Do you use social media for recruitment marketing and hiring?
And now I’m talking about using it for the sorts of marketing and communication messages that help build awareness and drive traffic to your job post.
How to best use social media for recruitment marketing and hiring?
The best use of social media for your recruitment marketing and hiring depends totally on your recruitment and hiring goals. There is no one fits-every-scenario -solution. Mediocre approach in marketing and communications tends to deliver mediocre value, at best. We don’t want that, do we?
Let’s start by noting the difference between recruitment marketing and hiring. Just so that we are on a same page.
With recruitment marketing in this case, I refer to the marketing activities done within a single recruitment process. With hiring,, in this case and just to differentiate these two from each other, I refer to the overall hiring of a company.
it is probably easiest to comprehend the difference if we look at this from the perspective of the ideal outcomes:
- In a single recruitment process we are most concerned about building awareness of that particular vacancy and the schedule for that particular recruitment process.
- The success of your overall recruitment campaign will be measured in the number of quality applicants delivered to your selection process.
- The hiring goals and objectives of a business are a bit different. The time frame tends to be either a calendar year or a fiscal year. And we are not looking at an individual recruitment process, but the overall recruitment success of that business. And what more: how to improve and optimize your overall hiring success.
- We might be looking at the total expenditure of hiring vs. number of signed contracts.
- We should be evaluating your overall candidate experience as that has a direct impact on your reputation and can either cost you quality applicants or land you quality applicants.
- We are looking at time to hire. The company is likely to lose money if it takes a long time to hire.
So the question is: what are your goals and objectives for recruitment and hiring, and how should recruitment marketing help you to reach those goals?
This is marketing and communications
It is so common to get confused between the actual act of selecting applicants to candidates and candidates to new hires with marketing and communication.
Just to clarify, because it is important to always be crystal clear.
Social media for recruitment marketing boils down to these three + one goals:
(1) Growing awareness for current and very-near-future recruitment needs in order to get applications.
(2) Growing awareness what makes an ideal candidate and employee for your business in order to improve the quality of your applicants.
(3) Using marketing and communication to exceed the expectations of potential applicants in order to improve candidate experiences and get the applicants spread a good word of mouth about your business.
(+1) Expanding your talent audience for the long haul if you are not practicing modern employer branding.
“Posting anything is not a good strategy. It’s a really lousy strategy and drives people away.”
Most companies practice the strategy of random words and random acts of talent marketing. While some may think there’s no harm to it, if it doesn’t help, there is. There is harm in this!
This is to do with so many aspects, but I’m going to pick two major ones:
(1) Bad messages on social media kill the reach of your social media profile. And not only the organic, as in the free reach. Bad messages kill also your paid social media marketing. You will be paying a lot more than others for less reach and less results.
(2) Random messages are simply confusing to your audiences. When you consistently appear with a heavy fog in between your business and your audiences, your audiences will go away. Don’t fool yourself into believing anything else. Just pay attention to your own attention on social media for a while. You’ll soon discover how true this is.
The best use of social media for recruitment marketing
Make sure you have the minimum content available when the marketing needs to start
The minimum content you need is:
- A job post that does it’s work, preferably behind a direct URL-link.
- A few images that communicate who should pay attention and what your post or advert is about.
- A few variations of the short-form-copy written on the actual post or the advert.
Unfortunately most job posts I have seen over the course of my career are less than mediocre. So, you can do a LOT by making sure your job post really does the work it is meant to do. A great job post requires the writer to be a bit of an investigator and dig out the what, why, who and how from the hiring managers. My experience is, most hiring managers need a lot of support in profiling the hiring need. Make sure you help them.
Let’s look back to your recruitment goals and objectives. What is the key challenge recruitment marketing needs to solve?
- Is it to get applicants in general? In this case your business has a major employer awareness problem.
- Is it to improve the quality of your applicants? In this case your ideal employee profile needs to be clarified and your job post needs to be re-written.
- Is it to improve your candidate experiences? In that case, you need to implement recruitment process related as well as candidate specific communication flow with two primary objectives. The first is helping your candidates to succeed in your recruitment process. The second one is keeping your applicants warm and engaged with your process, not some other company’s process.
Who are your target audiences?
The best use of social media is to use social media the people you attempt to reach are actually actively using. Further more, using that specific social media exactly the way the people you are trying to woo over are expecting to experience. Nothing is worse than standing out from a crowd because you are taking all the wrong actions and you make the people grinch.
How much time do you have?
Unfortunately, there is a trend with too short application periods for recruitment processes.
Do you know what happens when the window for getting your word across closes in front of your face? Your nose will get hurt. And your audience will be very small.
On social media, you must market your vacancies at least for 3-4 weeks. Preferably even longer. Otherwise, you will never get the best results for your money.
I understand it is often not you who gets to decide the time frame. That’s why I share these tips with you:
- If the actual application period is short, pre-market. You can do a lot on social media talking about the up-coming recruitment process, how you hire, what kinds of opportunities your business offers how you hire and so on. In other words, start developing your employer awareness.
- If your hands are tied from employer branding, just pre-market the upcoming role. Speak to those of your employees already working in that specific role or similar roles or for the similar outcome, interview them about what personal value working at your company has given them, take a photo with your mobile phone and create a simple social media post from that. Post about your thoughts about recruiting, applying for a job with your company, about the market and the business etc.
- Start following and connecting with professionals within your upcoming talent segment in order to get them to pay attention to your and your company’s name. I call this getting on their radar. Have you ever thought about all of a sudden there is a lot of talk about some topic or some company? Well, often times there is not that much more than about any other. It’s just that the company or the topic has been brought to your attention recently and you start noticing it more and more.
If you cannot do anything like this, and you have only a short time frame to advertise the role, then you advertise the role on social media. But you need a bigger campaign budget, because due to the short time frame, for example Facebook and Instagram are unable to deliver you the best outcome for the best price. And then, you just need to accept the outcome of your recruitment marketing is not going to be the best possible. This time.
Then there is always the next time.
In this episode of Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast, I give my two cents (and maybe a bit more) on how to best use social media for recruitment marketing purposes.
Episode-length: 45:29 min
In this episode:
💎 Emphasizing always and forever the importance of measurable goals and objectives in your talent marketing.
💎 The three things that signify the success of your recruitment marketing on social media.
💎 A few tips for using social media for recruitment marketing purposes.
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