Attracting the ideal candidate for a position isn't always easy, especially as more jobs require very specific skill sets, as well as the right cultural fit to help ensure success. On top of this, the market abounds with opportunities as the economy improves, making it difficult to capture the attention of candidates and differentiate the opportunities at your company from the next.
Tackling this issue with traditional methods of posting (and praying) alone isn't sufficient. Marketing your openings on social channels casts a broader net and reaches candidates where they regularly gather to connect with friends and explore content of interest, both personally and professionally.
More importantly, social channels provide an opportunity to build a relationship and engage with candidates in more than a one-way discussion, helping both parties determine if a good fit exists, often ahead of the application process.
Of course, good recruiting takes time and being successful at social recruiting is no different. In addition to understanding new technology, recruiters must learn new approaches to targeting the most qualified job candidates and engaging with them appropriately on social channels.
Below are 10 key tips you can leverage across social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for an effective social recruiting program. Let's get started!
Tip #1: Ask Them How to Engage
Reach out to your recent hires as well as candidates who have interviewed with your organization, and seek feedback on how they'd want companies like yours to engage with them. Ask questions about how they interact across different social channels, and what kinds of information you could share that would be of interest.
Tip #2: Do Your Research
Researching candidates, especially in competitive marketplaces, allows recruiters to effectively target their efforts while focusing on long-term relationship building. LinkedIn provides good tools to do this research, including filters and alerts to identify ideal candidates, and tools to engage with them directly.
According to Dice's 2015 Sentiment Survey, 50% of technical candidates expect recruiters to research them using online information including social networks prior to contacting them.1
Tip #3: Use Hashtags to Increase Reach
Hashtags can be thought of as a Dewey Decimal System for social media. Create new hashtags or leverage pre-existing ones (e.g., #TalentManagement) and add them to the end of your posts to organize them by that tag. Candidates can then search for the hashtag and discover all of the content related to that topic including your posts, increasing your reach. Don't forget to include hashtags in your Twitter job postings including city, city abbreviation like #ATX for Austin, #jobs and #job to increase visibility.
Tip #4: Get Involved In the Discussion
In addition to organizing content, hashtags are also key to following topics and discussions. Use tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck to monitor the posts across social channels that your ideal candidates follow, and participate in those discussions - not necessarily to promote your company, but to share relevant insights and build relationships with others.
Tip #5: Provide Resources That Are Helpful
In a competitive job market, relationships are a differentiator. Don't just post job openings and insights about your company, but provide something of value to take the first step at building that relationship. For example, share economic data, salary negotiation tips, industry news, or other information that is relevant to your target audience and entices them to follow you.
Tip #6: Feature Your Jobs On Social Networks
In addition to sharing helpful information and resources, and engaging in discussions with potential candidates, don't forget to promote your job openings across social channels. Consider featuring one to three jobs daily. Also, provide an option to sign up for job alerts so that candidates can reach you when they are ready.
Tip #7: Schedule Posts to Maximize Visibility and Productivity
Use tools like Hootsuite to schedule your posts to make sure they reach candidates at the right time to improve visibility. In addition, tools like IFTTT and dlvr.it will allow you to automate posting of content across different social networks in a customized fashion for better productivity.
Tip #8: Measure Effectiveness Beyond Followers, Impressions and Reach
Like any recruiting channel, social recruiting should be measured effectively. While having fans and followers on social media is good, effectiveness can be measured in other ways as well. Use web analytics tools like Google Analytics or unique URLs with tools like Bit.ly to understand where your candidates are coming from and what content they are clicking on to engage and apply. Be sure to track your candidate turnover and quality of hire by source as well to learn which channels lead to the best quality of hires for your company.
Tip #9 Involve Others
Social recruiting is a team effort. Leverage your entire recruiting team, hiring managers and/or brand ambassadors (including fellow employees and external fans) to increase your social media activities. While tools exist to help with this, effective brand ambassador programs can be built using nothing more than a weekly email with suggested social media shares, links and tweets.
Brand ambassadors are especially important in building trust. In addition, be sure to connect with internal department leaders and experts - especially in marketing - who might be leveraging social tools and best practices to connect with others externally. See if there are any tools that can be used or social guidelines to follow to avoid re-creating the wheel.
Tip #10: Remember It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint
It takes time to build your brand, find your voice and connect with candidates using social media. By first researching and understanding how your candidates want to interact with you as a recruiter on social media, and building relationships accordingly, you will improve your rate of success. If you are focused in your efforts it can be a great way to reach, engage and attract your ideal candidates.
1 Tech Candidate Sentiment Survey 2015. (February 26, 2015).