Jobvite Blog: Today’s Recruiting Trends

5 Signs You’re Doing Social Recruiting Wrong

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There’s something fascinating about talking to recruiters regarding their experiences with social recruiting. If you conduct dozens of social media consultations each month, you tend to start encountering a lot of the same shortcomings and challenges. So to help you self-diagnose why you’re not getting the results you need from social media, here are 5 signs you’re doing social recruiting wrong. Which one do you relate to most?

1. You’re not having fun.

Yes you read that right, you should be having fun! People buy from other people they like and trust – and candidates are no different. They will put themselves forward for roles being handled by companies and recruiters they like and trust. They will pay more attention to the social feeds of those they’ve built a relationship with. So one key indicator you’re making progress with your social recruiting strategy is seeing more and more candidates interacting with you on social media. If you aren’t striking up positive new relationships each day – and feeling good about these interactions – then the chances are you’ve got the balance in your activities wrong.

2. You feel like you are selling rather than helping.

Take a look through your social media streams and ask yourself a key question… Are the majority of your posts helpful and inspiring, or are they simply promoting your latest vacancies? The best results come from social media when you’re able to help people to further their careers and gently point them in the direction of your openings; results from pumping out a barrage of purely promotional messages is far more hit and miss.

3. You prioritize quantity over quality.

One telltale sign you’re going to struggle to recruit on social media is your use of LinkedIn. When you find candidates you’d like to approach for your open vacancies, do you take time to find a point of connection with each of them? Do your InMails read as though they were crafted for that one candidate, or do they read like they’ve been copied and pasted to hundreds of others? Speak to recruiters who are succeeding on LinkedIn and you’re likely to discover that they take time to learn about each candidate they approach. They try to extract reasons the person would warm to them, reasons the role is particularly relevant to them, elements of their past that particularly interest the recruiter. This extra effort makes the candidate feel valued… and that greatly increases the response rates generated when applied across a month’s worth of candidate approaches.

4. You’re not retargeting.

Once a candidate has demonstrated some interest in your company, the key is to then remain on their radar until the point in time when i) they are ready to move and ii) you have a role that is suitable for them to move into. Retailers have been using this tactic for over a decade, but in recruiting it’s not nearly as extensively used. The principle is simple. Track people who have visited your careers pages. Then pay to show those same people regular messages in their social media streams. Similarly extract the email addresses of people who’ve shown an interest in your company previously. Then pay to show those same people regular messages in their social media streams.

The reason for retargeting these candidates is simple. These people are the ones you’ll get greatest results from nurturing. They have already shown an interest in your company as an employer. Presented with another opportunity to explore career openings with you, they are likely to either do so themselves… or to share the opportunity with their network and therefore expand your reach further in your target market segment. Marketing to candidates who already like your business yields far greater results than marketing to candidates cold – and so is an area where a portion of your advertising spend should always be invested.

5. You struggle to find time for social recruiting.

Social recruiting differs from other recruiting activities. If we talk about advertising on Google or posting vacancies on job boards, the results are near-instantaneous – and can be clearly traced back to individual activities. Social recruiting breaks this mold. The longer you’ve been active on social media, the more your results accelerate. The more consistent you are on social media, the more your payback grows. As an activity, social recruiting doesn’t lend itself to a recruiter who can only sporadically devote time to it. Instead, it’s something you have to make time to consistently deliver on week in, week out. If your organization can’t allow you to commit that time, it may be that you have to reflect on whether social recruiting is something that you can incorporate as part of your recruiting mix at all. Dipping your toes in the water doesn’t work!

Concluding remarks

What I’m hopefully getting across here is that successful social recruiters tend to adapt what works well in other facets of business life to their own activities on social media. Getting results from your social recruiting efforts isn’t rocket science, but at the same time you have to be constantly learning and adapting to achieve long term success, rather than always be looking for the quick win. All the best with generating great results from social media over this coming year and if you’re facing any particular challenges in your organization feel free to reach out to me.

About the Author

Tony Restell is the Founder of and helps candidates and recruiters leverage social media. You can find Tony on Twitter; or join him on one of his forthcoming webinars where he’ll walk you step by step through the processes he uses to get results for recruiting teams on social media.


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