With the US unemployment rate hovering around 3.7 percent, recruiters today are tasked with the challenge of sourcing talent in a highly competitive, candidate-driven market. To successfully source and attract candidates in this difficult environment, recruiters must make the most of the resources available to them.
Social media is one of those resources. According to a SHRM survey, 84 percent of organizations were using social media to recruit talent in 2017, and we have every reason to believe the number is even higher today. Recruiters know it is critical to be where their candidates are, and increasingly, that means being online.
With so many recruiters using social media to connect with candidates, it’s a crowded market. However, by following some simple dos and don’ts, recruiters can set themselves apart and find social recruiting success.
Social Recruiting Dos
- Do Connect With Candidates on Their Preferred Platforms
Each social media platform has a different kind of audience, and it is important for recruiters to understand which channels are most effective for connecting with their target candidates.
LinkedIn, for example, is a great place to reach higher-level management candidates, while Facebook’s larger talent pool of 2.41 billion monthly active users allows recruiters to cast wider nets for a larger variety of positions. Similarly, creative professionals often showcase their portfolios on Pinterest and Instagram, making these platforms good sources for preliminary candidate searches in creative fields.
- Do Get Involved
Rather than approaching candidates cold, recruiters can drive more organic engagement by participating in relevant groups on social media sites. Talented professionals often join LinkedIn and Facebook groups centered on their industries and roles, and when recruiters become consistently active in these groups, they better position themselves to identify talent, build relationships, and attract candidates with specific areas of expertise.
Recruiters should visit target group pages daily and find opportunities to comment on posts, ask and answer questions, and highlight relevant industry news. The more value you add to the community, the more candidates within that community will trust you and be open to your recruiting efforts.
- Do Incorporate Video
Cisco projects that, by 2021, video will account for 82 percent of all Internet Protocol (IP) traffic, meaning a million minutes of video will be transmitted across the internet every second. Given how much time your candidates already spend consuming video content, it makes sense to incorporate video into your social recruiting strategy.
A study from CareerBuilder illustrates the powerful impact of video on recruiting: Job postings that direct applicants to a video receive 12 percent more views than postings without video, and job ads that incorporate video receive 34 percent more applications than those that don’t.
Video is best used to highlight employer brands and employee value propositions in visual, compelling ways. These videos can be included in job posts and shared across social media platforms, engaging candidates and encouraging them to envision themselves as members of the team.
- Do Become Mobile-Friendly
Roughly 70 percent of job seekers use their phones to browse the internet for new jobs. In order to reach these candidate, recruiters should be sure the content they share on social media is optimized for mobile devices.
Recruiters should test all content and visuals prior to posting them on social media to ensure they are readable and viewable across devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktops/laptops. All job ads, both on social media and on company websites, should be mobile-friendly as well. If your job ads and recruiting content are not optimized for mobile viewing, your mobile job seekers will simply skip your roles. If they do apply, they’ll likely grow frustrated by the application process and abandon your pipeline.
Social Recruiting Don’ts
- Don’t Post Too Much
When it comes to getting attention on social media, it’s best to avoid repetitive content. Focus on quality over quantity.
Recruiters should evaluate the content they are posting in terms of whether or not it is relevant to target candidates. Ensure everything you share on social media is professional, original, and authentic. Focus on topics like industry news, education, and events to build a following and engage the right candidates.
- Don’t Spam Candidates
Nothing annoys a candidate like receiving a generic message from a recruiter that has no relevance to them at all. Instead of spamming candidates with form letters, start authentic dialogues and build relationships with them. Personalized communication tailored to the experience and background of the candidate is much more effective in attracting attention and generating responses.
- Don’t Forget Branding
Branding should be an important component of any social media strategy. According to a LinkedIn survey, 52 percent of candidates seek out a company’s website and social media profiles to learn more about the employer, and 75 percent of candidates will consider a company’s brand before applying for a job opening.
Your social media profiles and activity should reflect and support your company’s brand message at all times. Showcase your company’s brand and culture by sharing stories, photos, and videos of employees at work, doing volunteer activities, during educational events, and during times of reward and recognition.
In a candidate-driven market, recruiters must embrace social media to extend their reach and attract quality candidates. By following these established best practices and avoiding mistakes, recruiters will gain a competitive edge in a crowded market, leading to stronger connections with candidates and more top hires.
Adam DeMarco is director of operations at Loyal Source.