Recruiters have largely seen social media as some sort of silver bullet, but in truth, it can be a wildcard. We all had high hopes for social recruiting but in most cases, it seems like those hopes have failed to materialize. Is it all just social media hype or can there be real value in social recruiting? If your end goal for using social media is to see impactful recruiting results, you might need to rethink your strategy.
You’ve probably been sold on social by now – in fact, 92% of employers report to using social media for recruiting. Which, in an industry that’s traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, is pretty impressive. If almost every company is using social media in their recruiting efforts, it must be valuable.
Unfortunately, the move from the recruiting margins to the mainstream hasn’t produced the results predicted for social media success. In fact, that promise was left largely unfulfilled because the landscape of social recruiting itself is changing. When social recruiting entered the conversation and our collective conscious, we took a one-size-fits-all approach – which doesn’t produce results.
We all turned to the same sources for information and strategy and it quickly became standard practice for every organization to have a social media page on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ no matter what industry they were in or where their candidates are active. While early adapters built up their social networks and noticed some superficial success, there was no real ROI or focused strategy for companies to recruit talent through social networks.
Today, there’s a lot of noise on social networks which has posed a challenge for employers looking to recruit via social channels. Companies are using social media to market their products, sell their services, and educate consumers – on top of recruiting talent for their organizations. This has diffused the attention of consumers (aka your candidates) and diluted almost all of social media’s initial value proposition for recruiting.
Identifying a Successful Process
Before diving into social media, it’s important to have a plan. Start by deciding who will own social media efforts, identify key performance indicators (KPIs), and commit to measuring results. Make an effort to provide engaging content to your followers – think about links, photos, and videos that will grab the attention of the talent you’re looking to attract. Next, consider investing in a tool to make social recruiting more efficient, something that will automate posts to the social networks of your choice, measure activity, and, ultimately, save you time and money.
Another key to success with social recruiting is finding a way to cast a wide net; don’t let your message go into the ether. A great way to get more eyeballs on your posts is to enlist the help of employees at your company. Several companies have programs and tools in place to automatically post to employees’ networks, with their permission, which is a great way to easily access more candidates.
Social Recruiting: Time For A Game Changer
While identifying an ROI for social recruiting is difficult, it’s time to rethink our measure of success for this strategy. It’s more about the long game with social media – brand exposure, free access to an unlimited number of candidates, and building relationships with them rather than quickly converting candidates to new hires. In order to make social media an effective tool for talent acquisition, employers need to be realistic; it’s not a silver bullet, but rather an important part of a multi-channel recruitment strategy.
Turns out, sometimes those silver bullets can just wind up shooting you in the foot.
Spoiler alert: using #job doesn’t lead to more qualified clicks – just more noise.
So the next time you try to tweet your open requisitions or message candidates in hopes of making a hire, take a step back and put the hashtags aside for a minute. Here are some tips and tricks to try to actually get a candidate’s attention:
- Reach out to a candidate with something unique. For example, respond to one of their tweets about their favorite NFL team and see if they’ll follow you. Then, when you Direct Message (DM) about a job, it’s a warm call.
- Customize your LinkedIn invitations to give a more personal touch. Even if it’s not for a specific job, put time into the look and feel of the communication. First impressions matter, even in social recruiting.
- Tell candidates they can connect with you through social media as well as through the more traditional channels in your voicemail and e-mail signature.
- Share important updates on your social media channels (and use the word important). That way, anyone looking at your feed knows this is a primary source of information for your brand.
- Make social media is part of a comprehensive recruitment strategy. A mixture of social recruiting, a mobile-optimized career site, SEO, and conventional job boards will help you round out your approach instead of putting all your eggs in one basket.
Remember: there’s never a chance of changing conventional wisdom by following conventions. That’s why it’s time to rethink what we know and what we expect from social media in recruitment.