All the social media recruitment questions you were too afraid to ask

The ultimate social media recruiting FAQs
social media recruitment questions too afraid to ask

If you’ve spent a little time on our site, you probably know that we’re CareerArc, and that we do social media recruitment. Which obviously all makes perfect sense to you. But suppose you had a friend, and that friend had some questions, and you were kinda hoping someone would just answer those questions for your friend’s sake—well, then you’d be in luck.

Introducing the answers to all the questions about social media recruitment you were too afraid to ask. For your friend, that is.

The full list of questions:

Note: the list is kinda long. There’s a lot of valuable information here, but feel free to jump around to find answers to your, um, friend’s questions.

So what is social media recruitment?

To quote from our Guide to social media recruiting: “Social media recruitment is the art and science of finding, attracting, engaging, and hiring job candidates through social media.” At its most basic, it means making sure your active jobs get posted on social media, too.

But a fully-developed social media recruiting effort aims to transform your entire social media presence into a strategic source of hire. The most effective social media recruiting strategy will include a variety of posts that have the potential to influence a candidate’s decision-making, from employee spotlights to diversity and inclusion initiatives to workplace culture, and everything in between. Plus, it would encourage brand ambassadorship and leverage multiple social profiles—branded company profiles, recruiter profiles, and employee profiles—across several social networks.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: That’s a lot of work! But with the right help, social media recruiting can help you recruit better candidates, get faster results, and save you a lot of time and money.

What type of results can I expect from social media recruitment?

Even we’ll admit: it sounds strange. We’re talking about social media here—you know, the place people post their cat pictures and give unsolicited advice to utter strangers. We’re supposed to accept that it’s an effective recruiting strategy?

But that’s the thing: sometimes the truth is strange (we say in our best wise-wizard voice.) We’ll get into just why social media recruitment is so effective in the next question, but first, here are the kind of results you can expect from it:

Here are some real-world examples of successful social media recruiting.

Wait. Does social media recruiting actually work?

Can we answer this with a “Heck yeah?” To explain why social media recruiting is such an effective and essential tool, check out these stats:

In other words, job seekers are on social media, and they’re using it to assess the companies they’re going to apply to.

But the value of social media recruiting doesn’t stop there. Studies show that 84% of active job seekers and 89% of passive job seekers consider employer brand and reputation before applying to a job—and that social media is the place they go to research it. Because employer brand—a company’s purpose, values, and culture—are increasingly important to candidates, and social media is the best place to show them yours.

One last point to mention about social media recruiting: it’s arguably the best way to recruit passive candidates (candidates not actively looking for a job). Because even though they’re not looking for a job, they are on social media (like we showed earlier, the whole world is), and by organically and authentically showcasing your employer brand on social media, you can attract candidates not even looking for a job.

How long will social recruiting take to see results?

That’s a really hard one to answer, because there are so many factors to consider. What’s the current state of your social media recruiting presence? What are your social recruiting goals? How large and engaged is your audience on social media?

In very general terms, we’ve found that you can start seeing results from your social media recruiting in as little as 30 days, and—as long as you stay on track and adopt the right strategies for your goals—start really reaping the rewards in around 90. It’s not going to be overnight, but it also won’t take as long as you might think. (But again, this is in general terms. We’ve had clients see results literally overnight.)

Social media recruiting sounds exhausting. What if I don’t have the time?

Well, that’s a freebie.

We wouldn’t say social media recruiting is exhausting, per se. It can be deeply satisfying—even exhilarating—to show off your dedicated staff to the world, share some of the good work you’re doing, and do your darndest to get others to be as passionate about your company as you are. But you’re also right: social media recruiting done right takes time.

That’s where we come in.

Our award-winning social recruiting platform automates your social media recruiting for you, netting you all the rewards without costing you any of the time.

And if you’re curious just how much time we can save you, we actually have a calculator for that. Check it out here.

I have too many things to focus on, and social recruiting isn’t one of them.

That’s really fair, especially in today’s climate of talent acquisition challenges. Social media recruiting can feel like the icing on the cake, and you haven’t even figured out if there’s going to be a party yet.

But we encourage you to reconsider your viewpoint. Because in reality, social media recruiting isn’t something extra at all. It’s a powerful employer brand tool that can boost the effect of all your talent acquisition efforts, like:

  • Boosting retention and attraction
  • Widening your talent pool by attracting passive candidates
  • Building a pipeline of candidates even in quiet times
  • Boosting the effectiveness of your job boards (and other paid media)
  • Building an employer brand that’s more resilient to challenges, as well as more readily able to adapt to them.

(For more on all this, see our social media recruiting guide.)

And if you’d like some hands-on proof, you can demo the product for free. Just click here.

Can social media recruiting boost retention?

Absolutely. Social media recruiting is all about broadcasting your employer brand to the world. And, since your employer brand is for both your current and prospective employees, boosting your employer brand will have a positive impact on retention.

One of our favorite tactics to boost retention is sharing employee spotlights on social media. By showing off your employees to the world, you tell your current employees you value them and are proud of them. Which naturally is going to make them want to stick with you.

What if we don’t have social media networks or followers?

We get that one a lot. And seemingly, it makes sense. What’s the point of creating content on social media if no one’s going to see it?

But in over a decade of doing this, we’ve discovered that the whole “no followers = no point” argument gets vastly misused, for a few reasons:

  1. Social media recruiting isn’t just for your followers. It’s for your candidates and your prospective candidates—people going to your job boards, your career pages, and your website. Those candidates are checking out your employer brand on social media during their job search. 86% of job seekers use social media in their job search. So even if you don’t have followers, you should be creating content for your candidates, too.
  2. The network effect of social media allows you to extend your reach beyond for followers. For example, a follower could share your post, allowing you to reach a wider audience. Using the right hashtags allows your posts to be found by search. Candidates can even find your social posts through search engines like Google. In short? Having a following is just one of the ways you can reach candidates on social but not the only one.
  3. Lastly: lack of followers is never a good reason to not engage in social media recruitment, because social media recruitment builds followers. (See here for all the different types of ways you can showcase your employer brand through social media.)

Take Clark College. Before CareerArc, they lacked a meaningful presence on social media. But through CareerArc’s social media recruiting platform, they are now on all major social media platforms, which has driven significant engagement with both job seekers and followers.

Does social media recruiting only work for certain types of jobs or industries?

No. Social media recruiting is effective across all industries, including healthcare, retail, restaurant and hospitality, manufacturing, technology, transportation and logistics, financial services, and more. It’s just that different industries require different tactics.

Social media recruiting—like all marketing—is rooted in human psychology. It’s all about building interest in a brand by organically and authentically sharing what makes that brand unique, exciting, and even—if we can use the word—beautiful.

To do that, though, you need to understand your industry, and you need to understand your candidates. Because while everyone wants to be part of a unique, exciting, and beautiful brand, what they find unique and beautiful, and the way they want that conveyed, varies. So take the time to understand both your industry and your candidates—how they use social media, which communities and conversations they engage in, what they’re looking for, and how they find it—and let that research guide the content you deliver.

One example of this: every industry has professional communities on social media based around specific hashtags. For example, healthcare companies who are looking to reach diverse candidates in medicine might want to view and consider hashtags like #ILookLikeASurgeon, #BlackWomenInMedicine, and #BlackMedTwitter. Finding those communities will offer you valuable access to a pool of candidates you might otherwise be missing. Don’t know where those communities are? You could Google it. You could search hashtags you do know of, click through various posts, and see what new ones you find. Or you could ask your existing employees. Your current employees are often your best resource to finding your next ones.

Here’s a sampling of some of the ways we’ve helped different clients from different industries achieve social recruiting success:

How difficult is social media recruitment?

Ha. Hmm. If you know what you’re doing and either work for a small company or don’t have a lot of open jobs, it’s not that difficult and actually kind of fun. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, we highly recommend any small company to learn, because the benefits are enormous.

If, however, you have a lot of open jobs (say, 50 open jobs or more at a time), then the time factor can really become overwhelming—to the extent that, for some companies, it literally isn’t humanly possible to manage social media recruiting manually. But that’s why we’re here (we say with a cheeky grin). Our social media recruiting solution saves our clients an average of 949 hours a year. Interested? Check us out here.

How do you get better at social recruiting?

The truth is, getting better at social recruiting can be a lifelong goal. There will always be areas to improve and tactics to further optimize. So here are some things to consider when trying to improve your social social recruiting strategies:

When it comes to the content of social media recruitment, what’s more important: quantity or quality?

Honestly? Both. One perfectly crafted social media post is like whispering to someone across a crowded hall, but a bunch of poorly-crafted social media posts is like yelling in the wrong hall entirely. Neither of them are great options.

Instead, think strategically about your approach to social media recruiting: both on a macro level in terms of your overall goals, and on a micro level in terms of each individual post. No matter your overall goals, achieving them is going to take a layered approach: different types of posts, varying frequency, different messaging, different images, different hashtags, posting across different social media profiles, posting across different social networks, and so on.

And, while we’re on the topic: CareerArc’s social recruiting solution helps you optimize content quality and quantity of posts across all social networks and profiles. We guide you in following social media best practices at every stage of posting, from content to hashtags to frequency, and then some. Find out more here.

How should I measure the success of social recruiting?

This is a pretty weighty topic. For an in-depth discussion on this, see here. But in short, here are some key metrics to keep an eye on:

  • Your overall performance. In other words, are you seeing more engagement, more followers, and more clicks?
  • What type of content, both in terms of topic and in terms of assets (for example, a video vs. an image) sees better results?
  • The best times to post. If you consistently see better results at certain times, you’re gonna want to post in those times.

It’s also important to remember that, when it comes to social media recruiting, engagement is not the only metric to measure. Keep an eye on job clicks and your overall reach as well. And again, you can read more about all this here.

We don’t get social media. How are we supposed to do social media recruiting if we don’t understand how it works?

Understanding social media, or having someone on your team who understands social media, is a really essential skill these days. Like we explained earlier, your candidates are trying to find you on social media. Being able to meet them there will have a huge effect on your talent acquisition success.

But just because you should understand social media doesn’t mean you have to become a maven. Guided by CareerArc’s content suite and best practices, you’ll feel like you are one anyway. And our client success team offers social media recruiting support and one-on-one guidance to ensure you are maximizing your efforts.

Do we need to be on all the channels or just some?

That depends on whether you’re going solo or using a platform like CareerArc. If you’re going solo, starting slow with one or two channels can definitely make life easier. This is definitely the case if you’re only trying to attract one type of candidate (for example, nurses, teachers, copywriters, et cetera). Different types of candidates are traditionally drawn to different channels (teachers, for example, to Facebook and Instagram, copywriters to LinkedIn and Twitter, and so on).

But if you are like most companies and are trying to reach a diverse range of candidates, limiting yourself to one or two channels is probably not the best idea. But here’s the good news: CareerArc allows you to publish to all the major social media channels effortlessly, vastly extending your reach with the press of a button.

Twitter really confuses us. How does it work?

You know, that’s one of the most common questions we get. How does Twitter work, and if it’s so confusing, is it worth the effort?

Let’s answer the 2nd one first: yes, it’s well worth the effort. Here are some crazy Twitter stats:

  • There are 326 million monthly active users on Twitter, 69 million of whom reside in the U.S.
  • Each day on Twitter, half a billion tweets are published and 2 billion search queries are performed; 80% of this activity is done via mobile.
  • Engagement on Twitter is increasing year over year. Most recent reports show 91% or near double growth in ad engagement year-over-year.

And Twitter isn’t just one of the most active social networking sites today with a huge and diverse user base. It also has SEO benefits. In addition to Twitter being a search engine in its own right with a meaty history of tweets, keywords, and hashtags users can search on, its tweets are indexed by Google, contributing to SEO of your online properties and driving traffic to your messages long after their initial shelf life.

So that’s the why. As to the how, here are some Twitter tips to get you started:

  • Quantity is king on Twitter. Post 5 times a day, if not more.
  • Because you’re posting so much, it’s really important not to get spammy and post the same thing over and over. Vary what you post and how you post it on Twitter (see here for more on the importance of variety in social recruiting).
  • Make sure to use the right hashtags. Don’t be afraid to do a deep dive in the search bar to find what other companies and candidates are using.
  • Yes, Twitter is more about the captions, but make sure to include images where possible. Due to the sheer volume of posts on Twitter, posts without images can easily get overlooked.
  • Due to the sheer volume of posts Twitter calls for, a good strategy is to make use of a variety of accounts to post from. If they’re open to it, post from your recruiters’ accounts as well as your branded accounts (more on that here).
  • In addition to the above point: many companies have a dedicated Twitter account just to post jobs, so they can share all the open jobs at volume for those job posts to become searchable and discoverable on Twitter without overwhelming the feed of their primary accounts, which are meant to build a community of engaged candidates and/or customers. For example, check out CVS’ Jobs account that publishes job posts vs. their Careers account that publishes a mix of employer brand content and jobs on Twitter.

For more on all this, see here.

What if we start, and we get negative comments and/or engagement?

Then, in the immortal words of Steve Carrell: “Burn Utica to the ground.”

Seriously, though, success in social media shouldn’t be counted in the individual clicks, comments, and follows, but in overall trends. You can’t always please everyone, so something you post may, at some point, rub someone the wrong way. Some degree of imperfect results are to be expected.

If, however, you’re seeing an overall trend of negative results, that’s probably a sign you’re doing wrong. The solution isn’t to quit, but to get better at what you’re doing so you can fix the problem (or to use a platform like CareerArc’s that guides you in creating compelling and effective social media posts).

P.S. Handling negative comments is a huge topic, and one that’s a little beyond the scope of this piece. For more detailed advice, see here.

Will job posts negatively affect our social presence?

Not if you do them right. More often than not, we’ve seen job posts help establish and grow a social media presence into a reliable driver of qualified candidates. Job posts also show your community that you’re growing, which can positively impact your employer brand.

So how do you post about your jobs without coming across as spammy? It’s all about the technique. IIn the words of our Social Media Director Bryant Chase, “View every job post as an employer brand post.” Instead of simply saying you’re #hiring—and then posting that same message over and over again—put a little more effort into your job posts. Give them a reason to care about the fact you’re hiring by showing them what’s in it for them, like Ulta Beauty did here:

Related: For some examples of how to create killer job posts, see here.

We also recommend not posting about your jobs back-to-back. Post cleverly by spreading out different types of posts to build a multi-faceted presence. The more you mix it up, the fresher your content will be.

P.S. When it comes to Twitter, some companies find that the above steps aren’t sufficient and they want a dedicated page just for jobs. See here where we talked about that.

Beyond using branded company account, should I also be doing social recruiting from recruiters’ accounts as well as my personal account(s), and if yes, are the tactics the same?

Let’s break this down step by step. Should you include your personal account(s) in your social media recruiting strategy? How about your recruiters’ accounts? Or should you only use branded accounts for social recruiting?

From a strategic standpoint: the more accounts you have to post from, the more ways you have to get your message out there. And it’s not just about wider exposure—the more accounts you have at your disposal, the more ability you have to post, and repost, all of your jobs on social media, publish them in a strategic way, and experiment with what you post where (more on this soon).

It’s therefore common (and recommended) practice for recruiters and talent acquisition leaders to post jobs from their personal LinkedIn accounts and professional Twitter profiles (and some even use their personal Facebook profiles). Posting from these personal accounts gives you the opportunity to engage with your personal and professional networks, grow your brand and your audience on those networks, as well as communicate in a more human and personal way. So it’s definitely a good strategy. The question is if you, or your recruiters, are open to that. That’s up to you. Personal accounts are personal. Some recruiters open a new “personal” recruiting account for professional use.

As to tactics? There are generally two approaches. One is to use your own account (and your recruiters’ accounts) just for jobs. This is definitely an effective strategy, because it turns your profile into a dedicated page for candidates to search for jobs (and it’s not spammy, since everyone knows you’re in a recruiting profession that’s what the account is for). (Note: this primarily works for LinkedIn. For Facebook, a jobs-only account is much less common.)

Another approach, though—and the one we’d recommend—is to use your personal account (and your recruiters’, if they’re open to it) to post both about open jobs and employer brand content. Because each account has its own network, with the opportunity to reach a different audience. Why squander that opportunity if you don’t have to?

One thing to bear in mind, though: since every account is different, and every audience is different, what you post and the frequency you post it in (in other words, how many job posts, how many employer brand posts, what type of job posts and employer brand posts) is going to vary. The audience of one account might respond differently to the audience of a different account. So don’t be afraid to try different things, and keep an eye on what works well and what doesn’t.

An example of a social media post shared to a recruiter’s feed.

Do we really need a large volume of job posts? My marketing team isn’t so sure

In an ideal world, you’d post each job once, and that’s all you’ll need to get those candidates coming. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. One post is often insufficient to get the results you need.

At the same time, you never want to turn your social media presence into a giant spambot. Your social media presence is a valuable tool, and you want it to stay that way.

Here are some tips to make sure your job posts are getting maximum exposure without becoming spammy:

  • When posting about the same job twice, always vary as much as possible. Vary the caption, vary the image, and vary the timing. (Our Magic Posts feature, which literally creates new job posts for you, can take care of this.)
  • Mix your job posts in between your employer brand posts. This allows you to publish a healthy stream of content that shares what opportunities are available (job posts) along with why a candidate should apply now (employer brand posts).
  • Change up the style of the job post. For example, one time you might want to post about a specific job post, while another you might want to post about general vacancies. That way, you really aren’t posting about the same thing each time.

What’s next?

In a word?

Success.

Because, as our clients will tell you, social media recruitment works. With CareerArc, you could be building a brand awareness that nets you more candidates, better candidates, and saves you time today.

And all it takes is a click.

Access your exclusive demo here.

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