Social media recruitment strategies are something many recruiters have been talking about and using during the past decade.
However, whether you are doing right and how to do it correctly is a daunting question that haunts many recruiters at night. For that reason, we have written this guide to explain to you how to create an excellent social media recruitment strategy that works.
In this guide on social recruitment we will help you:
- Determine where you are right now with your social strategies
- Do candidate and market research
- Define the goal of your strategy
- Create a strategy
- Choose the right social media platform for your use case
- Discuss best social media recruitment strategies you should use in 2021
- Analyze a famous social media recruitment case study
- Discuss how modern technology can help you in your social media recruitment strategies.
If you haven’t, make sure to read our previous post on Social Recruiting.
Before you start thinking about creating a new social media recruitment strategy, you should determine where you are in terms of positioning and social media presence.
To make this step easier, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which social media channels do you use currently?
- How frequently do you post? Depending on a social media channel, you may be posting too often or not frequently enough. We will discuss the optimal frequency for each of the most popular channels later on.
- Is your company’s tone of communication and message consistent across the channels?
- How diverse is the content you publish? For example, do you just publish job openings, or do you also publish entertaining and educational content?
- Did you have a content plan in the past, and did you follow it, or did you just post content whenever you felt like it?
- Do you have well setup analytics to follow the performance of your social content, or do you struggle to determine if it is having any impact on the company’s goals?
- Have you worked on recruiting strategies with the marketing and PR team in the past or no?
Suppose you use just one or two social media channels, post just once a week, or every time you have to announce a new job opening, the communication isn’t aligned across the channels, and you don’t have a specific strategy and goals. In that case, there is a vast space for improvement.
However, don’t be scared since we will walk you through everything you need to know to create and establish good social media recruitment strategies.
Research is the most crucial part of every good strategy. In this case, the areas you need to research are:
- Your target candidates
- Market research
- Social media research
You need to understand your target audience well, meaning your ideal candidates.
Here are things you need to know:
- How does your ideal candidate look like? What are their skills, experience, lifestyles?
- What do they do in their free time?
- Which social media channels do they use the most and why?
- What is their location?
By answering these questions, you can create different segments of your target audience. This process is called segmentation. Here are examples of different segments for different roles:
- Segment 1: Product designer intern: product designers that have just finished their bachelor’s degree and are looking for their first job or product designers with less than a year of experience. Their location doesn’t matter as long as they are proficient in English. The age gap is 22-27. They probably spend time on digital platforms like Behance, Facebook groups for product designers, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn. Still, they can be on Pinterest as well, depending on the type of product.
- Segment 2: Senior video game developer: has probably at least 5 to 7 years of solid experience. It has to be located in the US, San Francisco bay area. Probably spends time on Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Stack Overflow, and YouTube.
Notice how neither of these two segments uses only one social media channel? And how some of these would never cross your mind? This is why research is essential!
Also, keep in mind that these segments are just for an example, and your segments need to be specific and tangible. You don’t necessarily need to make them, but sometimes you will notice that you have a few ideal types of employees.
If, on the other hand, you don’t care about anything specific or personal, just their skill, then you just need to find out where these people hang around in digital space.
This is an important one, again.
Market research will help you understand where you stand compared to your direct and indirect competitors. Basically, you will be doing some type of competitor research, but in the recruiting sphere.
You will analyze their workforce, the patterns between employees, and how they advertise their job openings.
The analysis that can make this so much easier is called SWOT. It is used often in marketing, but recruiters can tailor it to their needs as well.
SWOT stands for:
- Strengths: What are your company’s strengths when it comes to recruiting? Is it an amazing HR department? Or is the company positioned as a market leader and naturally generates lots of applicants? Or are you utilizing channels that others still aren’t?
- Weaknesses: What do the other companies and recruiters do that you don’t?
- Opportunities: All the channels often used by the ideal candidates that you aren’t present and positioned on.
- Threats: Big competition, fast-changing market, other companies are offering much higher compensations and benefits, etc.
Keep in mind that the marketing department can help you a lot when it comes to defining these, and if you ever notice something that they are not aware of, you can help them too.
The whole company can benefit from this analysis. Sometimes you will discover that the problem doesn’t lie in the HR department, but some other aspect of the business. However, in this guide, we will help recruiters override those other problems.
The foremost thing for you to understand in a given domain is that social recruiting demands the creation of a strategy and not the tactics. It is primarily because the tactics either don’t work or fail miserably in yielding significant results. Therefore, there is a need for your company to create a strategy by concentrating on its goals and desired outcomes.
As the experts would suggest, your return on investment will be better if you engage in activities that help you understand the potential candidates in a better way.
Before recruiting on social media, set a few objectives. Know what your goals are. Set a schedule for searching and stick with it.
The goal must be SMART:
Here’s an example of SMART goal in social media recruitment strategies:
30% of our new candidates for the UX junior role should come from social media channels by the end of June.
- Is it specific? Yes.
- Is it measurable? Yes, we can measure whether they have come from social media, and which social channels specifically, or some other digital channels.
- Is it attainable? Yup, sounds pretty achievable (this depends on the context and the previous social media presence of a company).
- Is it realistic? We will say yes in our case. However, keep in mind that this depends on loads of factors in your industry, just like with the previous component. 30% can be a little in some cases and a lot in others.
- Is it timely? Yes, by the end of June.
And there you have it.
This goal should come out of the overarching business goal though, so keep that in mind.
Now, the answer to this question comes out from the target audience research.
Will you use every social site available? Will you only work with one or two? During the user research and goal setting, you will naturally understand which platforms are the best choice.
Also, research the differences in each social media platform. For example, Twitter is vastly different from Facebook. Instagram is unique as well. Know each site and how it works. Then, set objectives according to each network.
However, make sure to be consistent across all the social media channels with your communications and messaging. We will often stress this throughout this guide since it is one of the most important keys to a successful social media recruiting strategy.
Here we have listed 46 social media platforms that can be great, depending on the niche you are recruiting for. We will leave them here just so you know about their existence, and look them up if they seem relevant:
- Instagram – Mainly video and photo-sharing platform.
- Facebook – The largest social networking site.
- Twitter – Microblogging platform that allows users to share their thoughts and opinions in short tweets.
- LinkedIn – Most popular professional social network.
- Valence – A platform created for connecting black professionals together. This platform is great because it will help you be inclusive in your hiring processes.
- Elpha – Social networking site for women professionals looking to build their careers.
- beBee – A collaborative platform made for professionals to help them market themselves to clients, vendors, employers, and the media.
- Blind – Another social networking site for professionals with more than 3.5 million users currently.
- Behance – Great platform for headhunting creative workforce.
- Viadeo – Professional social networking site popular in Europe.
- Xing – European-focused career-oriented platform.
- Elixio – Exclusive platform for business executives and jet-set elite. You can only access it with an invite, so you should use it wisely if you have gotten one.
- The Dots – Professional networking platform for people in the creative fields.
- Faces – Community for women interested in digital media and arts.
- Ello – Platform built for artists.
- Clubhouse – New social media platform that gravitates around audio discussions.
- Medium – Content publishing platform fueled by UGC.
- Academia – Platform for academics and researchers to share their works.
- Labroots – Scientific, social networking site.
- Portfolium – Social network that helps students to connect with businesses and employers.
- Discord – One of the most popular social platforms right now. During the Covid-19, the number of Discord users multiplied twice, and Discord became home for hundreds of thousands of different users.
- Quora – A place to share and gain knowledge with 300 million monthly users. It is very easy to find knowledgeable and talented people on Quora.
- Reddit – News aggregator with 1.3 billion monthly users. Popular amongst developers, finance and econ specialist, and all the other groups of people.
- Upstream – Some call it a LinkedIn alternative; it’s a mobile-first professional networking site for business people.
- Slack – Slack groups are golden, and many marketing professionals, developers, and other tech industry people get together.
- GovLoop – Network for people in and around the government.
- Twitch – Live-streaming platform used mainly by gamers.
- Tumblr – Microblogging platform used by many different groups of people. If you need creatives or sociologists and psychologists, you can find them there.
- TikTok – A massive video-sharing platform with tremendous user engagement. If your target audience is most likely to be on TikTok, you should also check Triller and Likee, their growing competitors.
- YouTube – World’s largest video sharing site. Great for establishing online presence and reputation, showcasing your corporate culture and employee lifestyle.
- GoodReads – Niche social network for bookworms. Allows you to find good book theorists, editors, and aspiring writers.
- WattPad – Platform aimed at professional and amateur writers, filled with undiscovered talent.
- Inspire – Healthcare social network.
- SoundCloud – Music sharing platform.
- italki – Social media platform that connects language educators with learners.
- Tribe – Great platform for discussing brands and products.
- MeWe – called “the next-gen social network,” this platform is similar to Facebook but with no user tracking, ads, and a significant accent on privacy.
- BaiduTieba – Popular in China, a social forum network that allows you to create social network groups around desired search terms.
- SinaWeibo – Very popular Chinese microblogging platform, having a mix of Twitter’s and Facebook’s features.
- Renren – The largest social networking site in China.
- Snapchat – Image and video social media platform.
- Vkontakte – This is a Russian platform very similar to Facebook.
- Pinterest – Visual saving and bookmarking platform.
- Taringa – The most prominent social platform in Latin America.
- DeviantArt – Great community for art lovers and creators.
- WT Social – Social media created by the founders of Wikipedia, positioned as a non-toxic alternative to Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, here we are to discuss the best social media recruitment strategies in 2021 that you can start using right now.
The strategies we will talk about are:
- Talent haunting on social media
- Building your online reputation
- Creating unique content
- Building a community
- Employee advocacy
- Use of hashtags
- Paid social media campaigns
This is a big one. If you have skimmed over the list of 40+ social media networks above, you have probably noticed that there are many of them where you can lurk for talent.
Most recruiters do this on LinkedIn; however, not checking on other platforms can leave you biased and missing some incredible talent.
Here’s an example of how you can do headhunting for a graphic designer online:
- Check Behance in search of great design ideas that match the style and vibe of what you need.
- Chack The Dots, Ello, and Faces too.
- If you find a profile that matches your expectations, try to find the creator on LinkedIn.
- Make sure to enter all the possible candidates in your ATS.
- Reach out to them and keep track of the progress of the conversations.
Another great thing to do when headhunting is to join LinkedIn groups relevant to your target industry and niche. There are a plethora of LinkedIn groups filled with amazingly talented potential candidates.
In these sorts of groups, just like in Slack groups too, you can quickly identify the top talent and influencers and reach out to them.
Now, you need to have a strong presence on social media for talent haunting previously mentioned to work. Again, this is something your marketing team is responsible for. However, if the marketing team wasn’t doing it right or didn’t build any online presence yet, now is the time to do so.
Ensure to present the importance of social media and online presence to your company and marketing team and address the issues adequately. If, for any reason, you don’t have a marketing team, then you can do it yourself too.
First, start small. Make sure to create company profiles on major social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or YouTube. You don’t necessarily need to be present on all of them. Just choose the ones that are the most suitable for your industry.
Then create a content strategy and stick to it. Finally, try to publish relevant and valuable content.
Take time to form quality and interesting content on each social media website. Each content plan will be different, depending on the site. Make sure your objectives are met with each plan, and also attractive to potential candidates.
Offer unique and interesting company insights, showcase the culture that is followed within a company, and share exclusive information that is information that can’t be found anywhere else.
This can be done by creating content that targets desired job applicants. To make this happen, you should consider:
- Creating content that showcases employees and their daily activities.
- Make sure to encourage employees to share their stories, progress, and insights on their personal social media profiles.
- Share company achievements.
- Try to humanize your brand and company through interesting and funny content, as Ryanair does on TikTok.
Be creative and experiment with formats. You can share:
- How to guides
- Blog posts
However, keep in mind the importance of having well designed and updated career pages since you will be redirecting traffic from social media there:
- Creating distinct sections for careers at different levels.
- Dedicating a section offering career-related advice to prospective job applicants, addressing their career issues, and giving them career inspiration.
- Building a global careers page along with unique career pages for each country in case the company has multiple international offices.
Make employees active on social media. Inspire them to talk about their achievements at work and what they like about the company.
This way, you can increase your reach. Every time there is a job opening, ask them to reshare it and forward it to others. Word of mouth and recommendations are the best marketing tactics that are the hardest to earn.
Every company should understand that their employees are their brand ambassadors, and their online posts, especially on professional networks like LinkedIn, are representing the whole organization they work for.
Keep potential candidates engaged through an online community. Create a space for people in which they can share their findings and seek out advice. Click Funnels does it very well.
Make sure to use these types of communities that revolve around your products and services or target niche because there might be a handful of talented passive candidates waiting to be motivated for a job.
These communities are great because they allow you to start a conversation with people and keep them engaged. Keep in mind that this is not a place to spam them with content but to inspire them to talk and start dialogs with each other.
Wherever you post your content, make sure to use suitable hashtags. Loads of people are searching by hashtags, even on TikTok, and here is the proof:
The same goes for Instagram and other platforms.
Now, this is where you need to work closely with your marketing team or someone who is experienced in running social media ads.
Advertising is great because it allows you to target people precisely and choose who your ad shows to based on the parameters you define.
For example, you can target users that have already viewed your specific job opening but didn’t apply, or you can be broader and target everyone that has interacted with your brand in the last 30 days.
Which strategy you choose depends on the stage you are at, whether you are building awareness for the job opening or trying to close the deal and make potential candidates apply.
Social media recruitment strategies: Deloitte Case Study – The Forerunner of Social Recruiting
The Netherlands is one of the countries that has maximum Twitter and LinkedIn penetration.
Deloitte in the Netherlands had a hiring target of 1,000 people in 2010/ 2011. However, the company had to face a severe problem as it was almost impossible to find talent during the recession.
As a result, their recruitment efforts saw a significant shift towards internet marketing, content management, and building a career site.
A fantastic part of their strategy was the integration of their career site with social media.
The social media profiles were created by the company’s recruitment staff on different social networks. It was done to connect with potential employees by creating communities on these social platforms.
Lennart Sloof, manager of Online Employer Marketing at Deloitte, reveals how the whole idea of creating communities revolved around one major objective. It was to make a strong connection with users to develop a liking for their organization and felt like becoming an indispensable part of it.
The company’s efforts were directed towards leveraging social media activities and engaging with internal employees and social media users by sharing knowledge and interesting insights. As a result, the company generated lots of buzz.
They started engaging a lot on social media channels by strategizing their move in a manner as given below:
They used Twitter (@WerkbijDeloitte) for posting jobs, events, and notifications about new posts on their blog.
The primary objective of their Facebook page was to focus on potential candidates by engaging them and making contact with them. They would do this by sharing knowledge, the latest trends in the market, and updates about their company.
LinkedIn acted as their great resource for recruiting talent. Besides posting vacancies in their group on this platform, the recruiters could easily search for potential candidates by browsing the network and the profiles of candidates.
They used YouTube extensively for communication of their employee testimonials.
After the implementation of extensive social media activities, the next crucial step was to measure the results of their efforts. With the help of Google Analytics, it was measured that 234% more traffic came from social media than from other sources.
Furthermore, their investment in job boards and use of recruitment agencies dropped significantly. Nevertheless, they were successfully able to hire 1,000 new candidates in 2011.
There are various recruiting tools out on the market, especially those specialized in social recruiting. However, if you rely on multiple ways of recruiting and reaching out to your ideal candidates, you should opt for a more specialized ATS.
Recruiteze is an ATS that can:
- Give you an insight into where your candidates are coming from or the source of hire. That way, you will know if your social recruiting is working and which channels perform the best.
- Lower the costs of hire.
- Help you increase your retention rates.
- Help you personalize your emails.
- Allow you to mass email.
- Help you create a more diverse workspace thanks to the blind hiring options.
- Maintain your talent pipeline.
- Improve candidate experience and engagement.
- Save you time, and many more.
With our online recruitment software, you can easily manage your job requisitions, applications, notes, communication, and scheduling. Recruiteze offers the most intuitive and straightforward interface to manage your hiring process.
It is primarily built for small to medium-sized businesses that do not want to pay through the nose for an efficient online ATS. All you need to start using Recruiteze is an internet connection.
If you’re already using a small business applicant tracking system, then iReformat makes for the perfect addition. iReformat allows you to format dozens of resumes in just a few seconds, freeing you time to devote your attention and energy to what is truly meaningful.