Many recruiting organizations are starting to see the potential of social media channels in their recruitment marketing strategy. These channels provide the unique opportunity to engage with candidates on channels that they actively use and to begin two-way communication with these candidates.
The benefits of social recruiting are apparent from easier engagement with candidates to better employer branding to the creation of talent pipelines for future job openings. However, many organizations are confused on how to start.
Like any recruiting initiative, you need a plan and goal to strive towards, however, with social the hardest part usually is taking that first step into the foray and continuing with it.
To help you develop and take that first step in Social Recruiting here’s my beginner’s guide to creating a successful social recruiting strategy:
The first step to any successful social strategy is understanding and choosing the right platform that you will use. When it comes to social recruiting it usually means the big three: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
When selecting the social platform that you’ll be using, make sure to understand your audience and what you want to achieve with your social strategy. Once you have a goal and strategy in mind, I suggest you start by delving deep into one of these platforms first and rely on it as your main social recruiting tool. Why not do all three? The time resources needed to continually run an effective social strategy often leaves you stretched thin. If you can launch and maintain all these social networks that’s great but I rather be a master of one than a master of none if given the choice.
You also want to think about what your default mode of social contact should be. If a candidate asks where to engage with you, where do you send them? It’s fine to have a presence on multiple social platforms but make sure to understand where your staff and presence is the strongest as well.
Once you pick the platform, you need to figure out what you want your audience to be and start building it. Are you going after a specific skill set or industry niche or maybe are you are just trying to create awareness for your employment opportunities? Whatever your goal you need to go about identifying the right influencers in the space and begin a relationship by following them.
To find these influencers, you can do a number of different things including searching keywords via Twitter search and using a number of different tools. But my favorite way is to leverage your favorite Twitter users to help you build your audience by following the people they recommend and follow.
Please note, the process of hitting a critical mass of followers and audience is not instantaneous and will take a little time. If you have a strong consumer brand on your social channels, I highly recommend using them to drive followers to your newly created social recruiting profiles.
Once you have a lock on your audience, it’s time to find your voice. Mainly you will need to understand the personality that you’ll be using on these social profiles. Depending on your brand and your organization, this may be clear cut and already done for you. But if it isn’t, I highly suggest you have this conversation as the tone and personality you give your social recruiting profiles can affect how successful they are. (Please note that this doesn’t have to be set in stone and will change as you become more comfortable on these channels.)
Whether you are creating your own content or sharing other people’s content, it is extremely important to understand your content strategy. Followers on your profiles not only want to interact and engage with you but they also follow in order to come across interesting and helpful information and content.
When you think about content, I highly suggest you institute a hybrid strategy of sharing your own content and a selection from high quality 3rd party sources. Your organization probably already creates content that you can use. From press releases to blog articles, your marketing team produces content that is a great start for information to share with your followers. Add in a recruiting blog or videos from your recruiting team and you have a robust content creation strategy that can highlight your organization and employment opportunities (And yes jobs are content as well although it shouldn’t be your only content!)
As far as other content, I highly suggest setting up a feed that you can pull from. Whether it’s a targeted list of Twitter users that share great content or an RSS feed of your favorite blogs / sites, you should begin setting up some content listening posts that can help you share great and relevant content with your audience.
Social media is a continuously on-going medium. This is not a 6 month project that you get up and running and then can stop working on. In order to succeed, you need to continue to engage and make yourself a valued source to your audience.
Once you set up your content listening posts and identify your audience, it will be that much easier to remain valuable and better engage with the candidates that can help grow your organization. If you are instituting a social recruiting strategy, it’s important that you dedicate resources to building and then maintaining these communities for your organization.
Just because you formulate a social recruiting strategy doesn’t mean it will work or become your best recruiting source. So it’s important to measure the results you are getting from social recruiting with recruitment metrics. Social should be measured on the same metrics that you measure job boards, niche sites, SEO, recruitment CRM campaigns and other recruiting initiatives. The main difference in the metrics is that the inherent time associated with social recruiting is the main cost driver not actual dollars, so you need to find a way to calculate this to determine overall success.
A Social Recruiting strategy can help provide your organization with a voice to engage with candidates in the recruiting process. Most importantly, it provides the opportunity to prove your value to these candidates so that they may view you as an employer of choice when they decide to make their next career move.