Social media is a powerful tool for any industry, with its ability to help employers and recruiters connect with potential hires. However, it’s easy to get caught up with all the capabilities that social channels offer without maximizing their benefits in the field of recruitment.
Whether you’re already using or barely starting to use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms to find talent or advertise job openings, it pays to know what you may be doing wrong, which might cause your company to lose top talent, time, or money.
Here are seven of the most common mistakes to avoid when recruiting and prospecting on social media.
1. Undefined social media strategy
As with any business project, you need to discuss your social media recruitment strategy with your team. Without a clear strategy in place, there’s the risk of spreading yourself too thin in the vast social media space.
To establish your social media strategy, start off by defining your reasons for going social, whether it’s to grow your online presence as an employer or to reach out to more candidates. Knowing what your goals are can help you determine how to go about social recruiting. A good first step for you is to learn more about social media channels since each of them has a different set of norms, audience, tools, and features that you can use to support specific goals.
The Home Depot company, for instance, effectively uses its Facebook Careers page not only to announce hiring events but also to share the success stories of its employees, giving candidates a feel of the people-focused culture of the company.
2. Unclear social media profile for your company
It can be off-putting for potential employees to visit your social media page, only to find little to no information about your company. In the same manner, you can’t have a social media profile that speaks of one thing but shows another. If you’re trying to highlight a fun workplace culture on your home page, but all that candidates see are a series of job postings, you’re not being effective in conveying your message to jobseekers.
Here are some tips for creating a social media profile for your company:
- Provide basic information about your company, such as your history, type of business, area of expertise, contact information, website URL, and the like.
- Talk about the core values and principles that your company stands for. This will help candidates assess if they can work in your company without compromising their personal beliefs.
- Show that there are real people behind your social profile by sharing a glimpse of the day-to-day interactions of your company with your employees, customers, and community.
- Use a positive and consistent brand voice, image, or tone across your social media accounts.
3. Only posting job openings
Candidates aren’t only using social media to look for possible work opportunities but also to learn what’s happening in a company or an industry they’re interested in. Remember: They want to find out how their skill sets stack up with current trends in the workplace. They’re also on the lookout for valuable resources to prepare them for employment, such as interview tips or career advice from your recruitment agency. If your focus in using social media channels is for recruitment alone, you’re not giving candidates enough opportunities to engage with your brand.
Instead of posting one job opening after another, you can expand your content strategy to grow your brand as an employer or recruiter. There are tools that can help you curate content and share it with potential employees on social, while you can leverage videos to tell your brand’s story or demonstrate your company culture. You can also be more creative with your job postings by using memes that let you approach recruitment in a humorous yet attractive fashion, especially for social savvy talents.
4. Generic first message
As a recruiter, there’s a long list of tasks waiting for you, including prospecting or talent sourcing. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed and less enthusiastic when it’s time to contact potential employees. As a result, you tend to send generic outreach communications that, unfortunately, fail to establish the connection you’re aiming for.
When communicating with candidates online, especially the more experienced professionals, you need to get more personal. Find out more about your candidates’ personality, motivations, and interests. This way, you can craft the right message and deliver it to your candidates at the right time and channel, all of which can be helpful in initiating meaningful interactions.
5. Failure to make a connection
Social media is designed to keep people connected, and in the context of social recruitment, this means building an engaging relationship with candidates and even your existing employees.
Try to open up a dialogue or conversation with candidates whenever you see any signs of engagement from them, such as when they like, share, or comment on your posts. Marriott Hotels, for instance, is taking candidate engagement to a higher level by creating a Personal Career Concierge, where candidates can watch a video that walks them through the application process. They also have an option to chat with a bot regarding job openings or what it entails to work in the company.
Apart from making connections with candidates, there’s also value in establishing connections with other social media users or groups. Whenever you come across content from industry leaders, experts, or specialists that you think will be useful for your target audience, engage with them as well. Post comments, share their posts, or simply “like” their content to build connections. Your network can then share your job posts with their own network or even send referrals your way.
6. Not monitoring your brand
Not investing in a brand monitoring strategy will make it impossible for you to keep track of what people are saying about your brand. You then risk losing sight of how you can tap certain people or groups to be your brand’s ambassadors.
Luckily, there are several social listening tools that tell you each time someone mentions your brand or uses hashtags associated with your campaigns or company. This allows you to respond to these forms of engagement, consequently improving brand perception and increasing interest for the opportunities you offer in social media.
7. Not tracking your performance
Goal setting is only one aspect of your social recruitment game. Beyond this part, you need to know if your strategy is giving positive results for your efforts. Without taking time to look at your social media recruitment metrics—engagement, source of hire, time to fill, and cost of hire, to mention a few—you won’t have the insight as to which part of your strategy needs improvement and which one is performing well.
Mastering Social Recruitment
Some of the core principles in social recruiting involve building a good social profile, sharing relevant content, knowing how different social channels work, and monitoring your results. It may be time for you to master these strategies, but once you do, you’ll see how helpful they are in identifying, attracting, and engaging jobseekers on social media.
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