Social Recruiting: Going Beyond Facebook and LinkedIn

Content sourced from Going Beyond Facebook and LinkedIn: How a Social Strategy Can Save Recruiting

When you think of a social recruiting strategy, what comes to mind? A company Facebook page or LinkedIn career page? While these channels are behemoths of social media, they should not be your sole outlets. Simply setting up a company profile will not solve all your recruitment problems.

Too often we focus only on tools that push jobs to the web, automate the application process, launch a Facebook page or career site—and we expect traffic to come to us. But no amount of search engine optimization or job board placement is going to help pull the right amount of quality candidates. It’s about creating multi-faceted approaches to attracting and connecting with the right talent.

Creating multi-faceted online attraction strategies

When it comes to talent attraction, it’s important to define target talent audiences and create an attraction plan around specific online consumer behaviors. Does your talent audience read the paper each morning? Do they check ESPN twice a day? Do they write or contribute to blogs weekly? Do they spend time reading the tech section of CNN news?

Almost all this information is attainable at a fee, and if that is outside of your budget, you can do a little internal research yourself. Talk to your top performers and find out what makes them tick. How did they come to your company? How do they stay current with what is going on in their industry? What message would really resonate with them? If you create the right message, and place that message in the right environment, you will attract and connect with the right candidates.

As HR professionals, we have detailed information that can be used to generate our own target audience data at our fingertips. Information about the job you are trying to hire is excellent in creating a target profile—degree needed, salary, experience needed, job title, etc. All this information helps craft a good picture of the target audience. Creating a talent profile then helps guide how, when and where to place recruitment advertising.

Building a candidate connection

Once you have attracted the right candidates, it is important to build relationships with them. Being able to personally, but efficiently, handle the connection and stewardship process of recruiting is paramount. There are multiple resources that enable you to manage candidate relationships and search for talent at the same time, including a leading solution offered by IBM.

Once you have a talent slate, your recruiters can begin building relationships through email campaigns, direct mail and even text messaging. The important part is to create a strategy around how and when you interact with that talent pool. For example, when interfacing with a student candidate slate, start by wishing them success during finals week, or sending a Happy Holidays message before reaching out with specific job offers. Crafting a strategy for dealing with newly sourced talent is vital in building your employment brand and helping ensure that candidates remain interested—even when you are not recruiting.

Connecting with your career site

When candidates visit your career site and start the application process, they are increasingly expecting a social experience. They may want to browse jobs, share jobs on your site with friends on their social networks, tweet jobs to their network or establish Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds for your jobs. They may want to identify people in their network who work at your organization and connect with them. This can benefit both the candidate and the organization by enabling both to gauge cultural and skills fit.

When candidates reach the application stage, they want the process to be as straightforward and fast as possible. They may wish to use their social network profile to streamline the application process. Being able to enable candidates to learn, share and converse on your career site and within your recruitment technology system makes the potential of converting them to an applicant that much higher.

Managing a social media strategy

There is only one hard and fast rule to managing a social media strategy—understanding how your HR and recruiting team fits into the framework of your overall corporate social strategy.

Make sure that your marketing team knows and understands what you are trying to accomplish on social networks where they may already have a presence. One of the best approaches is to have a target audience, mission, content strategy and staff in place before you even set up a Facebook page or YouTube channel. Social media strategy and management takes commitment and planning. Those employment brands that excel with social networks are the ones that post more than job opportunities. They create a sense of culture with career fair updates, pictures of company events, polls, recent awards, employee quotes and strive to respond to questions with a 24-hour period.

Putting it all together

When it comes to your social recruiting strategy, there is no secret sauce. It should be an integrated partnership between strategy and tools. However, if you broaden your approach and your definition of recruiting, attraction and connection, the goal of finding the right talent becomes increasingly attainable. Try creating a multi-faceted approach to talent attraction using target audiences and ads.

Create a robust strategy to connect with talent on your CRM tool, social network, career site or recruitment technology system. Be willing to change and try new tactics, even if it means starting small. There are countless ways to approach a truly social strategy for recruitment—when done right, they yield great results that can actually prove ROI. Let social media, social sourcing and social recruiting change how your team finds, attracts and connects with the next great employee for your company.

Not sure where to start? Smart small by reading  10 Tips to Optimize your Social Recruiting Efforts.