and promotion strategies that work best for you. Before you know it, you’ll have built a key part of your recruiting foundation that will help you find the right people to efficiently and effectively fill your open positions.