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The Dark Art of Social Recruiting

Posted by Megan Stollery

13-Jun-2017 11:44:05

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Social Recruiting, a phrase continually bandied about by just about everyone with any interest in finding the silver bullet that will solve all recruiting headaches.  Many organisations will claim their social recruiting endeavours are ‘successful’ but what does success really look like and who in reality is doing it well?

 

According to the stats (and there are many on this subject) 89% of companies plan to recruit on social media, 73% of 18-34 year olds found their last jobs through a social network and 51% of workers are satisfied with their current role but open to new opportunities.  So yes, there’s a huge amount of research to indicate that social recruiting is the way forward, particularly to expand your talent pool within the millennial and passive candidate market place. 

There’s so much information on the subject it’s difficult to know where to start, but the critical piece of advice that crops up time and again is keep things simple.  Too many organisations rush into random and inconsistent social media activity (both from a marketing and recruitment point of view) without first sitting down and thinking clearly about a strategy and some basic objectives to ensure that when you do see success it’s easily measurable.  Once that’s in place you’ll need a combination Maintaining social recruiting efforts as part of your wider recruitment strategy is critical, simply posting more job content on social media alone won’t guarantee the results you’re looking for.

Some stand out example of great social recruiting strategies I’ve seen include L’Oreal, Deloitte and US recruitment agency Insperity.

The first thing to consider when looking at these three organisations is that they are all very different.  They have different employer brands, different target audiences and different value propositions.  One of the reasons their social recruiting strategies have worked well is that they recognized their uniqueness from the outset, so when planning their strategies they researched their target audience, considered their current brand perception and tailored their messaging and channels in line with that research.

The second thing these organisations have are great employer websites. It sounds obvious, but there’s little point spending time and energy attracting active and passive candidates to engage with you if the place they land is uninspiring and doesn’t speak to their needs or reinforce your brand message.  This doesn’t mean spending thousands on complex career websites. Being authentic in your messaging, ensuring you think about what the candidate will want to know about you and making their user journey as straight forward as possible are the critical things to get right.

Finally each of these organisations set out two or three very clear objectives and viewed their social recruitment strategy as an iterative process, regularly comparing the results with the objectives, and redefining their activity based on this evidence.

You don’t need to build the perfect social recruiting strategy straight away, in fact, that’s impossible.  Start with a very simple plan, implement it, test it, alter it, and try again.  The size and complexity of your strategy will build over time.  Many organisations see no results because they spend so much time planning they don’t actually get started.  Some activity is better than nothing as long as it’s being carried out with an objective in mind.  My advice, get going, see it as an iterative process and continually improve based on evidence.

For more advice on overcoming common challenges recruiters face in social recruiting download our whitepaper.

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