Winning Strategies for Social Recruiting

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Approx. 5 min. read
Last updated: September 28, 2017

Anyone who has helped to hire new employees knows how true the mantra is that the most important thing you'll do as a manager is to bring the right people on board.

Richard Branson, the world-famous entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, expands on this important task: "It’s all about finding and hiring people smarter than you. Getting them to join your business. And giving them good work. Then getting out of their way, and trusting them."

As important as it is to hire the right talent, it can be very difficult because they are often in high demand and it is hard to get them to notice your company. It is difficult for a company to be everywhere, all the time, in order to be "top of mind" for individuals that may be looking for new employment.

So, what can you do?

Enabling your employees to more active in social recruiting is imperative, and we'll be focusing on that in this post. I'd like to share three of these strategies here, to help you rally your troops to your cause of recruiting the best new talent for your company.

Related: What Social Recruiting Is (and Is Not)

Increase transparency in your hiring process

The first of these strategies, that of increasing the transparency in your hiring process, is one of the most important tactics you need to perfect. It also happens to be one of the easiest.

Hiring new staff is exciting for companies. It generally means your company is doing well and is growing. As such, hiring managers often can't fathom how hiring for one position may affect employees they already have in other positions. However, many of your current employees may see your new job postings as threats, or perhaps even as lost opportunities. If you have employees in your company who have been with you for a fair amount of time, and if those employees are hard-working individuals, they may be disgruntled by the fact that you are hiring from outside the company.

In order to not harm your current employees, or damage the company culture, you should be extra transparent in the full process of hiring new people. Here are a few ways you can increase transparency to gain buy-in from your full staff (and thereby increase the likelihood that they'll actively promote the job posting to their social networks):

  • When you identify that there may be a need for additional headcount, talk about it with those that will work with the new position.
  • Gather feedback from affected employees.
  • Have existing employees help create job descriptions
  • Seriously consider helping existing employees move into roles with added responsibility. If an existing employee would not be a good fit then communicate why to that employee and put them on a track that can get them to future advancements.
Add transparency to social recruiting

Gamify the referral process

Gamification, the process of making business processes more enjoyable through game theory, may seem an unusual or out-of-reach tactic for social recruiting. However, social media provides a more casual environment for outreach; social gamification is more normal and readily accepted than you might think. Coupling games with recruitment adds a fun element to what can otherwise be a boring process, and will truly help gain interest among your current employees.

Helping empower your employees to more actively use social media in recruitment has two different avenues for gamification:

  1. Rewarding employees for participating. One technique that is already used by many businesses is to offer a bounty for any employee referral that ends up being hired and stays on for 90+ days. This is a form of gamification. There are other methods of gamification that directly reward employees, such as using an Employee Advocacy solution, like Smarp, to award points and rewards for sharing job postings on social media,
  2. Providing games for employees to share. You can integrate games into the recruitment process that help illustrate the fun nature of your company and that can also help narrow in on great candidates. These recruiting games can also be built in a way that they can be easily shared. From there you can encourage employees to pro-actively share these games on their social media networks. These recruitment games can include such things as industry expert quests, behavioral quizzes, etc. There are a variety of platforms you can use to create these games, including free options (ShortStack), affordable ones (Interact) and full-on game building platforms (Scirra).

Provide engaging, post-ready recruitment content

This last technique to getting more employee participation in social recruiting is perhaps the most imperative. Simply sending an email out to your employees asking them to share a job posting with their friends just won't cut it; you'll likely notice only a small fraction of your current employees following through.

It is important that you provide your employees with a reason (gamification and reward opportunities for themselves) and with a method (post-ready recruitment content). Some ideas for post-ready content include:

  • High-quality, but not overly staged, photos of your company teams having fun together
  • Fun and interesting content that highlights new employees during their first week at the company
  • Mini-case studies of special projects that your employees are working on. Be sure to prepare a dozen or so unique social posts that introduce the case study and link back to the case study that lives on your website or your Facebook page
  • Content that highlights professional development or team building offsites that your company sponsors
  • Share about awards or other business successes you're having
  • And of course... quizzes and games as I introduced in the last section

By now you've probably realized that these winning strategies do require some effort. That said, they'll also be what makes your company stand out from all the others in your area that are trying to hire the same talent.

Reach more talent with the help of employee advocacy and social recruiting

Ben Beck
September 28, 2017