According to survey findings published by SHRM in 2016, 84% of organizations are using social media recruitment as part of their strategy to recruit passive job candidates, increase employer brand and recognition, and target job candidates with specific skill sets. These organizations are posting job advertisements, contacting potential candidates, and encouraging employee referrals, all of which builds a recruitment strategy that attracts the best mix of candidates.

However, not all social media recruiting strategies are created equal. It’s not just about posting in and of itself, but what type of content you’re posting and how you’re doing it. Below are ten social media recruiting strategies that you can bet on.  

1. Share employer brand content

Your company is so much more than just a conglomeration of jobs—it’s culture, vision, and, most importantly, people. In order to grab the attention of top talent you want to tell your brand’s story. This requires showcasing the entire package of who you are, from company culture and core values to team traditions and benefits. The more you reveal about your company on social media, the more you will attract job seekers who are the right cultural fit. 

If you’re not sure what assets you have to start, check in with your marketing team to see what they have. Whatever content you put out there, you want it to grab the attention of your ideal candidate. Remember, if you don’t find your story interesting, no one else will either. 

2. Create candidate personas

To effectively recruit, you need to be speaking to the right people. Tailoring your strategy to the right talent pool may take a bit of effort, but it’s well worth your time. By establishing candidate personas for the roles you are looking to fill, you can have a more targeted approach on social media and be able to speak directly to your ideal candidate. As defined by Buffer, “A persona should have enough psychological detail to allow you to conveniently step over to the persona’s view and see your products and services from her perspective.”

There are several ways to go about your personas research. One way—and the most common—is to conduct employee surveys and interviews to gain insight on what makes a successful employee at your company. Focus on their professional and personal goals, values, interests, and pain points. The more specific information you can get from your employees, the more real and effective your personas will be. You can also utilize historical HR data like hiring success, employee performance, development, and turnover to build an even more accurate persona. Once you have a better idea of the necessary skillsets to succeed at your company, you can then source for individuals with these specific qualities.

3. Engage with passive candidates

Today, 70% of the workforce are passive candidates. These individuals are typically rich with experience and, though they may not be actively looking, are open to new and exciting opportunities that will enhance their careers. Connecting with passive candidates on social media allows you to communicate with this highly sought after demographic on a more personal level. It also offers you the opportunity to get an authentic look at their career goals and needs. You can then properly provide content that resonates with them and keeps them interested for the future. The key here is not to rush the relationship. Once trust is built, it will be much easier to suggest a job opening that is aligned with the candidate’s professional and personal mission and values. 

4. Personalize communications efforts

Social media presents an unique opportunity to connect with specific audiences on a more individual level. One way to indicate your interest is to engage with other users’ posts. Whether it’s sharing someone’s post or leaving a comment, interacting with your audience in this way shows that you are a receptive member of their community. 

Another way to build meaningful connections with potential candidates is to initiate conversation with a direct message (DM). Just be sure not to lead with a hard sell in your note and keep it personal. Steer clear from using a generic template, but make your message unique to the user by referencing something of interest (this is where your candidate personas will come in handy). Again, the goal is to forge a real relationship with your prospect and not come off spammy—something that modern social media users are especially wary of.

5. Leverage employee advocates

If your company has a strong employer brand, your best recruiting partners are your employees. After all, they most likely have a larger network than you do and candidates are more willing to trust their peers than a corporate brand. Leverage the power of your staff by having them share your employer branding content and job posts on their personal social media platforms. Empowering them to be active participants in your hiring strategy not only lessens your workload, but decreases total hiring cost as well. Just make sure your employees are aware of your corporate social media policy so they know what they can or cannot broadcast on the platform.You can also set up an employee referral program and incentivize current employees with rewards when they refer qualified friends and family. This can be anything from extra vacation days, free lunches, or cash. All of these gifts are small change compared to the value of a referral hire.

6. Use video

One of the most effective trends in social media is video. In a new video marketing survey by Wyzowl, 68% of people prefer video over text-based articles, infographics, presentations, and ebooks. This opens up a world of possibilities for social media recruiting. Incorporating video in your strategy can give prospective candidates the authentic view of your organization that they expect.

There are many ways you can get creative with video. Livestream an event from your office or film employee testimonials so viewers can get a personal look at your company and culture. However you decide to use video, try to focus on ways that showcase the day-to-day life at your company.

7. Harness the hashtag

Everyone knows the power behind hashtags, but how do you stand out from the crowd? As with most things, it starts with research. Before choosing a single hashtag (or two or three), conduct a quick search on its relevance, who its followers are, and the discussions linked to it. After all, you don’t want to be part of a conversation that doesn’t match up with your company values. This minute step takes all of two minutes, but the payoff lasts much longer. 

Another way to take advantage of hashtags is to create a custom company tag that’s consistent across all of your platforms. A special business hashtag can include your company name, an unique slogan, or a catchy phrase—anything that further promotes your employer brand. Users can easily talk about you and your business, and you can easily find the conversation and jump in. 

8. Measure performance

Finally, you won’t know what employment recruiting strategies are working unless you measure their performance. Clearly define what social media metrics you plan on tracking such as engagement, reach, leads, and conversions. Being data-driven in your social recruiting tactics will help you identify what’s working and set benchmarks for the future. On the flip side, you can also better detect what isn’t working when you’re measuring performance, which gives you an opportunity for optimization that you may not have had otherwise. 

Relying on numbers may not come naturally to recruiters, but this is the language that stakeholders speak. If you can back the success of your social recruiting program with data, executive leaders will be more inclined to support your efforts moving forward.

Having winning social media recruiting strategies saves HR professionals time and money. These strategies ensure that you are doing social recruiting with these constraints in mind and doing it well.

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