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4 Insights to Jump-Start Your Social Media Recruitment Strategy

social media recruitment strategy smallANDREA TARRELL
HNI Marketing Director

In the world of human resources, recruiting is a form of marketing — marketing of the opportunities to work for your firm. Your employer brand tells job seekers what it feels like to be on your team. Like it or not, your company expresses its value to would-be team members through the hiring process, and your social media recruitment strategy is a part of how this message gets out.

So what message are you sending via social media? That was the topic of discussion at our recent webinar, "Leveraging Social Media to Make Employees Your Best Recruiters." Our guest speaker, George Blomgren, culture strategy director at The Good Jobs, a Milwaukee-based firm that helps organizations market their culture to job seekers, laid out the good, bad, and ugly of social media recruitment strategy and hiring.

Here are four key takeaways from the webinar:

1.) Size Matters When it Comes to Social Networks

Obviously quality candidates matter. But when it comes to social media, the quantity of candidates (i.e., your followers, friends, connections, etc.) can't be oversold. After all, if you don't have followers in Twitter, you're tweeting job openings to no one

Invest your time in building big social networks on whatever platforms are popular with the talent you're seeing.  For example, keep in mind that Facebook has more active users than LinkedIn, and fewer blue collar workers use LinkedIn. If you're looking for retail specialists, nurses, truck drivers, etc., they're more likely on Facebook than on LinkedIn. If you're unsure what platforms are the best for your recruiting needs, ask your current employees what they use most frequently!

2.) Make Employee Referrals Easy

Employee referrals can be a gold mine for applicant flow. If you don't have a referral program, we'd recommend you launch one. If you already do, try something new to refresh it and remind employees of the benefits.  

Make sure it's easy to access a list of all active openings, and send this information in a weekly email to employees. It can be helpful to write sample social media posts for all of your job listings. That way, your employees can post them to their personal networks with confidence they're saying the right thing.

Try incentivizing ALL referrals (not just those that result in a job offer) by using each referral as an entry for a monthly drawing. Tap into the power of human competition and show employees who "won" a referral bonus to spur action. 

3.) Train Your Employees on Social Media  Or Face the Consequences

Like it or not, your corporate identity on social media is impacted by what's on your employees' social profiles. Training employees on how to use social media effectively is critical both to mitigate any potentially damaging content and to empower them to leverage their networks by sharing what they love about your company.

An employee "endorsement" on social media can come in the form of liking or sharing your content or job opening. People tend to trust the content that their friends and colleagues are sharing (more so than the messages coming from a corporate account).

The permanent digital footprint can definitely be a downside of these platforms. Since you can't prevent employees from sharing what they want, training can make sure they're aware of the consequences. At least employees who receive social media training know that publicly ranting against the boss is bad for their employer's brand — and their own.

4.) Laser Focus Your Message on the WIIFM 

As an organization, you need to make sure you have a great story to tell, and you must tell it really well. Your career page should express to job seekers your employer value proposition (on most careers pages I've seen, this is nowhere to be found).

Candidates want answers to these top of mind questions: Why would I want to work here? What's in it for me? (WIIFM) Articulate your culture to become a talent magnet. And bonus points to for having an "available jobs" button on your homepage this shows that talent acquisition is a priority for the organization. 

Social media recruitment strategy isn't a one-and-done gig. it requires commitment, a plan, and ongoing support. How have you leveraged social media in recruiting? How savvy are your employees? Please sound off in comments!

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