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How to Recruit Through Social Media

Your company is building its Facebook following and tweeting jobs. Heck, you even have an Instagram account just for recruiting.

Why? Because you know how talented people are searching for work in the digital era. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey of over 2,000 Americans:

  • A majority (54 percent) of adults have gone online to look for job information.
  • Nearly four out of five job seekers (79 percent) use online resources in their job search.
  • Over one-third (35 percent) of social media users have used these platforms to look for or research jobs.

With a presence on the “Big 4” social sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), high performers should be beating down your proverbial door, right?

In theory, yes — provided you’re using social platforms the right way.

Good intentions don’t always yield good results. Too often, I encounter HR and hiring managers who have the best of intentions when it comes to social media, but they make simple mistakes that cost them time, money and critical opportunities to connect with top candidates. So if you’re putting in the effort without seeing the social recruiting results you want, be sure you’re not making one of these critical mistakes:

Biggest mistake on LinkedIn: Not getting tangled enough in the web.

If you’re recruiting for professional roles, you’re probably quite familiar with the Search feature, which allows you to search for people, job titles, companies and more. But if that’s all you’re using it for, you haven’t even scratched the surface of LinkedIn’s recruiting power.

So go ahead and get tangled in LinkedIn’s web. Here’s how to conduct an Advanced People Search:

  1. From the home page, choose the “Advanced” option to the right of the Search bar.
  2. Use job title, geographic or other search parameters to generate a list of prospects.
  3. Then, dig a little deeper. Once you’ve created an initial list of potential candidates, go to each individual’s profile and look at the “People also viewed” bar (on the right) to develop a secondary list of candidates.
  4. Find and connect with “influencers.” These are people you wouldn’t necessarily consider for your available role, but who may be able to connect you with their talent networks. Join their groups, respond to the content they post, pose questions, and let them know that you’re hiring.

Biggest mistake on Facebook: Refusing to “ante up.”

Without the right followers and exposure, posting amazing jobs on Facebook is about as effective as shouting in a vacuum. To get your best postings in front of the best candidates, you have to invest some money.

On your corporate Facebook page, invest in a pay-per-click “like” campaign to build a great following. Try promoting your company page to:

  • People who match specific demographic criteria for target positions;
  • Individuals with specific job titles, or who have similar profiles to other great candidates;
  • Your candidate email list (if you have one).

But there’s a catch. Even if you have a large number of followers, your postings aren’t likely to get the exposure you want unless you’re willing to pay to sponsor specific job posts. When boosting posts, target demographics that match likely candidates, as well as their spouses. Also, only pay to boost the best jobs (i.e., the ones that are most likely to attract the right kind of candidates for your business).

Improve the organic reach of unpaid job postings by getting everyone in your business to like, comment and share the posts. The more that people engage with your Facebook job postings, the more they will show up in others’ feeds.

Biggest mistake on Twitter: Tweeting jobs, jobs, jobs.

Tweeting jobs is a great idea, but your account shouldn’t look like a classified employment listing. Maintaining potential candidates’ interest in your company is tough over time, and if all you’re doing is tweeting jobs, jobs, jobs, followers will completely tune you out.

Mix things up! In addition to hot jobs, tweet industry news, interesting facts about your company and its culture and other fun and engaging content that will maintain passive candidates’ interest.

Biggest mistake on Instagram: Missing the big picture.

Obviously, Instagram is a visual platform. So if you’re relying primarily on words to promote jobs on this site, you may be missing out on opportunities to engage followers.

  • Get creative when posting, and really “paint a picture” for potential candidates. Determine the most significant aspect of an available job, and share an image that visually portrays it.
  • Capture attention by posting something visually arresting and unexpected (as long as it aligns with your brand personality).
  • Leverage Instagram’s features. Add explanatory captions to your photos, include unique hashtags related to your organization, and direct viewers to your company website or job board.
  • As with other social media, vary the content you post. Build your employment brand and showcase your culture by giving followers a “sneak peek” at what it’s really like to work for your organization (i.e., what a “day in the life of” employees looks like, ways you have fun, etc.)

Like any other tools, getting great recruiting results from social media takes creativity, controlled experimentation and time.

Author: Allison O'Kelly


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