In the last several years, social media platforms have gone from being third-string bench warmers to key players in the recruitment lineup. Nearly 92 percent of recruiters say they use social media in the recruitment process, with LinkedIn and Facebook being their heaviest hitters.
Once primarily used for vetting and screening candidates, social media recruiting today helps diversify hiring efforts, build employer brand, and most importantly, recruit new employees.
What are the benefits of social media recruiting?
If you’re hesitant about jumping into social media, consider these benefits and how they can improve your recruitment efforts:
- Reach sought-after passive candidates. By definition, passive candidates aren’t actively looking for a job, but they are keeping an eye on what’s out there. And there is a good chance they’re using social media where most users spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes every single day.
- Improve efficiency through targeting. Save time and money by reaching only the candidates you really want. Many social platforms can target audiences based on desired location, education, job title, etc.
- Reduce your cost-to-hire. The wide reach and low cost of social media means you get more bang for your buck than traditional recruitment methods, like online job boards and job fairs.
- Stay agile. The on-demand nature of social media keeps your recruiting efforts agile enough to adapt as your business and the market changes.
So you’ve set up a company Facebook page and posted a few pictures, but are you using social media to recruit the best job candidates?
Best practices for social media recruiting
Online recruitment expert at ALTRES, Jen Tanabe, uses social media to reach Hawaii candidates of all levels and industries.
“Social media is about being present and active as things happen,” says Tanabe. “But many people don’t realize that doing that actually requires a lot of planning and preparation if you want to do it right.”
Here are some of her tried-and-true methods for social media recruiting.
1. Be selective about your social media platforms
More isn’t better when it comes to social media platforms. Not every platform is right for every business and chances are, you don’t have time to manage a half dozen social media accounts.
So before you set up accounts on every social platform out there, start with one that makes the most sense for your business. Then evaluate if and how well you can support it before branching out to other social media platforms.
2. Promote your employer brand with meaningful content
Unless a jobseeker knows someone who works at your company, it’s hard to know what life is really like inside your walls. This is where having a strong employer brand—or good reputation as an employer—comes into play. Here are a few ways to showcase your employer brand on social media.
- Share your company culture and internal events
- Highlight work perks and benefits
- Showcase employees with personnel spotlights
- Celebrate company milestones and awards
- Communicate community giving initiatives and volunteer work
3. Take advantage of native job postings
LinkedIn and Facebook have built-in job posting tools that make it easy for businesses and jobseekers to connect. You can post a job, manage applications, and follow-up with candidates all within these social platforms. What’s more is that they allow you to target audiences based on geographical locations, job titles, experience levels, and more.
“In our experience, Facebook has been more effective for recruiting entry-level positions whereas LinkedIn is really good at reaching managerial or executive-level candidates,” says Tanabe.
There is one caveat: targeting options only apply to job postings that have been backed with paid-sponsorship. Regardless, Tanabe believes that social media is still a viable and affordable recruiting channel for businesses.
“Unlike Craigslist where you post a job and call it a day, Facebook has the added value of being able to not only target your audience, including passive jobseekers, but also provide analytics about how your job post actually performed,” Tanabe explains.
4. Get well-connected employees to be brand advocates
Given that only 15 percent of people trust social media posts made by companies, it’s a good idea to round out your social media recruiting efforts by looping in existing employees. Ideally, this means those who are well-trusted and well-connected. Encourage employees to share your posts, like or follow your company page, or post a review of your company. Content shared by employee advocates performs 24 times better than content shared by company brands.
While this is a great way to grow your company’s social media presence, it can be a slippery slope if your company has a firm policy against cellphones or social media. Before you roll out any formal employee brand advocacy program, run it by your HR department.
5. Respond to your followers and engage with others
Engagement is the name of the game on social media. Content that gets high levels of engagement—likes, comments, shares—gets better placement and visibility. All of which is important in the pay-to-play landscape of today’s social media platforms.
That means it is critical for your company to engage as well. Always respond to applicants who apply to your jobs, like comments from followers, comment or share business-related posts, and tag others when appropriate.
In the competition for top talent, social media provides companies with a viable pipeline of future workers. “Assume that everything you post to social media has an underlying recruiting message or purpose,” says Tanabe. “You never know what aspect about your company will hit home with a prospective employee.”
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