A Quick Guide to Using Social Media for Recruiting
An estimated 79% of job seekers use social media during their job search. That means that if your organization doesn’t have a coherent social media strategy, you’re missing out. Social media recruitment can be as easy or as complicated as you choose to make it. Use this quick guide to using social media for recruitment to get started.
1. Set defined targets
Too often, companies adopt a new social media strategy without thinking clearly about what they hope to achieve. That’s why it is so critical to develop specific goals and track progress with key performance indicators. When setting a goal, think beyond the generic “attract more candidates via social media.” For example, you might set the goal to “increase social media recruitment by 30% over eight months” or “receive 40% more click-throughs to our careers page from Instagram and Facebook.”
One essential KPI for social media recruitment is channel efficiency. This simple-to-calculate metric tells you where your candidates come from (calculated as a proportion of your overall number of job candidates). You can get even more detailed information by calculating what percentage of your eventual hires come from a particular source.
2. Use social media channels strategically
Social media is a constantly changing landscape, with difference audiences drawn to different social media channels. Rather than casting a wide net, know where your audience lives and focus your attention there. For example, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn, yet the average LinkedIn user is older than 35, and less than half of Millennials have an account. For those hoping to capture the coveted Millennial demographic in hiring, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are likely to be more successful. Think about the content that best fits a particular channel (hint: audiovisual content works best) to grow your audience.
3. Align your marketing and HR teams
Most organizations have a marketing team that coordinates the overall brand social media strategy. When it comes to recruitment, however, HR needs to be involved. It’s best to present a coordinated strategy across the regular brand and corporate brand pages, so make sure these teams communicate effectively with one another. Regular meetings to discuss strategy and upcoming recruitment efforts can help to keep all social media channels coordinated. At the end of the day, one team must be responsible for owning the social media strategy to prevent mistakes or missteps.
4. Be clever, but don’t try too hard
Social media is all about standing out from the pack, but it can be difficult to walk the line between being clever and overdoing it and this is particularly true when you want to show personality as a brand and as an employer. Take Cinnabon’s cringeworthy social media blunder, where they attempted to use the death of actress Carrie Fisher to sell product through a Princess Leia tribute post. Cinnabon was widely mocked and denounced for the tone-deaf post.
While it’s certainly appropriate to play off of current events and unique things that will resonate with your audience, always strive to keep your tone authentic. Take REI, for example. Rather than leaning into the Black Friday holiday shopping craze, in 2015 they announced that they would close their stores on Black Friday and promoted the decision (which, by the way, is a fantastic example of an employer putting their employees first) using the hashtag #OptOutside. The result? A 7,000% increase in social media impressions, all by sticking with an authentic brand tone. Use the same strategy in your recruitment efforts to attract candidates who fit with your corporate brand.
5. Leverage existing brand content
Launching a social media strategy often feels daunting partly because it’s seen as an enormous workload, especially when you’re starting something for the first time – in this case, using social media for recruiting and employer brand goals. Make things easier on yourself by leveraging existing brand content. Videos of current employees, material from your website Careers page, and other promotional content can be deployed in snippets through social media in a way that serves your recruiting goals if you showcase it well.
6. Track performance and adjust as needed
Social media is constantly evolving, so a “set it and forget it” mindset doesn’t really make sense and it certainly won’t yield long-term results for your recruiting. What makes more sense is to commit to an initial social media plan that will compliment and support your recruiting efforts and then closely monitor the performance of all of the posts that you create in that plan.
After a few weeks, check your posts’ data analytics to determine how they did and whether there has been a noticeable change in how people interact with your content. Figure out what types of posts resonate well, and which ones were flops. Continue to refine your approach, with a constant eye on performance analytics, until you reach your recruitment and engagement targets.