How can your organization leverage different social media channels for social recruiting and employer branding purposes?
As more and more people create professional and personal profiles on social media, social media for business has long ceased to be a nice-to-have. Statistics compiled by WordStream attest to social media’s growing clout and value for businesses:
- Video content watched on Facebook total approximately 100 million hours
- 88% of businesses with 100+ employees use Twitter for marketing
- 59% of Americans on social media believe that customer service via social media has made issues easier to resolve
- 25% of the traffic registered by retail websites come from Pinterest
However, not all social media channels are created equal. Strategies that work for one platform may not work for the other. To squeeze the most value out of your social media recruiting and employer branding efforts, below are some best practices.
1) Social recruiting
According to a CareerBuilder.com survey, employers using social networking sites to research candidates has increased from 11% in 2006 to 60% in 2016, a 500% boost within a 10-year span.
But how exactly do you use social media to find the right candidates? The dollar cost of a bad hire, after all, is huge – anywhere from 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings to about $240,000, which is the average cost of employee onboarding.
With 467 million total LinkedIn users and 106 million monthly active users, LinkedIn is known as the world’s “largest social network for working professionals.” The first thing you should do to get started with social recruiting on LinkedIn is to create a company page. Next, keep the profile page updated with information about your products or services, and links to content (articles, blog posts, images, or pictures) from your website and relevant third-party sites.
Use InMail to communicate with candidates, and take advantage of LinkedIn’s Sponsored Jobs feature so your job ads reach more qualified candidates. Also, be active in group discussions and regularly post status updates.
Facebook has more than 1.94 billion monthly active users as of March 2017, by far the largest social networking site. The platform can be used for a variety of recruiting purposes: posting job openings, sourcing passive candidates, and engaging with potential hires by answering their questions and joining relevant conversations.
Facebook for Business just recently rolled out a new feature that allows page administrators to create job posts, track applications, and communicate with interested candidates. For now, however, the feature is available to U.S. and Canada businesses only. For other countries, there are third-party apps such as Careers Tab by SmartRecruiters that perform a similar job.
Twitter’s advantage over LinkedIn and Facebook, when it comes to social recruiting, is that the platform is an open social network. Meaning, it allows you to easily expand your reach beyond just your contacts. You do that via the hashtag.
As such, think your hashtags through. Some hashtag best practices to keep in mind:
- Make the hashtag unique
- Avoid hashtags that can backfire (ex: #McDStories, #ILoveWalgreens, #AskJPM)
- Use trends for relevance wisely - they can backfire, too
- Keep your hashtags short
Post the same tweet multiple times a day for maximum exposure. Don’t forget to follow appropriate profiles, reply to their tweets, and retweet their tweets to engage and establish connections.
2) Employer branding
The best candidates want to work with the best brands. But not everyone is Google or Facebook where candidates are lining up for a shot at an interview. Branding through social media allows you to create a good name for your company.
Your company page is crucial to how people perceive your brand. The moment you start connecting with potential candidates, they’ll likely take a look at your profile. Highlight who you are as a company – your values and culture – and provide a summary of your work.
Enlist the help of your employees. They are, after all, the perfect brand advocates because they know how working with your company feels like. Establish guidelines to ensure messaging consistency.
Top company management has a role to play in lending credibility to your overall branding strategy as well. Keep their profiles updated. If they can establish a reputation as a LinkedIn influencer via the Pulse platform, much better.
Your Facebook’s page is the first step towards employee branding on Facebook. Aside from posting job ads and links to informational blog posts, update your page with real stories about your employees and the company culture.
Interact with your fans. Be prompt and sincere when answering their questions. Know when to be funny and witty, and serious and apologetic. While humor on social media has many benefits, bad jokes have a way of coming back to hurt your brand.
Some Facebook employer branding hacks you can infuse into your strategy include:
- Video storytelling
- Targeted posting via the Facebook audience optimization tool
- Post boosts through advertising
- Event promotion
- Post scheduling
- Jobs posting (via the Facebook jobs bookmark or a third-party tool)
- “Pages to watch” feature to compare how your page fares versus competitors
According to Statista, Twitter has amassed an average 328 million monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2017. And just like on LinkedIn and Facebook, an active brand presence on Twitter is key to promoting your employer brand.
A few things to keep in mind when on Twitter:
- Use Twitter to tweet about open positions, company highlights, employee stories, involvement in the community, and helpful tips
- When posting an update, use visuals to stand out
- Use unique and appropriate hashtags. Tread carefully when riding on the virality of trending hashtags
- Follow career influencers
- Engage prospects
- Be helpful
- Create multiple accounts for different departments, if necessary
- Encourage employee involvement and capitalize on their knowledge, insight, and expertise
- Constantly measure the impact your activities are making. Having a large following is good, but that shouldn’t be your main performance indicator
Social recruiting and employer branding on social media can yield plentiful benefits – if done right. Follow the above tips to get you started on your campaigns.