How To Use Social Media In Your Recruiting With 3 Easy Steps

Alexandra Levit, Managing Partner, PeopleResults
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3 Steps to Effective Social Media Recruitment

Social media can be a terrific recruiting tool, but only if you understand your audience and the laws that formally and informally govern networks. Most organizations have figured out by now that blasting generic job postings over Twitter doesn’t generate much targeted interest. The better approach requires a bit more legwork but is certainly worth it in the end.

Locate where your targets already hang out

Most organizations go directly to LinkedIn because that’s what everyone else is doing. But depending on the segment you’re trying to attract, LinkedIn may or may not be the best option. There’s also Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, as well as hundreds of industry-specific social networks. In an article for the Cornerstone on Demand blog, Andy Headworth suggested employing Google X-ray searches to find potential candidates across networks by using relevant keywords with job titles, skills and interests. Here’s the command:

  • Site: inurl:pub <“insert job title”>
  • Site: <“insert job title”> OR <“insert job title synonym”>
  • Site: inurl: about “lives in <insert location>” <“insert job title”>

As you do more searches, you’ll notice a pattern of certain types of candidates appearing in specific places on specific networks. That’s how you’ll know where to focus your recruiting efforts.

Create audience-specific content

When using social media, it’s a best practice to engage substantially with each community before posting too much of your own content. This means commenting on others’ posts and offering feedback and ideas 5-10 times for every 1 time you submit an article or link from your company.

Your own content should present a strong and consistent employer brand. It should also be novel and relevant to the topic and/or audience. Curating interesting content from other expert sources is a smart way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and using different types of content – from quotes and questions to videos and Slideshares – will prevent things from getting stale.

Here’s another important piece of advice: don’t just set and forget. Even if you have an automated system (Hootsuite, etc.) that allows you to send social media posts live at a particular time, it’s your responsibility to monitor comments and likes and engage frequently with feedback. Only then can you accurately assess if the content is fulfilling recruitment objectives.

Bring them to your house

One of your goals should be to get social media contacts into your ATS or CRM quickly so that you can start tracking them and sending them segmented ecommunication. Headworth recommended keeping tabs on your social media metrics so that you can repurpose the most popular content in your enewsletters and the like. For example, suppose you are targeting the youngest millennials and Generation Z. If you posted a link to an article about college internships in a LinkedIn careers group and received far more engagement than usual, you might highlight the piece in your next email to that segment.

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