Tim Sackett is a speaker, author, and one of the most trusted, down-to-earth voices in the recruiting industry. He’s a 20-year recruiting talent professional with experience both in corporate America and running his own recruiting firm as President at HRU Technical Resources – a $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm and RPO.
Tim was one of the early voices to use social media in recruiting. As we’ve gotten to the point where even TikTok is touted as the new tool to reach candidates, recruiters may be feeling overwhelmed by how many social channels are available and how to effectively market open positions through them.
I caught up with Tim before this year’s HR Tech Conference to get his take on social recruiting and share any tips he’s learned throughout the years.
1. Any strategies for getting candidates to respond on LinkedIn?
You. Have. To. Make. It. Personal! You cannot spam on LinkedIn messaging and get someone to respond! Do at least thirteen seconds of leg work to find out something about this person and use that in your outreach. Try and make a connection that is meaningful to them.
This takes more time, but it has exponential results in getting candidates to reply. Another idea is to share great content around a person’s profession as a post on LinkedIn and then tag them in it. They’ll see you paying attention to them and will probably be more likely to connect and interact with you.
2. How should recruiters use Twitter in their social recruiting strategy? Any best practices?
Twitter has never really taken off as a true recruiting tool for 99.99% of recruiters. But, many recruiters use it as a personal branding and social footprint tool. The reality is when a recruiter is trying to source a candidate, many times candidates are doing reverse searches on recruiters to find out who they are and what they are all about. So, you can use Twitter to give them some of what they are looking for. If you are active on Twitter and other platforms and present yourself in a positive and productive tone, potential candidates will feel comfortable having you represent their career interests, both for agency and corporate recruiters.
3. Besides LinkedIn, what social network do you use most for candidates and what has given you the best return on investment?
Social networks as recruiting tools have been historically poor investments. LinkedIn is the unicorn because we all got tricked into believing this was a professional network, when in reality it was a social network. By the way, I use LinkedIn every day – I love it, so it’s not a criticism of them! It’s the power of their brand.
Facebook is the other social network with the most promise because of how often it’s used. Of course, younger gens will say they don’t use Facebook, but the data doesn’t necessarily support that. It’s still a giant, highly-engaged social network that many recruiters use for local networks, especially around non-white collar candidates that you can’t find on LinkedIn.
TikTok is interesting because of the amount of time being spent on that platform is quickly becoming the most used social network everywhere. The issue with TikTok is it’s still hard to pull in specific pools of talent to market to.
4. Speaking of TikTok, do you have any more thoughts on using it to attract talent?
I personally haven’t used TikTok to recruit, but I’ve been following that space for the last two years. TikTok Resumes was in beta earlier this year and it’s interesting to see how GenZ and young Millennials like using this as a personal branding tool for themselves.
As an actual recruiting tool for organizations, I believe the key is finding employees who already are heavy TikTok users and see how you can work with them to showcase your employment brand through their eyes and creativity, without putting constraints of their content development. That is risky for many organizations, but it’s really the only way to get the best results.
5. Finding those employee brand ambassadors really helps with recruitment marketing. How can you use employee advocacy groups to help social recruiting?
Employee advocacy groups are the one thing that has actually worked the best when it comes to social recruiting. It’s basically using the networks and energy of a few highly engaged employees to recruit their networks and share your branding. The reality of employee referrals is the classic 80/20 rule. 80% of your referrals will come from the same 20% of employees. So, instead of lame employee referral bonus programs, build an employee advocacy group and fund that group to do cool stuff and keep them engaged.
You can read more from Tim online at timsackett.com or by listening to his weekly podcast, HR Famous, with fellow TA pros Kris Dunn and Jessica Lee. Ready to take your social recruiting to the next level? See how Jobvite’s social recruiting solutions can help you find top talent, faster, and request a demo.