Your Guide to Recruiting with Social Media

on 22 July 2015

Social media and recruitment should go hand in hand, they are a perfect match. If you’re recruiting properly you should be selling the story of your business, the brand, ideas, culture and ultimately the job roles available. Social media is also about sharing stories through content using a mix of words, images and video.

The digital world and the real world are closely aligned, and rightly so, it’s all about people having conversations and sharing. The only key difference is that digital or online conversions are archived, and searchable which means they can always be found and potentially come back to bite you. It’s not something to concern yourself with but something to keep in mind. There is of course a positive side to this; conversations that are findable attract more people to join in. These people could be your future customers or your future employees.

By creating content and conversations in the digital world your primary aim for your recruitment strategy is to build your brand reputation and create a potential pool of candidates who will engage with you and want to work for your business before there are even jobs available.

A word of warning

If you already have a poor reputation, a bad company culture and an unhappy team then be wary of using social media until you have addressed the issues causing the problem. If your business is not a positive place to work social media won’t change that, it will however give your current and past team a reason to jump on the social media band wagon and create the exact viral trend you don’t want.

You need to need to be prepared for criticism and negative comments, it happens to everyone. It is how you handle the complaints that will make a difference to your social recruiting strategy. It’s important when you’re using any social media channel to be transparent, honest and to conduct yourself with integrity. So, be seen to respond to criticism, apologise if you need to, offer a solution and try and steer the conversation offline so the world doesn’t see all the details but they do see you looking to help. It is tempting to merely delete comments, however, you’ll find users will move to another platform where the situation can snowball and you can’t manage it so easily.

The social media tools themselves are easy to learn, but it does take time and experimentation to get the message and timing right to reach the audience you’re trying to get to. A one size fits all doesn’t work as a social strategy, so remember to talk to your followers as individuals or groups of individuals, not the masses.

When you’re choosing the social tools to use in your strategy the same rule applies, you need to think of the individual, not the masses, for example, if you’re looking to recruit a lawyer for your business LinkedIn is probably going to be a more useful channel than Facebook. However, if you’re looking for a graphic designer to create a new sub brand then Pinterest would be a place to start.

Shall we talk?

In my experience, the majority of people find the most difficult thing with social recruiting is actually deciding what to talk about. My advice is to forget you’re talking online, just talk as you would in the real world. Think about the person you like to talk to the most, what is it about them you find so interesting? Is it what they say or the way they deliver it? They probably engage you with tales about people, places and experiences; they share knowledge and expertise with you in an approachable friendly manner.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Tell a story, we all love stories and people love to hear about other people.
  • Use content, images and video to bring stories to life.
  • Ask your followers questions, listen to their responses and then try to expand further.
  • Share insight into your market, company and the people who make it happen.
  • Respond to customer comments and queries and invite people to send more.
  • Don’t just talk about your brand and products; social is not push marketing it’s about engagement and conversations.

You need to create content that is interesting to your audience, it can be amusing and informative but most of all it needs to be relevant because you want them to pass it on to their followers or engage with you by commenting or asking a question.

So, what can you actually talk about?

Your organisation: I’m not talking about the more boring bits they can read on your website, insider information, insight into your company culture, your vision. What is unique about you? Do you have a great working environment? Is there good career progression and training? Do you offer incentives for your team?

Community: We all love the feel good factor of doing something for a local community or charity project. Do you support any local charities? Do you encourage your team to raise money or take part in local events? This information gives insight to potential employees on the values and culture of your business.

Guides: How to guides are a great way to showcase your expertise, they don’t need to be a huge long whitepaper, they can be a real mix of content, words, images and video. Infographics also work well to get across this kind of information across; they are also highly shareable if they deliver value.

Day in the life: What better way to show what it’s like behind the scenes of your business than showing a “day in the life” series of different departments, roles and people within your team. It will give people a real flavour of what it’s like to work as part of your team.

Questions: you want to try and engage with people, what better way than to ask for their opinions, questions or insight which you can then comment on and share. You could set up a dedicated hour once a week with a #recruitingissues hashtag where you’ll answer any questions. Encourage your team to share their knowledge and experiences of working with you at your company.

Jobs: Don’t forget to post jobs to this newly engaged audience all hoping to now work for you, after all this is a social recruiting strategy!

You are an individual, talk like one

People aren’t interested in talking to a company; people like to talk to people. So, make it happen, don’t talk like a corporate press release, there’s no need for any “kind regards” here, just talk as you would in any face to face conversation. 

Images from freepik.com


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