Social Recruiting 101: 5 Steps to Get You Started Today

Introduction

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Social recruiting has gone from newfangled trend to normal activity, with 93% of recruiters currently using or planning to use social networks as part of their recruiting efforts.1

But what if you’re one of the 7% who doesn’t have it on your radar? Or you’re one of the ones with plans to get started—but you have no real idea how?

This eBook is for you. We’ve curated a list of five fundamental steps any recruiter can take to make the foray into the world of social media faster and easier—including where to start, who to follow, how and when to post, and what to do once you’ve found strong candidates.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be headed on a path to social recruiting savvy and success.

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Why social recruiting matters

Before you jump into social recruiting, you should have a good idea of what you stand to gain from the effort. This will shape how you function online, what you choose to share with your followers, and how you measure your success.

Did you know? 33% of recruiters don’t spend a thing on social recruiting, and 41% spend between $1-999/month
Source: Jobvite, 2014 Social Recruiting Survey

Here are some of the top benefits you can achieve:

  • Social recruiting doesn’t just help you find talent—it helps you find better talent. According to a recent survey, 73% of recruiters have made successful hires through social media2 and 59% of recruiters think candidates found through social networks are of the “highest quality.”3 That’s because social networks allow you to quickly identify and connect with people who already share an interest in your company and who possess the skills you seek
  • Social recruiting saves you money. You already know that job boards and agencies drain the budget fast. Posting and sharing job descriptions on many social media networks, however, is completely free. Plus, given the viral power of social media, your reach extends exponentially without costing anything extra.
  • Social recruiting helps you build and sustain a strong employment brand. Your employment brand is critical to your ability to attract and retain star performers. And today, nothing provides a clearer snapshot of who you are and what you stand for than social media. The messages you send through these online networks are incredibly effective at engaging even passive candidates, so you can become more recognizable as
    a viable employer worth working for, with meaningful values.

Five fundamentals to get you started

#1: GET CONNECTED WHERE IT COUNTS

A natural first question when planning your social recruiting strategy is, “Which networks should I be on?”

Fortunately, the data speaks pretty clearly here in favor of three major social outlets: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.4 Each one has its own merits, however, so it’s important to know what to expect from your involvement. Here’s a quick to-do checklist.

Facebook
With over 1.4 billion users, Facebook is an absolute must for staying connected today. Job seekers—and even passive candidates—look to Facebook constantly to see what their friends and connections are doing. They’re also researching companies. In fact, 67% of active job seekers are using Facebook in their job search (more than any other social network).5 Recruiters, therefore, need to respond to their quest for data by providing regular updates about company culture, activity, and job openings.

Twitter
Twitter is a unique social beast in that it restricts users from posting lengthy updates. Communications are known as “tweets,” and they must be no longer than 140 characters. Advantages to Twitter include its ease of use and the speed at which people can spot items of interest—predominantly through the use of hashtags (#) coupled with relevant terms. Next to Facebook, Twitter is the most common network used by active job seekers, which makes it an ideal location for recruiters to keep their employment brand visible and post job openings.6

  • TO DO: Set up a company career account. Again, this should be separate from your company’s regular Twitter account—so instead of being @AcmeBricks, you would be @AcmeBricksCareers. This allows people to follow you specifically because of their interest in your job availabilities and work culture, while ensuring that your company’s non-career-related news isn’t engulfed by job listings.
  • TO DO: Get comfortable with some hashtags. Assuming you know what makes your company stand out as a great place to work, and you know what candidates are looking for in a good employer, start brainstorming on some unique hashtags that will snag the attention of top talent.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the most used social network by recruiters, as it’s focused on building professional and employment connections. Unlike the other social networks, LinkedIn wants you to be yourself, the recruiter, on your own user profile. User profiles are like living, dynamic resumes, where job seekers (both active and passive) promote their qualifications—and recruiters highlight both their own skills and the kind of candidates they’re looking to hire.

At the same time, businesses also need a LinkedIn Company Page. This serves several purposes. First, the people who work for you can connect to your company page on their profiles to validate their employment. Second, anyone interested in your company can follow your page to stay current on your work culture and job openings. According to LinkedIn, 71% of your page’s followers are interested in working for your company—so this is an ideal place for you to wield industry influence on the talent you seek.

  • TO DO: Create your user profile. This is often a candidate’s first interaction with your company on LinkedIn, so it needs to be eye-catching and inspirational. Remember, this profile is about you—what you’ve accomplished, certifications you’ve earned, and what kind of team you’re trying to help assemble.
  • TO DO: Create your LinkedIn Company Page. Unlike your personal profile, your Company Page should be branded to your company’s unique look and should act as a hub for communicating all relevant news, job listings, calls for referrals, and thought leadership pieces. All of these items are important to your employment brand.

#2: FOLLOW AND BE FOLLOWED

You’ve got your accounts set up on the Big 3. Now it’s time to connect—after all, that’s what social networks are all about. You want candidates to connect with you, and you also have to connect with others. But where do you start?

Connect with your contacts
All of the Big 3 networks make importing your email contacts extremely easy. Basically, you authorize the network to connect to your email contact database, and it scours your contacts’ email addresses to look for matching social profiles. You can then manually check which contacts you want to connect with or follow. (There are also auto-connect functions on most networks, but be careful, as invitation requests can sometimes go to literally everyone who has ever sent you email.) Generally speaking, the more you follow or connect with people, the more people will follow you or connect with you in return.

Find the biggest influencers in your industry—and follow them
“Influencer” is the term given to people or companies that have become recognized as relevant experts on a certain industry or topic. This status, while not anything set in stone, is typically given to those who post frequently, interact with their followers (and they have a lot!), and provide current and influential insight on important subjects. Obviously, you want to be ranked up there with these folks, and one of the best ways to do that is to stay aware of what they’re talking about, how they feel about certain issues, and how they present their own employment brands. Think of this as a cross between scouting the competition and forging alliances.

  • LinkedIn makes discovering influencers easy, thanks to LinkedIn Pulse.
    Click here for information.
  • Twitter is also pretty straightforward when it comes to following top accounts. Suggestions for who to follow often appear in a right sidebar. You can also search trending topics and users with hashtags. And there are numerous online tools available to help you find influential people. Here’s one useful list.

Don’t forget your employees
When you’re looking for people to connect with, be sure you get your existing employees to follow you! We’ll touch more on this later, but as you already know, employee referrals are gold to recruiters. And the point of social networking is to exponentially build your following, so you can extend the reach of your recruiting efforts. When you connect with your employees, you gain the power of all of their connections in return.

#3: PLAN A SOCIAL MEDIA EDITORIAL CALENDAR

Connections, while insanely valuable on social media, are pretty useless if you have nothing to say to them. This is where the matter of posting comes into play. But what do you post? Where? And when?

Plan ahead
Just like magazines craft editorial calendars months in advance to determine what their next issues will cover, you should also devise an editorial strategy for what you want to share with your social connections, and when you plan to share it.

Obviously, you’ll have some posts that will be regular and more frequent—such as job listings. Other types of posts should be targeted to generate interest and engage your following. These will likely include things like links to blog posts related to your workplace culture, links to interesting industry news, or anything that promotes the leadership of your company within its space. You’ll want to be careful that you don’t post too frequently, or you risk saturating the attention span of your connections. At the same time, don’t think you have to be completely dry and on-topic at all times. Because one of your primary goals is to showcase your employment brand and provide a glimpse of what life is like at your company, use visuals—photos, videos, memes, etc.—on occasion to keep people interacting with you. These are often the types of posts that get shared most frequently.

Automate to make things easy
If you’re hoping to find a magic guide that outlines exactly how often you should post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, we’re sorry to disappoint. There is no definitive answer. Most experts agree, though, that there’s a middle ground between posting too often and not often enough—and the key to finding that middle ground simply comes with time, trial, and tracking.

Fortunately, there are a number of automation tools that can make your life easier when it comes to social recruiting—so you shouldn’t have to feel overwhelmed with the responsibility and upkeep. Look for technology solutions to help you:

  • Schedule automated posting of job listings to all your major social network accounts
  • Provide metrics of your engagement—so you know which types of posts and which networks are delivering the greatest value
  • Understand which types of posts help you convert prospects to applicants most effectively

#4: KNOW WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU FIND STRONG CANDIDATES

You’re joining the social recruiting momentum because you’re trying to get the greatest talent out there to apply at your company. So let’s say you succeed, and your resume pile suddenly skyrockets. What do you do now?

Get them into the funnel
Recruiters have a funnel the way marketers and sales people have funnels. At the top are your initial leads, and as they work their way through the funnel, you eventually emerge with your top candidates. The problem many companies have with social recruiting, however, is figuring out how to eliminate the disconnect between the “advertising” (i.e., social media) and the funnel itself. You need a plan for seamlessly directing your engaged and interested followers into the application and hiring process, where you can then connect with them through other campaigns and keep them in your talent pipeline.

#themobilestruggleisreal
If you think the disconnect exists only with getting social followers into your recruiting funnel, think again. Much of social media interaction occurs on smart phones and tablets today. In fact, 43% of job seekers are out there on mobile devices right now looking for jobs…but 59% of recruiters don’t have mobile career sites ready to accept them. Do you?
Source: Jobvite, 2014 Social Recruiting Survey

Technology
can help Once again, tech solutions are available to help you bridge the divide.

  • If you have a candidate relationship management tool already in use, such as Jobvite Engage, you want to be able to feed your social data into the system automatically. The Jobvite Platform is designed to make this connectivity easy, so you can communicate with your talent pool
    and ultimately feed applicants into any major Applicant Tracking System.
  • You also want to ensure a smooth transition between social network interactions on mobile devices and your application process. Look for tools that can help you create compelling mobile career sites and that still feed into your recruiting systems.

#5: ENLIST THE HELP OF YOUR WORKFORCE

You’re on social networks and connecting—but it never hurts to have more people on your side. So what can you do to mesh social recruiting and the power of your workforce? After all, they’re the most available and effective team of evangelists you have.

Social Recruiting 101: 5 Steps to Get You Started Today

Encourage referrals
The beauty of social recruiting, as we stated before, is its ability to exponentially connect you to the networks of all your other connections. And your employees happen to be people that you have already vetted and whose friends are more likely to be of similar personality, work ethic, and skill level. It’s not surprising, therefore, that employee referrals are the top source of all new hires.7 Be sure you encourage your company’s employees to consistently like and share what you post, and integrate incentives for this into your existing employee referral program, so it becomes a win-win scenario for everyone.

Again…get the right tools
The success of any employee referral program often hinges on its ability to make the process simple for people. No one will go out of their way time and again to help you in your recruiting endeavor if you ask for more than just a mindless click—and social media makes it ridiculously easy if you have the right way to track your top referrers. Look for tools that help you measure the success of your referral program and tie prospects and applicants back to their social network sources—and the employees who brought them to you.

Next steps

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Hopefully, these steps outlined for you a relatively simple path to getting started with your social recruiting efforts. As you progress, there are more ways you can use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—such as vetting your candidates, checking references, and seeing samples of past work. And there are other networks that have proven to be up-and-comers in the game, including Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Snapchat. But it’s okay to take it slowly at first. Your goal right now should be to establish a presence and get the hang of posting, responding, and following.

Now is also a good time to investigate the tools and technology available that will facilitate your social recruiting as you move forward. Jobvite can help. Our comprehensive recruiting platform makes it easy to integrate your social recruiting tactics into your overall recruiting strategy, so you can better manage and nurture relationships, create and report on communication campaigns, and increase employee referrals. And our user-friendly interface makes navigating the technology both intuitive and time-saving.

With these five steps and the help of the right technology, you can become a winning social recruiter—so why not get started today? Visit www.jobvite.com for information on a demo or free trial.

 

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References

  1. www.jobvite.com/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf »
  2. www.mediabistro.com »
  3. www.web.jobvite.com »
  4. www.jobvite.com/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf »
  5. www.jobvite.com/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf »
  6. www.jobvite.com/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf »
  7. www.jobvite.com/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf »