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Jan 10, 2021

Approx. 11 min. read

What Is Social Recruiting and How to Build a Successful Strategy

Social recruiting is one of the most powerful talent acquisition strategies. In the world of intense war for talent, employers are implementing new...

What Is Social Recruiting and How to Build a Successful Strategy

Social recruiting is one of the most powerful talent acquisition strategies. In the world of intense war for talent, employers are implementing new tactics for improving their employer brand and their recruitment efforts. 

In this blog, we will go over the importance of social recruitment, and we will cover some of the best practices for implementing a successful strategy

📚 Before we move forward, check out our guide: How to Succeed in Social Recruiting with Employee Advocacy.

What is Social Recruiting

Social recruitment is a talent acquisition strategy in which employers use social and professional networks to reach and hire the best talent for their open positions. 

Social recruitment can include many different tactics such as:

  • Promoting employer brand on social media channels
  • Posting and promoting open positions on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, GitHub, and Twitter
  • Implementing employee advocacy and referral programs
  • Headhunting professionals on social and professional networks

Let’s now take a look into the benefits of implementing a social recruiting strategy. 

💡 Also watch our webinar The Future of Talent Acquisition: What You Should Focus On.

6 Reasons to Implement a Social Recruitment Strategy

With 79% of job applicants using social media in their job search, it is inevitable that social media is one of the best recruitment channels every organization should leverage. 

social-recruiting-1Moreover, job seekers themselves rank social media and professional networks as the most useful job search resource compared to job boards, job ads, recruiting agencies, and recruiting events.

But how exactly social recruiting can help you improve your talent acquisition efforts?

Improved Employer Brand

Organizations that leverage social media in their recruitment and talent acquisition strategies are more successful in showcasing their company culture, their values, and their overall employer brand

Before a candidate decides to apply for an open position, they research your organization on social media looking for information around your employee value proposition. 

In presenting your EVP, no one is better than your own employees. Moreover, job seekers rank current employees as the most trusted source of information about a company.

Therefore, it is crucial that you involve your employees in amplifying your company's EVP within their own social networks.  

Better reach and more referrals

Social media recruitment is a great way to get in front of a wider audience and reach bigger pools of qualified talent. However, without engaging your own employees, your reach will be limited

Therefore, having employees as brand advocates, and encouraging them to join your referral and advocacy programs can go a long way in building high-quality talent pools. 

In a survey from Monster, 65% of respondents would consider a new job opportunity if they heard about it through a personal connection in their network. 

social-recruitment-employee-advocacy

Access to passive job seekers

One of the biggest challenges in recruitment is the inability to reach passive job seekers. These are the candidates who are not actively looking for job openings but would consider better offers

Social media channels are the best way to reach these talents and attract them to your organization. According to BetterTeam, 80% of employers say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates.

Better quality of job candidates

Earlier, we mentioned that social recruiting and employee engagement in talent acquisition efforts improve the overall candidate reach. But more important than that is the ability to reach high-quality job candidates who are fit for your organization. 

Your own employees’ social and professional networks consist of talent with similar interests or professional backgrounds. If you are looking for more talent similar to your existing employees, engage your staff in social hiring efforts!

Reduced time and cost per hire

Social recruiting has proved to be one of the least costly ways to find and hire great talent. As social media channels enable employers to get in front of a wider audience, it is no surprise that these channels help them fill their positions faster. 

According to CareerArc, 71% of recruiters said social media recruiting was effective in decreasing time-to-fill for non-management, salaried positions.

social-recruiting-benefitsMoreover, while job boards may cost organizations thousands of dollars each month, recruitment via social media can be much more affordable. 

Improved employee retention

Because social recruitment enables employers to reach passive job seekers and boost employee referrals, it also has a big impact on the organization’s turnover cost

According to research, 47% of referral hires have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies. What’s more, socially engaged employees are more optimistic, inspired, connected, and tenured.

📚 Related: 11 Ways to Attract and Retain Millennials in the Workplace

7 Tips for Perfecting Your Social Recruiting Efforts

By now, we have covered the benefits of implementing a social recruiting strategy. The fact that recruiting via social media is continuously growing with 84% of organizations using it currently and 9% planning to use it, only confirms those benefits. 

social-media-recruitmentHowever, similarly to any workplace strategy, social recruitment, in order to be successful, needs to be well planned, implemented, and monitored. 

Let’s take a look into how can you boost your social hiring efforts. 

1. Define the goals

Before implementing a social recruiting strategy, it is important to define its goals and objectives. In other words, it is important to answer the question: “What are we trying to achieve with social recruiting?”. 

To define those KPIs, it is important to understand all the important talent acquisition metrics. 

Some of those goals and KPIs may include:

  • Increase in reach of job openings
  • Increase in followers base on social and professional networks
  • Increase in traffic to career site and job pages
  • Increase in the number of referrals
  • Increase in Glassdoor ratings
  • Increase in engagement with EB-related social media posts
  • Improve the quality of job applicants
  • Shorten time-to-hire
  • Reduce cost-per-hire

2. Optimize your social media profiles

In order to attract job candidates via social media, you first need to optimize your organization’s social media profiles. Moreover, many organizations have also found a way to encourage their own employees to update their personal profiles and make them consistent and recognizable. 

Why is this important?

According to CareerArc, 68% of millennials visit a company’s social media properties specifically to evaluate an employer’s brand.

The type of content you put there is like your employer brand ID -  the best representation of your organizational culture, EVP, and your candidate experience efforts. 

3. Identify the right social media platforms

In social recruiting, one social media platform does not fit all!

Based on your organization’s location and the talent that you are looking for, you need to understand which platform best fits your needs. For example, while LinkedIn may be a good platform for senior experts, Facebook may be a better fit for blue-collar workers, while GitHub may be the best fit for IT professionals. 

Even though LinkedIn is still the most popular network among recruiters, we are also witnessing a growth in Instagram and TikTok usage for social recruiting and employer branding. 

social-recruiting-channelsSource. Agency Central

4. Engage your employees

Using employee networks in concert with the organization's traditional HR recruitment programs is a crucial part of every successful talent attraction strategy

Organizations, especially those large ones, need to better leverage their employees’ existing networks to find and hire the best talent out there. 

However, engaging your employees is impossible if you don’t have a clear strategy and plan around it. For employees to be your ambassadors, you need to:

  • Teach and train them on how to be advocates
  • Show them how and which content to share
  • Explain which social networks to leverage most
  • Produce ready-to-share-content
  • Encourage employee-generated content
  • Gamify the entire experience and make it rewarding

Since implementing change and adding new initiatives in a large organization is not an easy task, check out our ultimate change management guide

📚 Also learn about the benefits of building a brand advocacy program in your organization

5. Invest in your employer brand

Your employer brand is the representation of your organization as an employer, and it has a huge impact on every organization’s ability to attract and hire the right talent. 

According to the previously mentioned research, 59% of employees say a company’s social media presence was part of the reason they chose their workplace. 

social-media-talent-acquisitionBut remember, your own employees are the face of your employer brand! Furthermore, job candidates trust employees 3x more than the employer to provide information on working at the company. 

Therefore, empowering your employees and letting them tell their stories is a great way to establish credibility among job seekers.

📚 Related: 5 Social Media Marketing Tactics to Increase Brand Awareness.

6. Make it easy for employees to advocate

By now, you have hopefully realized the benefits of engaging your own employees in your social hiring initiatives. Without employees' motivation to share your company’s stories and job openings, social recruiting could never be as successful

Your employees are your best storytellers, and they know how to communicate your core company values to the outside world. But you need to enable them to easily advocate and use their networks to bring new people in. 

They should never have to look for what to share and think about how and where to share. Instead, modern employee advocacy solutions have great features that help employees share optimal content at optimal times via the right social networks

📚 Related: Who Are Brand Ambassadors and Why Every Organization Needs Them.

7. Measure the success and improve based on data

This is probably the hardest step of every social recruitment campaign. Many companies still don’t have a way to track and measure the impact of their social hiring efforts. 

They don’t have a way to tie their initiatives to specific business results. Luckily, the use of the right technology in the workplace empowers employers to measure their social recruitment efforts, and AI-powered features enable them to make better, data-driven decisions for improvement. 

4 Inspiring Social Recruiting Examples

Some companies have already mastered their social recruitment efforts, but most of them are still looking for new ways to be innovative and interesting to job candidates

There are plenty of examples of how organizations use social media in their recruitment efforts, but here are a few of our favorite examples. 

Intel on Facebook

intel-employer-brandIntel is a great example of an organization that heavily invests in its employer brand. Their social media profiles such as Facebook and LinkedIn are full of employee-generated content useful for job seekers to find out more about how is it to work in Intel. 

Their We Are Intel page has plenty of employee testimonials and details around campaigns such as attracting and spotlighting #WomenInTech

UPS on Twitter

UPS-employer-brand-twitterUPS is a great example of a company that leverages Twitter for social recruiting. Most of their content on Twitter is about their employees who also actively participate in sharing the content with their own networks. 

Tek Systems on Instagram

social-recruiting-exampleTek Systems uses Instagram as its main employer branding channel. They have a designated page called @tekcareers where they showcase stories from their own employees who talk about their own employee experience in the company. 

Netflix on LinkedIn

linkedin-socail-recruitingNetflix mainly uses LinkedIn for its employer branding and social recruiting efforts. Their Life page is used to its full potential. Plenty of employee-generated content, posts, images, videos, and blogs make it fun to consume and attractive to every job seeker. 

If you are looking to improve your talent acquisition strategy with social recruitment and empower your own employees to become employer brand advocates, schedule a Smarp demo

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Written by

Kristina Martic

Kristina Martic

Digital Marketing and Employer Branding

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