For a job seeker, finding a job is increasingly about who you know. Though job boards are still a popular tool, only 15 percent of job seekers were hired to positions they applied to through job boards in 2014, according to U.S. News and World Report. Networking is king and, as it turns out, social networking is where much of the recruitment is occurring.
A Society for Human Resource Management survey found that more than one-third of organizations have begun targeting smartphone users for recruitment, and 84 percent are using social media to do so, with another 9 percent planning to. In 2013, 14.4 million people used social media to find a job, and 73 percent of employers successfully hired employees through networks like Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, Business News Daily reports.
What Is a Social Media Recruitment Strategy?
Recruiting from social media isn’t as simple as posting your job on Twitter and waiting for applicants to start rolling in. It requires strategy, forethought and execution. According to Meshworking, you must build a team with clear roles and protocol from the outset, and they must have the agility to move as quickly as social media often does.
Platform Selection and Message Catering
Posting on every social media site isn’t typically a good idea; different social media sites involve different ways of communicating, and they cater to different audiences. For example, according to entrepreneur Wendy McClelland, Instagram’s users are primarily in the 16-24 age range and are mostly female, while LinkedIn leans more toward men ages 35-54. Knowing who you’re speaking to and what skills are important for the job you’re hiring for allows you to craft the right message in the right way, to better resonate with your intended audience.
Ensure that you have an honest discussion about demographics and who you’re trying to recruit. Then, pick one or two sites to drive traffic to. The fewer sites you drive traffic to, the easier it is to keep them up to date and relevant to your intended audience. Often this can be your company’s careers page, according to iCIMS.
When recruiting from social media, ensuring that your content is compelling is critical. A simple link to a job posting can garner some interest, but it’s important to realize that the current unemployment rate is lower than it’s been since 2008. Fewer people looking for jobs means they are more willing to shop around for the right job, and it’s incumbent upon employers to “sell” job seekers on their companies.
To that end, Meshworking recommends emphasizing the “wow” factors of your company. What makes your company unique? What awards has it won? What’s your company’s mission statement? Combining this kind of content with employee testimonials can build both a sense of excitement and transparency, which can encourage job seekers to look for employment at your company.
Test and Adjust the Digital Application Process
It’s important to make sure your application process works the way you think it does, says iCIMS. If clicking through a social media post means going to a job application site that’s clumsy or slow, you’re likely to lose many potential applicants who are still on the fence.
It’s important to be familiar with the experience your applicants are having. How does that experience convey your brand? Does your social media account have the right avatar and bio? How does the applicant experience your brand from start to finish, and does it all convey the message you want to convey?
A significant advantage that social media recruiting has over other forms of recruiting is the fact that it gives you access to applicants’ social media profiles. When you find promising potential recruits, look through their feed to see what kinds of topics they talk about, what their interests are, whether or not they comport themselves professionally and who they’re connected to.
If you’re looking for candidates who give to charity, social media can tell you that. If you’re looking for someone who knows people in a specific company, social media can tell you that too. None of this is a substitute for an in-person interview or skills test, but a social media profile can provide supplementary information to round out your candidate profile. Of course, companies must be careful to use the information wisely, so as to avoid any accusations of bias or unfair hiring practices.
Identify Metrics to Measure Success
When using social media for recruiting, it’s important to measure your return on investment. Social media can monopolize quite a bit of time and often requires work outside of normal working hours. Was that effort worth it? Meshworking suggests examining “how well it is driving people one step closer to conversion.” Decide when you start how you’ll measure such return on investment, and track that data as you pursue your social recruiting strategies. The data you gather can help you improve your social media recruitment strategy in the future. Common metrics include how many applicants you received, how many interviews you conducted from those applicants and, ultimately, how many candidates you successfully hired and retained.
Recruiting is hard, and with new types of media proliferating, it can be confusing to know how to master all of it. An online human resources degree, like the one from Jefferson, can help provide you with the skills you need to be an effective recruiter today and tomorrow.