Long before social media, a simple Faberge Organics advertisement explained to the 80’s generation what “going viral” means. The “and they told two friends” campaign demonstrated with a basic visual the effectiveness of word-of-mouth advertising.
Social media has taken the concept of word-of-mouth to a whole new level. Today, if you want to spread the word about open positions within your company, you need look no further than your social media platforms, a concept referred to as ‘social recruiting.’
To understand the habits of HR professionals and recruiting managers when it comes to social recruiting, we consulted a recent SHRM survey “Using Social Media for Talent Acquisition: Recruitment and Screening” of 400 randomly selected HR professionals. It seems that recruitment via social media is a very common practice and it’s on the rise—84% of organizations currently use it, and 9% plan to.
Why turn to social media for recruiting needs? To engage passive job candidates is the most popular reason (82%) according to the survey, followed by increase employer brand and recognition (77%), and target candidates with a specific skill set (71%).
If using social media to recruit sounds intimidating, we’ve identified three easy ways you can start today.
Three Ways to Utilize Social Recruiting
1. Get Your Current Employees in on the Act
Look no further than your current employees to help spread the word and act as advocates for your employer brand. Employee advocacy is a valuable tool when it comes to recruiting. With a single post or tweet on social media, your employees can reach hundreds of potential new hires.
Your first priority should be to build a positive company culture. When employees love where they work, word gets around. Provide lots of share-worthy opportunities—like social company gatherings, special events, and charitable initiatives. Make it easy for them to share; send a weekly email directing them to buzz-worthy content, and even provide pre-populated comments for them to include in their posts.
2. Tap Into LinkedIn
Of all the social media platforms, LinkedIn is by far the best known for recruiting. According to the SHRM survey referenced above, 96% of respondents actively use LinkedIn to recruit. While the recruiting tools provided by LinkedIn are overwhelming, there are a few simple ways to use it:
Stay connected to former, trusted colleagues. These people can be a resource for new talent.
Actively search for candidates by using keywords, narrowing down the results by location, years of experience, past or current employer, etc.
Join groups in LinkedIn. These participants may share the interests, backgrounds, and experience you are looking for.
Post a job (for a fee). People seeking employment, however, can search LinkedIn free of charge.
3. Incorporate Hashtags in Your Posts
Hashtags originated on Twitter but were so popular that other social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram have now incorporated them in their code. By adding a hashtag to a word or phrase in a post, you make that word or phrase searchable.
For example, if you include “#joblisting” in a post, others who type that into the search bar will find your post along with every other one that includes that hashtag.
Hashtags are useful in social recruiting by allowing people who aren’t following you to easily find tweets that interest them. To effectively use hashtags in social recruiting you need to couple a talent brand hashtag, specific to your organization, with existing broad hashtags to reach a wider audience.
For a talent brand hashtag, several organizations have simply added the word “life” to their company names to create a hashtag that employees can use to showcase the culture while allowing management to monitor the content. Examples include: #MicrosoftLife, #AdobeLife, and #NPRLife.
When posting a job, use your talent brand hashtag followed by broader hashtags used by jobseekers: “#job, #jobsearch, #careers, and #employment are just a few. You can target even further by adding a career-specific hashtag and even a geographical one.
Opportunities for using social media to recruit for your organization are endless. When executed properly, your message will soon reach potential recruits, who will share your message with other potential recruits, and so on, and so on…