You must join in the conversation
Social recruitment is really about being social and having conversations. 'Social media' is just a collection of tools that help you have conversations online or in the digital sphere.
Having conversations in the digital space is like having conversations in the real world. The only difference is that online conversations are searchable, archived and can come back to haunt you, bear this in mind. The positive of this is that it makes the conversations findable so people can join in, these people could be your future employees.
Recruitment should form part of an employer branding exercise; it should follow, promote and talk about the values of your company rather than just be a constant stream of jobs.
It should be about conversations with potential candidates, current employees and indeed former employees. These could be conversations about what it is like to work for your company, what the culture, work, people and career development is like.
The outcome of these conversations is to build a pool of candidates who want to engage with you, and more importantly, work for you before you have even told them there are jobs available.
It can make recruiting easier and more effective. It can help you find more candidates and most importantly it can help you find better, more engaged employees. It will also help candidates decide if they are a good fit for your company before they even apply for a job.
Social media and recruitment are perfect fit; recruiting is selling the story of your company, a culture and a job. Social media is all about sharing stories using words, images and video.
If you have a bad reputation, a poor culture or unhappy staff then be wary of using social media. If your company is not a good place to work social media won't change that - but it will give current and past employees a reason to jump on the social band wagon and create a trend you don't want.
Be prepared for negative comments, complaints, moans and all the things you don't want. It is important when using social media to remain transparent, don't delete negative comments but be seen to respond. If you delete comments you will find users will move to another platform where you can't manage the situation so easily.
Learning to use social media tools is not complicated. It takes time and experimentation, what works for one company won't always work for another, so talk to individuals not the masses.
How to have an online conversation
The most difficult part of social recruiting is deciding what to talk about. Forget the fact you are online, talk as you would talk in the real world, people are going to find the same things of interest.
Think about the person you like to chat to the most, what do they talk about? They probably engage you by asking lots of questions, they share information about other people, places and experiences, they are approachable, funny and personable - all the things you need to be online.
What can you talk about?
You are trying to create and share content that is interesting, funny, informative and relevant. You want people to pass it on.
Insider info: Offer insights into the culture of your company. What is unique about you? Do you offer great training, strong career progression? Is it a fun place to work? What do employees do?
Community news: Are you working in the local community? Do you work with local charities? Use this information to demonstrate the values and culture within your company.
How to guides: These are useful information pieces on the company, the roles within the company. Mix it up, words, images and video. Infographics are a great way to do this.
Diary: A day in the life of different job roles within you company, show the work involved, the people candidates would be working with, the building and department, give people a real flavour of what it would be like to work with you and bring your company to life.
Ask questions: Ask for other people's tips and stories, encourage candidates to share experiences, ask current employees to comment or share their experiences.
Jobs: Obviously the whole idea is to recruit people, so don't forget to post jobs to this newly engaged audience all hoping to now work for you!
Wheel out the humans
People don't want to engage and interact with a company, they want to engage with the people who make it happen, people talk to people. So, don't talk like a corporate press release, talk like a person, as you would in a face to face chat.
Image courtesy of Freepik