Beyond LinkedIn: Using Social Media to Competitively Recruit
When your company decides to begin efforts to recruit on social media, your mind may immediately go to LinkedIn. It’s a business site, after all. You create a company profile, post some openings and sit back to wait for all of those candidates to come rolling in, while reaching out to a few potential hits that have their resumes posted online.
But wait … there’s more!
According to information posted this month on eBiz, LinkedIn only ranks 5th in overall monthly social media usage.
The four most popular? Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram with a combined estimated total of 3,674,000,000 monthly users. LinkedIn’s estimated number alone? 250 million. That’s a difference of 3,424,000,000 monthly users, which is a lot of potential candidates you may be missing out on.
Social media continues to be the rage as everyone from heads of state to actors to authors to your next-door neighbors interact in 140 characters or less on Twitter, post culinary masterpieces and gallery-worthy vacation shots on Instagram, and share family pics and battle political views on Facebook. YouTube gets millions of hits a day on some of their video clips, and can turn anyone with a camera into a star. Even Pinterest is still going strong, a virtual scrapbook of ideas for your next party, kitchen adventures, home decorating plans and fashion inspiration.
So how can you effectively leverage these sites for recruiting purposes? LinkedIn is for business and the other sites are for fun…right? Not necessarily.
A social media presence of some type is almost a must in the current job market.
If potential candidates are interacting online during leisure time and don’t see you or any information about you, it could be a missed opportunity. Take note that those tasked with creating and maintaining your social media presence across multiple platforms beyond LinkedIn ideally will have intimate knowledge about the sites themselves and a strong marketing acumen to maintain a consistent look and appropriate tone for your business.
For sites like Facebook and Instagram, which are made up of both personal profiles and business pages or profiles, creating an official company page or profile is a good first step. Maintaining control of it, however, will be crucial.
All posts to any social media platform on behalf of your company should be filtered through your marketing or legal department to ensure they are not in violation of company policies for confidentiality and non-disclosure. Once cleared, posts can include any number of topics, for example:
- completed projects the company is excited about
- charitable giving efforts and community involvement activities
- open positions
- “employee life” photos
Ideally, all posts should contain links back to your company website so the candidates can find more information. A plan to deal with negative reactions to posts should also be put into place.
Good with video? Create a YouTube channel that features your company doing what they do best, brief “interviews” with current employees on why they like their jobs, product features, or any number of subjects that may get potential candidates excited about your company.
On “soundbite” platforms like Twitter, it’s a great environment for quick announcements such as a public piece of news or an open position “We’ve acquired new properties! Check them out here!” or “Know a great project manager in the Charleston area? Send them our way (link.)” For most social media platforms, interested people will start to “follow” your posts or “like” your company page, which means that they will be able to see your posts on a regular basis. Any of these “followers” may be potential candidates who can be directed to your site to view open positions – or can forward your posts to others who may have an interest.
The challenge is, of course, to attract initial users who will see your posts in the first place. For those with limited social media savvy most platforms have a link for businesses with information on how to get started on each site and how it all works on their websites – including how to weed out and block problem users who post inappropriate content to your pages.
Also, take the time to research if you need to invest in specialized mobile recruiting apps to enhance your online efforts. Are you recruiting to an audience on mobile devices needing interaction in real time? Or is your target audience on larger, more traditional social media forums?
And finally, try to avoid social media overkill. While it is one thing to have a strong social media presence to attract talent, it’s quite possible to oversaturate your audience with countless posts and unfocused messages. Working together with management, your internal or external recruiters and your marketing/branding department to develop a social media plan of action, including what platforms to focus on and what, and how often, items will be posted is crucial to your success in getting potential candidates to keep wanting to hear more about you.