If you haven’t already given into the power of social media for recruiting, the time is now. The Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report from LinkedIn found that using social media and professional networks is the number one trend recruiters believe is here to stay. In fact, 47 percent of respondents said that social media platforms are the most effective employer branding tool.
However, since social media for recruiting is still relatively uncharted territory, many hiring professionals are unsure where to start. Are there certain platforms that are better than others? What types of posts get job seekers’ attention? How high of quality are candidates who are found through social media?
Instead of being overwhelmed by all these questions, take advice from the experts — starting with which sites to take advantage of. Here are the platforms master recruiters find the most effective:
Despite the word on the street that “Twitter is dying,” I’m still a big fan of the platform and think it’s highly underrated for recruiting. I like it because it’s built around casual, bite-sized interactions, which are great for getting a different read on a candidate that you can’t get from a resume.
For example, I might send out a simple Tweet saying something like this: “Any financial analysts job searching? I might have a lead for you… #finance #fintech” I might get back 5 or 6 responses, which I can quickly skim through and see if any look promising. From there we can exchange a bit of banter back and forth, and if I like the feel of the conversation, take it to email.
I think this is an advantage to a site like LinkedIn because it catches candidates in a more natural habitat, rather than one where they’ve got a profile picture in a suit and tie and they’re on their best behavior.
In terms of communicating your employer brand, I think Instagram is underutilized. The rise of Instagram stories allows companies to share “day in the life” type content easily with followers, where a specific employee or department can be showcased. Secondly, Instagram is a great place to put a human face to your brand, showing off charity or volunteer work or the behind-the-scenes of a product launch, corporate event, or other aspect of your company. Photography is a great way to let outsiders get a feel for what working at your company could be like. In terms of using it to find talent, make sure to utilize your profile link wisely. Direct to a mobile-friendly landing page where you can gather leads. Working in a creative field? Consider asking applicants to share something about themselves via Instagram (on a hashtag or as a direct message) that showcases why they would be a good hire.
The most underused recruiting platform is Google+. It isn’t dead, just under the radar. There’s a wealth of all kinds of talent on Google+, especially in tech, and graphic and visual arts. Many companies aren’t using this, yet members are still active in communities. Google is the search engine, so you can search Google+ for a particular type of talent or skill set. And the communities are an untapped gold mine. See who’s active and leading those communities. Who contributes and shows exceptional talent? These are the members you want to reach out to privately because they won’t be on the radar of competitors. This is your competitive advantage.
People watch and reply to Gmail messages. You can +message (+username) a member on one of their posts which sends an email notification to their gmail.
Reddit is a social media platform that is criminally underused for recruitment. I believe that most ‘Redditors’ have an above average intelligence. The awkward interface of the platform tends to attract a certain type of user; those who like a challenge, and those who are willing to learn to use the platform. The great thing about Reddit is that there are literally thousands of different communities on the platform — called ‘subreddits’ — which are full of experts and enthusiasts on a range of topics. If you’re looking to hire someone, you don’t even have to post a job advert. You simply post a generic question related to your business, then directly message the users that give you a good answer. I think this is the best way to find the real gems on social media.
When you use social media for recruiting, blasting out posts about job openings isn’t going to get you anywhere. Instead, remember the following so you can reach and engage talent:
Show them you’re human, too
Use a video on Facebook. Get the most charismatic, or the person who translates onto camera best from each department to speak about the job requirements. Facebook’s native video is wildly successful so it needs to be taken advantage of.
They’re human and so are you. If your organization isn’t willing to have a human tone when responding to inquiries, then don’t expect to get to know anything about potential candidates except what the words in the CV tell you. And if you’re not hiring for personality over qualifications, you are going to have a robotic workforce with a high turnover rate.
Give them a real look at company culture
Videos featuring real employees at all levels of the company are great because it is more genuine than a video talking about the company and goes back to the idea that people put more stock in testimonials and recommendations when evaluating things. Our company values are important to highlight because it defines our culture and how we hire. Other things we highlight because they are important to us, are community involvement and diversity and inclusion.
Show them what a typical day is like
Job seekers want to imagine themselves working at your company, so give them the information they need to get excited about you as a potential employer. Be transparent about who you are as a talent acquisition specialist and about how your company operates — what your team stands for and how you contribute to the bottom line.
Incorporating rich media into your social media profiles is a great way to demonstrate what a day-in-the-life looks like as an employee. For example, videos, articles, webpages or photos that promote your company’s culture.
Show your personality
When trying to reach out to candidates, always remember to be professional, but have fun while still representing the company. Social Media outreach doesn’t need to be as formal as a recruiter would be working for an agency, think of it like a social hour. It should be engaging, but fun. You want to find people with great personalities who are eager to do the job. You don’t want to scare them or make it seem like spam.
What are some other ways to use social media for recruiting? Share in the comments below!