7 Social Media Recruitment Tips to Find Top Talent
Recruitment has come a long way. It’s no longer just recruiters who care about ideas like organizational fit, talent acquisition, and person-organizational fit.
Now senior management cares, too! And because of easy access to information on the internet, recruiters and organizations can both make better decisions.
But there are more options for candidates, too, with more companies vying for talent and offering flexible work options. Organizations have to step up their game to attract the best.
A recent revolution in recruiting is social media recruitment - finding candidates through sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter - and many organizations are struggling to take advantage.
You can learn a lot about candidates through social media. You can also reduce the costs of sourcing and hiring candidates by using social media. There’s a huge opportunity here!
So how do you start recruiting through social media, and do it well? How can your organization attract candidates, both passively and actively, and what should you do moving forward?
In this article I’ll break down seven tips and recommendations that will help organizations just like yours effectively use social media for recruitment. Ready?
7 Tips for Recruiting through Social Media
1. Get buy-in from all the stakeholders.
Social media recruiting might seem like a fad to many people, and so you might have trouble getting everyone on the same page.
Traditional managers still rely on referrals and consultants. That’s what they believe has worked and will continue to work. (They spend a lot of money on these channels, too.) You’re going to have to get them to switch gears.
The most important thing in implementing a social media recruiting strategy is to get buy-in from all the stakeholders - all the decision-makers and relevant department heads.
They must be made aware of the benefits of social recruiting, and how it can do away with the traditional ills associated with recruitment (like high costs and extended timelines).
How do you change their minds?
There’s no one right way, but a starting point is to show everyone the cost difference between outsourcing and finding your own qualified candidates. Data on the quality of candidates from referrals, too, won’t hurt.
After seeing the positive stats, most are willing to give it a shot. Then you have to come through for them.
2. Find multiple channels.
When we talk about social recruiting, most people think of LinkedIn. It’s the largest professional network in the world, and gives organizations a plethora of choices to source from. It’s a good option! But it’s not the only place for sourcing candidates.
Organizations must be active on other channels, too, and try to attract candidates on each.
One good idea is to find a niche channel that your competitors haven’t saturated yet. If your competitors are busy sourcing from LinkedIn, for instance, you might want to find another place to implement your social recruiting strategy.
A few options are:
- A local or niche subreddit
- Quora topics
- Facebook groups
- Other online forums for your industry
Ideally, you’ll have at least three channels for recruitment, so that you have enough of a candidate pool to choose from.
3. Be active.
A lot of organizations are interested in recruiting through social media. They get excited, and they create profiles wherever they can. But they don’t put together a viable strategy.
Before long, the excitement wanes, and the profiles go dormant. When candidates see these old and inactive pages, they discredit you. If you can’t post in six months, for example, why would you be expected to get back to a candidate promptly?
If you’re going to have social media profiles and use them for recruiting, be active. Create a plan to be active (I’ll cover this more in point seven).
Also, while creating your pages, be sure to complete all the fields, and present candidates with a complete profile. Social media sites give greater preference to pages that are completely filled, compared to those which are only half-filled.
Once you have created your social pages, create a schedule for posting content and implement it religiously. Dedicate the right resources (time, money for any sponsored posts, etc.), and ensure that your messaging is clear and consistent.
4. Give it time.
Many social recruiting campaigns fold because organizations do not see enough return on their efforts quickly. Social recruiting, however, is a long game, and organizations should give their efforts time to show results. Anything great takes time to build.
You are not going to gain followers or fill all your open positions immediately. It will probably take awhile to build a positive reputation online (if you haven’t already) and see returns.
Indeed, one of the features of social recruiting is that you gain the following of passive job seekers more than active ones. If you don’t give them time, your efforts will be wasted. So stick to your plan. Social media recruitment pays off big for those who do.
5. Pay attention to your analytics.
Most social media sites today give you detailed analytics on a variety of metrics to help you refine your messaging, time and frequency of posting, and more, so you can gain returns faster and more consistently.
If you create a post on LinkedIn, for instance, make sure that you are measuring its reach and engagement (new followers, conversations started, etc.).
LinkedIn's Visitor Analytics
If you post on Instagram, for example, look at the demographics of people engaging with your post. Over time, these metrics will tell you how effective your posts are, what you need to do to improve results, and how to adjust your strategy.
You might need to invest a little more to be able to crunch the numbers and come up with relevant information, but the returns will be worth it. You may also want to use an HR solution to keep up with everything.
6. Involve everyone.
Once again, social recruiting is not just about the recruiters or social media specialists. Left to them, this whole exercise becomes commoditized.
Instead of organically developing followers and candidates, you will see stunted increases. For best results, everyone needs to be involved.
Include your employees and senior management, too, not just the few people directly involved. After all, who better to attract new candidates than your current employees? They live in your organization day-to-day, and know what candidates are looking for.
Encourage them to make posts, start conversations, and interact with followers. Every employee can help build a company reputation that others want to join.
Remember that your objective is to present a holistic and well-established picture of your organization. This is not going to happen if only a few people keep making posts. But it will happen, and candidates will appreciate you more, if your whole team(s) get on board.
This doesn’t mean encouraging all your employees and executives to stay on social media all day. But if everyone takes a few minutes every day, or every few days, returns will add up over time.
7. Create interesting and engaging content.
Social media is not the place to be formal or droll. You have your website for formal messaging like details of your vision, mission, board, and so on. Social media is an informal place where people volunteer to engage with one another based on interests.
The content you create and post must be engaging, and pique the interest of your target followers so that they will interact with you. Some good content options you can create and share are:
- Infographics (based on your industry or work you’ve done)
- Surveys and survey results (maybe from customers or clients)
- Questions only your target followers and candidates can answer
- The latest trends in your field
- Contests and events for followers
If you’re trying to recruit for XYZ positions, post content those ideal candidates will care about. If you can slip your own work or two cents into the mix, great. If you can create conversations between your employees and target followers or candidates, even better!
After you determine what content to create and share, give yourself and your team a timeline for posting regularly (see point #3).
So what now?
Social media provides a vista of opportunities, and is helpful for organizations in a number of ways. With a well-thought out strategy, organizations can gain maximum benefit from this medium, and supplement their recruitment efforts.
It provides both parties with a great way to get together and discuss issues before the formal recruitment process starts (and may streamline the process once it has started). It also helps organizations engage passive job seekers (who may turn into your best hires).
Social media recruitment is one of the hottest trends in HR right now. By following the seven tips and recommendations in this article, you’ll be able to gain better and faster returns on your recruiting efforts.
You just need to start the process and stick to it!