Finding talent: Set your sights on social recruitment

Firstly, if your organisation is relatively new to the social media recruitment game, a warm welcome.

Secondly, what took you so long?

Chances are you’ve been involved in some sort of social recruiting for a while now. As recruiters, business leaders or burgeoning start-ups, you will have been “making connections” all over the place with people whom you deem to be ideal talent for your company. But the problem isn’t about connecting, it’s about connecting with the right people, in the right places and at the right times.

As part of a well-rounded recruitment strategy AND a strong marketing strategy (yes, sometimes the two go hand-in-hand), social media can offer a wealth of tools to help your business find the talent it so desperately needs.

If you’re not sure whether your efforts are on track, read on and ask yourself whether you’re really optimising the true benefits of all things social.

First, decide on your social approach

Social media is a beast, and it can’t be controlled with ad hoc posts, links, images and status updates. If it were as simple as “I think we’ll launch a company LinkedIn page today”, a lot more businesses out there would be successful with their social media game.

The ones who do it well are those who have a plan. They have taken the time to answer questions like, who are we targeting? What’s our ultimate objective? How will we respond to people who engage with us? What will our key messaging be? If you don’t have a business-led purpose behind your social media strategy, you’re not going to get the most out of your efforts or find the talent you’re ultimately hoping to reach.

Where do your future employees hang out?

A social media strategy is about quality, not quantity. Well, it can be about quantity on a carefully selected number of social platforms, but it shouldn’t be about opening an account on every single social space and ramming how wonderful your company is down people’s throats. Do you want to spam people? Because that’s how you spam people.

To avoid diluted messaging and jumping into social sites just because they’re new or popular, you need to understand where you can reach your potential candidates online. Companies searching for executive talent, for example, are going to have a much higher success rate focusing on LinkedIn, while firms looking to fill dozens of service jobs on short notice will have more luck on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s about who you are, not what you do

Your employer brand is everything. Your employee value proposition – what you offer talent (other than money) in exchange for their hard work – is what sells you to candidates. But this doesn’t necessarily need to be spelled out for them. Instead, it should be part of an organic, genuine and carefully-planned strategy which utilises social media to showcase your people.

Don’t tell people on your company Facebook page how awesome you are – show them. Use videos, articles, employee Q&A and more (by the way, this is where content marketing comes in very handy) to exhibit your business as a great place to work.

Use calls to action, fresh content and interesting visuals

If you’re on Twitter, you know how fast it moves. If you’re on Facebook, you know that you stop scrolling once you come to a post you’ve already seen. Social recruiting needs to stay fresh, with interesting and new content to keep people engaged.

Original, value-added material produces better results than anything else. If you have data to share, why not create an infographic? Is that article you want to link to only interesting to you, or does it resonate with targeted talent you’re trying to reach? Why post a boring old job ad when you could write articles about the benefits of working at your company, which ultimately leads them to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ you. This interaction is so much more valuable.

Is your CEO social?

If you work at a big global company, chances are you have a well-known leader who has somewhat of a large online presence. But if your CEO isn’t well-known…well, why not?

Positioning businesses heads as thought leaders is an ongoing strategy as part of a wider content campaign, but it’s one of the best ways to directly engage with talent you want to attract. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be your CEO, and they don’t need to post heavily.

Laszlo Bock, Google’s head of people, is the man who hires and fires at the tech giant (which makes him the ultimate connection for every Google wannabe). He’s an influencer, but he doesn’t post heavily on LinkedIn – in fact, he’s only done 5 posts to date – but he has more than 130,000 followers and his most-read post has been seen more than 2 million times. Why? It’s partly because what he says matters to people and adds value, but also he’s created wonderful dialogue around recruitment, HR and working at Google. He is interesting and genuine, and he shares data, company “secrets” and strong, well-thought out opinions and advice.

Immediate and direct engagement is everything. Think about how you can use your country heads, managing directors and CEOs to help you reach the people you need.

Above all, be authentic

It’s a talent’s marketplace, and when it comes to choosing a job and career path, they have the power. In Asia, low unemployment means a tight labour market, which means if you give potential candidates any reason to believe you’re not as genuine as your competitor, they’ll pick up on it right away and take a job elsewhere.

Even worse? They do take a job with you, only to leave six months later because it wasn’t what they were promised. In whatever social interactions you have with talent via social media, don’t overpromise. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not and, for goodness sake, don’t lie.

An authentic and ‘real’ employer brand voice can speak louder than all the chatter on all the social media platforms put together. A genuine message is where your talent efforts should begin and end.

Need help with social media? Drop a message to [email protected]