The Best Social Media Recruitment Strategies in 2017

social media recruitment strategies

The importance of social media in the recruitment world is growing all the time. An Adweek report suggests that 92 percent of recruiters use social media to find the best candidates for each position. The share of companies that use social media for hiring purposes has grown from 82 percent in 2010 to 92 percent in 2015.

Finding top talent in your field isn’t always an easy task. Often, there’s a large incongruence between what companies are looking for and what the labor market has to offer. Social media can come in handy when it comes to identifying skilled professionals in the field and establishing a connection. Here are a few successful social media recruitment strategies you can use in 2017.

Establish Your Company’s Online Reputation

Millennials are the group of people mostly used to looking for online information. If you want to find the best professionals among these people, you need to use social media for the effective presentation of corporate values.

The things that your brand stands for have become more important today than ever. Millennials want an emotional connection. They want to work for the right company, without having to make a compromise with ethics and beliefs.

Social media give you the tools to present your business proposal in the best possible light. Thus, the first key to effective recruitment is being active online and establishing yourself as the authority in the respective field. Most companies keep the relationship with customers in mind when building their social media presence. These channels, however, can be used to accomplish a wide array of additional goals.

Choose the right social networks. The potential employees you’re looking for tend to be more active on certain channels. Facebook and Twitter offer excellent opportunities but there are numerous other platforms your company could utilize. Try different approaches to figure out which profiles get the highest level of engagement.

Connect with the Right People

At a certain point, you’ll have to take your social media presence to the next level. You’ll have to start connecting with the right people.

Keep your profiles industry-specific and establish connections with industry leaders, experts in the field and people who have a niche specialization. When doing so, you’ll have to individualize your approach. You can’t just send one and the same generic message to everyone, expecting to establish a solid community.

Communicate people in an adequate, authentic manner. Appeal to their interests, if you want to get the right kind of response. Tell potential connections what you have to offer and why you’d like to keep in touch. True, personalization requires time and effort. If you rely on generic communication, however, chances are that you’ll miss on multiple opportunities to connect with and potentially employ experienced professionals.

Pay close attention to the interests of people in your network. This information can be invaluable for professional copywriting, creating the right content and coming up with ideas that will maintain the social engagement level high.

Use Live Video Streaming

Social media like Periscope give you wonderful, innovative opportunities to engage with an audience of passive candidates and professionals in your industry.

Periscope is a channel that enables live streaming with the participation of the audience. It gives you a chance to effortlessly hold Q&A sessions or give people an inside view into the company’s culture. People love behind the scenes footage and Periscope makes it very easy to personalize the live stream.

The benefit of this video over pre-recorded clips is immense. You can tailor the content to appeal to a specific group of people. You can make modifications on the go, based on the feedback that you’re getting during the live stream.

It’s easy to hold weekly Periscope sessions or broadcast two times per month. What matters is giving people feedback and attention. Experiment with the format and the content until you identify the formula required to keep passive candidates engaged. Once you build an audience, you’ll find it much easier to narrow down the live streams and make them useful.

The Right Hashtags

Hashtags are powerful tools for increasing the scope of your message in certain social media.

A good idea may be to identify the Twitter, Facebook or Instagram hashtags that job seekers follow. Keep in mind, however, these are generic rather than relevant to your industry. Once you make that first step, you’ll have to narrow it down even further. There are industry-specific hashtags that will do an even better job in terms of identifying top talent in the field.

If you can’t find relevant hashtags, it may be time to create your own and get it trending. In order to accomplish the goal, you’ll have to focus on meaningful content that people will be willing to share. If your hashtag is linked to informative posts, you’ll quickly start trending. Here’s where the importance of high quality content comes in.

Always double check before initiating a new tag. You don’t want yours to be similar to something that’s already out there. Make sure that your job hashtag carries some uniqueness and is also brand-relevant.

Just like with all other social media strategies, it’s very important to refrain from overdoing it. You’re not a teen using Instagram and adding 35 hashtags under each post. You’re attempting to establish a professional online persona. A single hashtag will be sufficient to get the job done rather than going overboard. Instead of focusing on multiple witty tags, you should work hard on promoting the one that’s linked to the recruitment opportunity that you have to offer.

Your LinkedIn Profile

When it comes to hiring, it’s nothing but logical to work on your LinkedIn profile. Statistics suggest that 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn, which makes it the top social network of choice in terms of finding skilled candidates. Facebook is a distant second with 55 percent and Twitter comes in third with 47 percent.

Though LinkedIn is a somewhat specialized platform, its prominence in the world of recruiting top talent will continue being high throughout 2017.

One thing you can do to make the most of your LinkedIn profile is update the first 200 characters of it or so. This way, people will know that the company is looking for new employees without having to click through and reach the dedicated corporate page. Anyone who’s interested in the message will this way get a chance to connect with the brand and explore the employment opportunities.

Participation in LinkedIn groups is equally important. The social network has a huge number of specialized communities that attract experts in specific fields. If you’re active in relevant groups, you’ll find it much easier to identify both top talent and influencers. Such information can be invaluable when it comes to attracting the right professionals in a highly competitive niche.

The final option to explore is LinkedIn Pulse. Pulse gives you an opportunity to publish an article on any topic of interest. It can be highly specialized, humorous or linked to your recruitment efforts. High quality Pulse publications are published in the right LinkedIn groups, which increases their reach.

The use of Pulse can help you set yourself as the authority within the respective field. Building the right reputation is one of the keys to effective recruitment efforts. Establishing yourself as an influencer in the respective niche will maximize recognition and make it much easier for the company to connect with top talent.

Add Instagram to the Mix for a Bit of Fun

Recruiting efforts don’t have to be all serious and strictly professional. The rules of the game are changing when you’re trying to reach millennials. This generation has much more specific needs and preferences than its predecessors.

This is the main reason why your recruitment efforts should bring a bit of fun to the table. One of the best ways to accomplish the goal involves setting up an Instagram profile.

You may be thinking that Instagram and recruitment don’t go hand in hand but you’re wrong. The visual network of the social platform can help you accomplish a lot, even where other social media fail.

For a start, let’s take a look at the range of Instagram users. According to 2016 data, the number of active monthly users reached 600 million people in December. In comparison, the monthly active users in December 2014 were only 300 million. Over 60 percent of the Instagram users log in on a daily basis and 90 percent of them are under the age of 35.

This is a massive talent pool and chances are that the people you’re trying to reach are already on Instagram. This is why a fun corporate profile can make it a lot easier to connect with these people.

Use Instagram to show the fun side of your corporate culture. You can take pictures around the office, show the work that your employees do, present corporate parties and team building events. The purpose of the profile will be to show the hip, young and exciting crowd that’s working for the respective brand.

Once you build your Instagram following and start connecting with the right people, you can post an announcement that you’re recruiting. Accompanying the announcement with the right hashtags can help you accomplish a lot in terms of maximizing the reach and even going viral. Since the social network is a bit more informal, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to announcing the news. A video recruitment add can be even more fun than simply publishing a picture.

Get Your Employees to Help

The use of social media is all about maximizing your reach and spreading the message. If you want to get the best possible results, you may want to consider having your employees involved in the recruitment process.

Ask your experts to share a recruitment ad or publication via their individual social media profiles. You’ll get amazing results, especially if people in the respective department get involved in the process. They’ll be the first ones to increase the scope of the message. If you’ve completed some of the previous steps correctly beforehand, chances are that the message will have a viral potential.

In order to get the best possible results, you need to put together a corporate social media policy. This set of guidelines will make it much easier for workers to get the right message out there without impacting the brand reputation in a negative way.

A good social media policy is about a team approach and creating the right culture. How often should people post corporate updates? What should the tone and style be? Will only certain people be involved? These are crucial questions to answer in advance.

Where possible, you should give explicit examples of posts that fall within the guidelines and ones that are simply unacceptable. The more detailed the instructions are, the less likely you’ll be to send out a controversial or a conflicting message.

As you’ve probably understood already, this strategy can be quite effective but you have to be careful when utilizing it. If you don’t build a strong social media usage in advance, chances are that the approach will backfire.

Social Media Advertising

If your organic efforts fail delivering the desired results, you may want to consider paid advertising campaigns. These are quite similar to the paid inclusions in Google search. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and numerous other social media give their members a chance to rely on paid ads for maximum reach.

The average Facebook ad CTR is 0.9 percent and numbers are similar in Instagram. These are some pretty good results in the world of online advertising and few other techniques manage to accomplish the same click through rates.

What’s even more important, the average Facebook ad cost per click is 0.64 dollars, making such campaigns affordable for both smaller and bigger advertisers. Because of these numbers, it’s not a surprise that 75 percent of brands on Facebook promote their pages this way. The number of businesses that already have Facebook pages exceeds 30 million (chances are that the number is growing even higher while you’re reading the article).

Social media advertising is a cost-efficient and hardly targeted option for reaching the right audience. You can give it a try and modify or discontinue the campaign if you’re not getting the desired results. You can tweak the demographic profile of the audience, the message you’re using or the budget at any given time.

Such a campaign would be best when you’re already recruiting actively. Think about the budget you want to spend and the types of people you’re trying to reach (age, interests, educational background, etc.). Based on this information, you’ll get an accurate estimate of the cost of the campaign and you’ll get to decide whether it’s worth the expenditure.

Keep in mind that paid LinkedIn advertising may be more expensive than publishing ads on social media like Facebook or Instagram. Still, the nature of the platform justifies spending a bit more in order to connect with engaged professionals in the respective field. Generally, a campaign that brings together multiple social channels will be the one that will deliver the best results in terms of both reach and targeting.

Use Multiple Techniques to Keep Potential Candidates Engaged

By following all of the steps listed in the article so far, chances are that you’ve managed to connect with numerous suitable candidates for your company’s open positions. Once you’ve established the lines of communication, it will be very important to keep top talent engaged.

The good news is that social channels provide numerous tools that will help you establish an even more profound connection with the right people.

There are multiple things you can do to keep the engagement level high. The first and the simplest possibility involves sending direct messages. Approach the people who are a part of your network and who could potentially be included in the talent cloud. Let them know a bit more about the company and the recruitment opportunities. Answer questions top present the brand in the best possible light.

Video calls, sharing useful content and doing effective personalization will all be important for keeping experienced and talented professionals within the network. Be proactive, don’t wait for people to contact you and make the first step. Once again, the manner you interact with potential candidates should be presented thoroughly in the company’s social media policy.

Improving interactions with the candidate should also include offline policies. Your primary goal is to give that person a positive experience. The positive experience should be there during a potential job interview and during a company tour. Your social media message should be consistent with what’s going on in real life. If people find discrepancies, chances are that the attractiveness of your recruitment message will decrease drastically.

Think of it this way – social media is simply an extension of your company. It’s reflective of everything that the brand is, everything that it represents. You can’t just create an online persona that’s not based in reality. Such an approach will lead to tons of disappointment and it can have a detrimental impact on your image.

Check on Candidates through Social Media

The final thing you can do is use the power of social media to find out more about the people interested in a specific company position.

We live in a digital world and just about everyone has their electronic footprint. Being active on social media can help you find an awful lot about candidates, including information that these people aren’t reviewing during interviews.

The right candidate should have a sensible, polished and professional social media presence. People who plaster their personal lives online and are behaving like teenagers on a vacation will probably be far from the best company ambassadors.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram can give you tons of valuable information about the people you’re interested in working with. You can learn a lot more about their professional background, work ethics and understandings of the respective field. You can easily check the information that they provided during the interview for errors and inconsistencies.

One thing to remember is that doing a background check is not the same as snooping around. You should be checking for omissions and blatant exaggerations. The information that’s shared only with friends and is not a part of the person’s public presence is none of your business. While social media can give you a lot of power and opportunities, it’s of paramount importance to refrain from abusing those. Otherwise, you’ll risk destroying the trust before a person has even been hired.

Final Verdict: Should Social Media Recruiting Be Your Thing in 2017?

These are just a few of the social media recruitment strategies you can rely on for the identification and the attraction of top talent. Remember one thing – building a quality online presence will take time. Focus on your profiles and the content they feature. Remember that each social media has its purpose. The campaign you’ll carry out on LinkedIn will be different from your Twitter presence. Understand the benefits and specifics of each channel – that’s the only way to use social platforms to your advantage during the recruitment process.

It’s also a good idea to focus solely on the techniques that seem right for your industry and your brand. Do a bit of a research. Try to find out where talent in your field can be found. Which social networks attract young professionals in the respective industry? What types of content and interactions are these people interested in? if you can find the answer, you’ll be much more capable of building a targeted recruitment campaign.

The final thing to remember is to track the results of every single thing you do. What’s the engagement level? Which strategy has gotten the biggest number of people involved? Are you reaching the right crowd or should you fine tune your marketing efforts? The biggest advantage of a social media campaign is that it provides immediate information about effectiveness. Failing to analyze this information will deprive you of valuable data that can potentially make your efforts much more targeted in the future.


Alice Clarke

About the Author:
Alice Clarke is a creative thinker. Though from a marketing background, she likes to write about social media and digital marketing.

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