Social Recruiting Trends: Fine Tune your Strategy
By: John Rossheim
With Millennials now the largest generation in the workforce, social media recruiting is more important than ever. But you won’t land the best and brightest candidates by simply turning up the volume on social. Here are some ways that forward-thinking employers will make their social recruiting better -- not just bigger.
Identify your top-performing social media. For sure, nurture your employer’s presence on the top few social platforms; beyond that, be very selective.
“To keep from spreading yourself too thin across all platforms, research which ones your best candidates use most,” says Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany. “Ask your high-performing new hires what they prefer so you can focus on sites frequented by talent that will work well for your company.”
Explore new media to brighten your company brand. “Live video tools like Periscope can connect key team members with potential candidates, by hosting live recruitment marketing events – for example, a day in the life of an engineer – to build your employer brand,” says Jason Weingarten, CEO of recruitment technology firm Yello.
Periscope, acquired by Twitter in early 2015, is a social broadcasting app that streams live audio and video from a user’s smartphone for others to watch and comment on.
Use videos to sell specific positions. Puff pieces on your firm’s virtues won’t win over many video fans on social media. Top talent expects substance. “We’ll see shorter videos where company leaders will talk more about specific open positions and less about the company,” says Steven Lindner, a partner at The WorkPlace Group.
Consistency across social platforms matters more than ever. Company research is de rigueur for today’s job seekers. That makes consistent messaging across channels more important than ever. “If your message is inconsistent, if your content is inconsistent, then it's confusing as to why they want to work for you,” says Joe Budzienski, Vice President of Product and Technology at Monster.
Make yourself useful to candidates in their careers. Give targeted talent pools good reason to follow your company. “We’re tweeting heavily with industry info that’s useful to candidates,” says Jill Neumann of SWC Technology Partners.
Selectively invest in specialist community sites. Consider enlisting your own staff as active representatives of your company on niche social platforms, such as those for software developers. Train your employment-brand ambassadors on the marketing messages to be conveyed. Social recruiting should be informal in tone but not spontaneous.
Make social language inviting and jargon-free. Keep in mind that candidates have high expectations for easily understandable communications when they’re on social media. For example, your social scribes should avoid using the bureaucratic names that companies often give their own departments. “Social media recruiting requires closer ties between an employer’s recruiting and recruitment marketing functions,” says Lindner.
Get personal, but don’t overstep. As you test what works with social recruiting and what doesn’t, tread with care. “We’re going to try using Facebook to reach out directly to candidates,” says Neumann. “We’ll have to see how this will be perceived, whether people react positively or feel it’s too personal.”
Reach a young audience with the right platform. If you want to reach a younger demographic, go where they live, says Patrick Gillooly, Director of Digital Communication and Social Media at Monster. “Instagram, Snapchat, all the data tells us that users of those platforms are under 35, they're tech savvy.” To guide your social media strategy, Gillooly recommends a social media tool called Buffer.
Find the sweet spot for frequency of contact. It’s tempting – and easy with available technology -- to treat every prospective candidate as your company’s new best friend. But don’t lose sight of how your social striving goes over with your target audience. “I’m very concerned about social-media fatigue,” says Neumann. “We don’t need to saturate every channel. We don’t want to be showing up in a candidate’s feed 10 times a day or we’ll get unfollowed.”
Measure social media recruitment results. Survey new hires to discover what they found attractive in your company’s social media activity. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. And ask those new hires were in the world of social media they expected to see you but didn’t.
Experiment for the future. Don’t diminish your recruitment presence by trying to be everywhere in the ever-expanding universe of social media. But do keep abreast of what’s newest in social – just ask your new-grad hires – and methodically test novel approaches. Just don’t try all of the latest social channels at once. “Our long game includes brand building with SnapChat, Vines and other video,” says Neumann.
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