If recruiting in today’s competitive hiring environment feels like pushing a boulder up a mountain, then recruiting without social media is like pushing a boulder up a mountain in a hail storm…while wearing roller skates…with a parachute tied around your neck.
According to GlobalWebIndex, the average Internet user has more than 5 social media accounts. Think about it: they’re posting pictures of their family on Instagram, planning a high school reunion on Facebook, venting about politics on Twitter, connecting with a former colleague on LinkedIn, and sourcing ideas for a DIY kitchen project on Pinterest.
Your Future Employees are Using Social Media
More and more, they’re also learning about your company…or at least trying to.
Today’s job candidates want as much of your story as they can get their eyes on—from your mission and values, to how you embody diversity, to how you showcase your culture. They form a picture of what it must be like to work at your company, and even build expectations in the event you hire them—anticipating everything from what they’ll do, to how you’ll help them achieve their professional goals.
Before they start daydreaming, they use social media to help them decide if you’re worth their time.
In the recent “The Future of Recruiting” study, which surveyed over a thousand respondents, 61% claimed they visit a company’s “online properties,” including social media sites, before they apply for open positions—a 17% increase from 2015. And in another report, 67% of millennial job seekers stated they review an employer’s social profiles to learn about their culture, while 80% say they use information from social media to prep for interviews.
And that’s just your shared content. What about the other side of the conversation?
Once upon a time, a company’s brand was the sum of what it said about itself through things like commercials, promotions and job ads. To know more, a job seeker might ask around until they tracked down a friend of a friend who knew someone who worked there. Then came the age of web forums and online reviews, which lent new eyes into a brand’s reality. Soon after, social media arrived—and with it, the power of instant feedback.
Social media gives everyone a voice. And some voices find a lot of ears.
Consider job candidates. On average, a mid-size to large company will receive nearly 250 applications for every job it posts. Working with this figure, they’ll deny 249 applicants for every applicant they hire. That means they run the risk of 249 negative comments and reviews that may very well cut to the core of their employer brand.
A generation ago, if a job candidate had a bad experience during an application or interview, he or she may have complained to a friend or family member. Thanks to social media, a candidate’s Twitter feed can turn into a bullhorn, and a few negative reviews on an employer rating site may derail your best chance of connecting with an ideal hire.
Job seekers value this type of “real” insight.
More and more job seekers are turning to reviews from other candidates, not to mention past and current employees. Sites such as Glassdoor, Great Places to Work and others give them new ways to discover positive and negative feedback before they decide to apply. These reviews promise “true glimpses” into what it’s like to deal with your company, whether as an applicant or an employee.
When people visit these sites, they find a mixed bag of feedback
• 33% of job seekers have shared at least one negative review of a past or prospective employer.
• 55% of job seekers who read a negative review decide NOT to apply for a job at that company.
• 66% of job seekers and employees that post negative reviews online say they are more likely to spread their opinions on social media, rather than only share with close friends or colleagues.
For an in-depth look at the many ways to share your brand story with prospective employees, download our white paper, “Your Brand as an Employer.”
4 Ways to Recruit on Social Media
1. Include your current employees.
As we said above, job seekers trust the opinions of candidates as well as current employees more than they do marketing copy and curated content. An employee’s point-of-view is a powerful tool that can help shape brand perceptions far and wide. And as we wrote in our last article, content your employees share may get higher rates of engagement and re-shares than “brand messaging.”
Also remember that social recruiting is a team effort. Count on your marketing department or outside vendors to help share the load in how your company shares its recruiting message across social media. Working as a team in this way can help create synergy in your company.
2. Keep it simple.
Ask employees to submit content that can be posted on your social media sites. Employee content can be as simple as a photo of a team grabbing lunch together. What matters is that your employees are sharing their authentic experience about what it’s really like to work at your company–thereby strengthening your employer brand and building a positive reputation.
The best types of employee messages are authentic and organic—stories that come from them, rather than fed down the line from your marketing department.
You can get employees involved with some simple starter ideas that address essential questions:
• Why do they love working for your company?
• What’s their favorite thing about helping customers or clients?
• What’s a recent challenge they helped someone solve?
• Are they proud to help clients or to deliver a specific product solution?
3. Engage beyond your content.
Another point we shared in our last article is the fact that social media is a two-way street that’s built on engagement.
Within the larger scope of your recruiting efforts, every piece has its place and its perceived reason for being. When an active job seeker finds your opening on a job site, for instance, their next stop is often your website. For a passive job seeker who’s heard about your company, they’ll most likely drop by your website as well. For both types of job seekers, they’ll eventually make their way to social media before filling out an application. That’s where a two-way conversation built around engagement will hopefully be taking place.
What does engagement look like in the social space? Unlike your company website, which is focused on conversion—one-way messaging that’s driven by SEO and content marketing—social media is about conversation. And like any great conversation, both parties will have a chance to listen and share.
How are you listening and sharing on social media?
• Does your company regularly share posts from others?
• Do you link to relevant information from your industry, even if it doesn’t directly connect with your brand?
• Do you promote your people when they accomplish something outside of the scope of your company? For instance, has a member of your company published a book, or been honored by a local civics organization?
• Are you commenting on other articles and posts from others outside your organization?
4. Connect via niche groups that relate to your business.
There will always be large platforms like Facebook and Twitter that boast millions, if not billions of users over time. And there will also be startup platforms that offer new spins on something—think Snapchat vs. Instagram, for instance. But what about the industry- or specialty-focused niche networks of the world?
Forbes did a short piece recently on the niche trend, while Lifewire offers a glimpse at some of today’s more popular niche networking sites. Depending on your industry, niche sites provide new ways for you to connect with ideal candidates.
Remember: social media lets you focus your recruiting dollars in a new way.
Unless you plan to hire an outside vendor to run your social media efforts, and/or use paid campaigns to promote openings, social media recruiting won’t cost you much, if anything at all. But as more active and passive job candidates turn to social media as a way to learn about your company, the cost of NOT using social media can be the difference between attracting the ideal candidate, and constantly trudging uphill.
The myStaffingPro applicant tracking system assists companies with social recruiting through links to corporate social media accounts and social apply options for job candidates. To discover more about how myStaffingPro can improve the candidate experience and strengthen your talent pool, send us an email or give us a call.