How to use Social Media for Recruitment - Top 5 Tips
Published onJul 31, 2012byJon Payne
Social Media is a great tool to source and secure candidates and build your brand as an employer. If done properly, it’s more cost effective than using job boards, you are more likely to attract better candidates and find them faster. So, if you don’t have a social media presence across a range of networks now then you’re missing out. And even if you do have a social media strategy there are always ways to improve it.
Here's 5 tips from the team that won Best Innovation 2012 at the Global Recruiter Awards.
1. It's not all about LinkedIn
A recent report by Bullhorn Reach showed that 48% of recruiters mainly use LinkedIn as their social media of choice but actually a Twitter follower is almost three times more likely to apply to a job posting from Twitter than from a LinkedIn connection.
Twitter has over 100 million active Twitter users and Facebook has over 900 million users, sharing more than 3.5 billion pieces of content a week. If you’re not using Twitter and Facebook already, you’re missing out on a potentially large candidate data base.
2. Be nice
People connect with people, not brands or companies. If you're a decent recruiter, you already know this... but so often we come across go getting automatons spouting truncated job adverts on Twitter and Facebook. If you or your brand do this on Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn, then people think you suck. Really.
Have a good profile picture, a brief biography and current contact information that will make people want to connect with you. Give people a reason to want to engage with you through your interests, expertise or personality and build your social authority.
Share more than just jobs... Share news you find interesting or information your candidate base are more likely to be interested in, make “social media small talk,” which often leads to a bigger conversation. Intersperse job opportunities amongst other news items and post questions and answers on emerging networks like Quora or forums that are appropriate to your sector.
Being nice online sometimes means you "give until it hurts" - giving away your time and knowledge for free. If someone directs a question at you via social media, find a way to respond positively. Critique CVs, or even point people in the direction of competitor's job adverts on job boards if you don't have an opening for them right now. It might smart a little bit, but the candidate will recommend you to all their friends as the go-to guy / gal for recruitment advice. When all their friends are coming to ask YOU for advice, then they're becoming YOUR candidates before they've even signed up to a Job Board. SWEET!
3. Demonstrate your expertise
Offer USEFUL advice (not just links to the same old "how to write a CV" article) and be an expert in your field. When you offer valuable information on a given subject matter, real people share that advice on social media and that will demonstrate your trustworthiness to Google and consequently improve the ranking of your brand.
Compile a list of other experts in your sector with whom you'd like to connect and evaluate their Twitter activity by looking at their number of followers as well as the quality of their tweets. We find the awesome Followerwonk perfect for this. It makes it really easy to compare experts with industry leaders, look at shared connections and decide who has the audience you want to talk to. Don't just shout at them on Twitter; that is what all your competitors are doing. As a recruiter you are tenacious, you are thick skinned - so come on, use your skills and get face-to-face with your chosen victim target at the next industry meet up, exhibition or whatever.
If you want to analyse the followers you have already, try Social Bro, a Google Chrome app. SocialBro is a tool that helps you to both manage and analyse your Twitter community and provide insight into how many inactive followers you have and when the best time is to tweet to your followers.
4. Be Active
The half life of stuff shared on Social Media is around 3 hours, so if you don’t have an active presence online your message will most likely get lost in the noise. Think about timing, when will be the best time to tweet and post on Facebook to get the best engagement. There are lots of ideas about this all over the web . . . our rule is start by sharing when your audience is awake. Then figure out what works best for your sector. Oddly, Noisy Little Monkey tweets get more shares first thing in the morning and Facebook gets shared more in the afternoon. We don't know exactly why (well, we're not going to tell you), but we know it to be the case, so we use that knowledge to share the most important stuff at the right time of day on the right channel.
5. Check Your Results
You should have some sort of web traffic analytics system on your website. If you haven't, an easy one to start with is Google Analytics which is free - but if you're sick of Google you could try Open Web Analytics (also free) or pay for Omniture from Adobe. If you're not using one of these systems, then you need to move into the 21st century soon or go back to using a carrier pigeon and demanding your commission in the form of shiny stones and staple foodstuffs.
Once you've got some Analytics installed you should be able to look at the social channels and see how many people are visiting your website from the various sites. However, this information doesn't tell you the whole story - for that you need to use a tool like our own Professor Traffic which will allow you to see which shares on which channels drive the most visitors to your site and measure how many CV uploads / client inquiries you receive.
Exploring the stats means you can do more of what works and less of what doesn't. Once you're doing that, then you're really levering social media to your advantage.