We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: every talent acquisition team needs to be using social media for recruitment. The benefits are simply too big to give up. You’re reaching candidates in the place they spend the most time with highly targeted and attention-grabbing content designed to attract larger quantities of both active and passive candidates than job boards or ads alone can accomplish. But for many companies, the only way to meet their social recruitment goals is to partner with marketing.
See, even if you’re sold on and excited about the benefits of social media hiring, for many talent acquisition teams, the choice to invest in social recruiting isn’t entirely up to them. A company’s social media presence is often owned solely by marketing teams, and for many companies, marketing teams are understandably reluctant at first to share social media use and responsibility with HR and talent acquisition teams.
If this describes your situation, then this blog post is written for you. We’re going to discuss our best tips to get marketing to buy into social media recruitment.
Understanding marketing’s concerns
First, it’s important to understand why marketing is objecting to your use of social media for recruiting. Generally, it comes down to one (or more) of the following reasons:
- Being experts in social media, but never having focused on social recruiting specifically, they might not believe that social media is a recruiting tool.
- They’ve put effort into developing a social media presence and brand, and they’re concerned that allowing anyone outside of marketing access to social media might impact that presence.
- They use a specific social media publishing tool that’s not ideal for social recruiting, and you’re looking to use one that is. And they’re not confident that changing or adding tools is the right approach.
Why marketing and talent acquisition should work together
Though the concerns above are definitely understandable, the truth is that marketing and talent acquisition have a lot to gain by working together. We’ve already covered what talent acquisition gets out of social media recruiting. But marketing benefits, too. While it’s true that repetitive and low quality social recruiting posts can tank a hard-earned social media presence, that’s not what good social recruiting looks like. Good social recruitment boosts your employer brand and overall social media presence with every post so your marketing and talent acquisition are lifting each others’ boats at the same time.
It’s merely a matter of demonstrating to marketing what they have to gain from it.
Note: We’re going to share some tips on how to get your marketing team to buy-into social media recruitment. But if you’d like a full list of frequently asked questions marketing teams ask about social recruitment, you can download our marketing FAQs here for free.
Step 1: Demonstrate the importance of social recruiting from a talent acquisition perspective
First things first: show them why social recruiting is such a good idea, both from a talent acquisition perspective and from a marketing one.
- Time spent on social media averages 126 minutes daily in America. Globally, it’s 150 minutes.
- 73% of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34 years old found their last job through a social media platform.
- 86% percent of job seekers use social media in their job search.
- Since 2020, job board usage (by job seekers) has declined 13%.
- 82% of job seekers consider employer brand and reputation before applying for a job
- 90% of job seekers follow brands on social media, and 79% say they interact with brands on social media
- In terms of recruiting Gen Z candidates: 62% of Gen Z candidates with work experience say they’ve discovered job opportunities on social media.
- In terms of DEI: 49% of Hispanic Americans and 46% of Black Americans with work experience say they’ve discovered job opportunities on social media, compared to 28% White Americans.
- Likewise, 42% of Black Americans and 39% of Hispanic Americans with work experience say they’ve used social media to apply to job opportunities, compared to 21% White Americans. 42% and 35% respectively say they’ve used it to connect with recruiters and employees at prospective employers compared to 21% White Americans, and 42% and 37% respectively say they’ve used it to reach out to peers for job leads, compared to 21% for White Americans.
And here’s the cool thing: you aren’t talking to executive leadership who don’t understand social media. Marketing teams know social media—they just might not know that it can be used for recruiting as well. Though their prior knowledge can make them skeptical at first—after all, you’re convincing them about a platform they’re experts in—once they recognize the benefits of social recruiting, it can be really exciting for them. In many ways, this discussion should be viewed as a workshop or a webinar, in which you’re opening their eyes to new benefits of a tool they’ve been using for years.
Step 2: Emphasize that social recruiting can be launched through employee networks first
While a healthy social media recruiting presence definitely includes using your company’s social media profiles for recruiting purposes, it’s not limited to those profiles alone. You can—and should—also post to your employees’ (especially recruiters’) social media profiles as well (with their permission, of course). Known as employee advocacy, this tactic turns your employees into advocates and ambassadors for you on social media, and is a highly effective part of social recruiting.
Which is good news for companies struggling to get marketing buy-in. Your employees’ profiles have no effect on, nor are they under the domain of, your company’s social media profiles. If your marketing team is reluctant to allow you access to the company’s social media profiles, emphasize that you can start with posting just to your employee networks and use the results as a proof of concept to bring back to them.
And if you’re concerned that just posting to your employees’ accounts isn’t enough to justify investing in social recruiting–think again. Check out these stats:
- Consumers and customers value employee advocacy. 84% of consumers place more value in recommendations from family and friends over advertising. 77% of consumers are likely to purchase once they hear about it from a trusted source.
- Employee-shared messages get re-shared 24x more frequently than branded messaging.
- Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels.
- Leads developed through employee advocacy convert 7x more frequently than other leads.
- Those using employee advocacy tools report:
- A 30% boost in employee engagement.
- A 34% boost in engagement per post
- A 39% boost in brand awareness
- When employees share content, it gets a 3-5x greater click-through rate than other content.
- 30% of a company’s engagement on LinkedIn comes from employees.
- Employees are 14x more likely to share content on LinkedIn if it comes from their employers.
- 50% of employed Americans say they’d be willing to share their company’s social media content to their own social channels. 30% of employees say they already have.
- 26% of employed Americans say they would be more likely to share their company’s social media content on their personal social channels if they were simply asked to.
- 24% of employed Americans say they would be more likely to share company social media if they had a direct connection to the content (i.e. it was related to the work they do or the department they’re in).
Step 3: Show examples of what good social recruitment looks like
Suppose we were to tell you that this is what good social media recruiting looks like:
If that’s good social recruiting, then marketing should be turned off, and so should you. That’s just not what quality social media content looks like. There’s no image, there’s no effort to say anything about the position besides stating the fact that it exists, and there’s very little hashtag optimization done.
Instead, consider a post like this:
Or like this:
That’s what social recruiting should look like. The image catches your attention, stopping you mid scroll. The caption gets you excited about the position, offering a compelling reason why you should be interested in the position. The hashtags are both optimized for search and reflect your employer brand. Content like this doesn’t just avoid harming your social media presence, it actively boosts it.
Step 4: Recognize that good social recruiting influences consumers and candidates alike
It’s true that social media (from a marketing perspective) and social media recruiting are different fields, with different strategies, different audiences, and different tones. Social media speaks to customers; social recruiting to candidates. Social media aims to sell product; social recruiting aims to, well, recruit. But there are times those lines blur.
Take this post:
Is this a marketing post or a talent acquisition post? Customers want to connect with real, human people behind the brand, and sharing who your employees are is an excellent way to tell your company’s story in a more personal way.
But you know who else wants to connect with the real, human people behind your brand? Candidates. You know who else are moved when they see an employee share something positive about their career with you? Candidates.
Employee spotlights benefit both talent acquisition and marketing alike.
Another example? Sharing something exciting about your company, like in this post:
A post like this could definitely be considered a marketing post. Part of marketing your product is marketing your brand, and company news is an excellent way to do that. But it could also be considered a social recruiting post. What candidate doesn’t want to work for a company that’s accomplishing things and winning award?
More and more, social media recruiting and social media marketing don’t always fit into neat boxes that never overlap. And trying to do so is ultimately to the detriment of both marketing and talent acquisition.
Step 5: Discuss tools
It’s important to be clear about expectations. Even for marketing, manually managing a social media presence can be really challenging. For talent acquisition, it’s almost impossible. You’re likely going to need a tool to manage your social recruiting for you.
Depending on the company, your marketing team might already have a social media tool they use. The thing is, while there are a lot of great social media publishing tools out there, they aren’t really designed specifically for social recruiting. Talent acquisition teams (especially ones who aren’t experts in social media and social media tools) often find using these tools frustrating and limiting. So it might be worthwhile having a conversation about why you’re looking for a tool gear towards social recruiting.
For example, if you were to use CA, you’d tell them that we’re the only platform designed and built for HR and hiring teams, and that we:
- Self-build, self-publish job posts. CareerArc automatically creates, schedules, and publishes job posts to your linked social media accounts. It does so by syncing with ATS job inventory to publish all your open posts to your linked accounts. What sets CareerArc apart is that:
- We don’t just post once. CareerArc reposts your posts at different times and at different frequencies for maximum exposure without being “spammy.”
- CareerArc comes powered by over a decade of research into best practices. Each post is optimized for maximum effect.
- CareerArc’s magic posts feature literally has the ability to create new posts for you like magic. (Read more about that here.)
- We take down posts for filled roles so that your social media presence doesn’t have a bunch of posts with dead links.
- Automated employee advocacy. CareerArc is the only recruiting solution to automate employee advocacy, effectively turning recruiters’ and hiring managers’ social networks into powerful recruiting channels that attract job applicants and drive employee referrals with no added effort. Unlike other social media and employee advocacy tools, CareerArc lets you connect and publish to an unlimited number of approved and pre-authorized individual profiles.
- Delivering and reporting on talent outcomes. CareerArc measures the performance metrics hiring teams care about such as impressions and clicks on job-specific social media posts. This allows them to know what’s working—which campaigns are driving the most traffic to their job pages, which recruiter and hiring manager profiles are performing best, and what can be improved.
Step 6: Get into the nitty gritty
So now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of how this is going to work. There are a lot of points to consider when two different teams collaborate over a long-term goal. For example:
- Which team is going to be responsible for managing the content? Will it be split depending on what the content is or will it all fall under one team’s control?
- Say you want to use custom imagery or the like. Who’s responsible for creating that?
- How often do you plan to post? Is it different according to the platform? Do you have a plan for how often to post different types of social recruiting posts (e.g. job posts, employee spotlights, DEI posts, etc.)?
- Are you expecting help with crafting posts?
There’s no right answer to these questions. It depends on your situation. The answer can even be, “Let’s figure that out as we go along,” if that’s what works for your teams. Just bear in mind that these questions are likely going to come up, so be prepared for them.
Read our FAQs to discover the 5 ways our clients set up the creative production and approval process.
Different ways marketing and HR teams collaborate to meet their social recruitment goals
Like we’ve seen, a strategic social media recruitment presence benefits both talent acquisition and marketing. In an ideal world, the two teams would collaborate seamlessly with each other, with both teams sharing resources to lift each others’ boats.
Practically speaking, that doesn’t always happen. If marketing has full control over the official social media accounts and are unwilling to allow any social recruiting content on them, then that might be that, at least for now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t engage in social recruiting. Many companies just build a dedicated “Careers” account (for example, “Eli’s Made Up Company Careers”) and post social recruiting content there. And who knows? If you do a good job, they might notice and change their mind.
Plus—like we said earlier—the lines between social media and social media recruiting is blurring. Certain posts fit into both worlds. So even if they don’t let you post social recruiting content on their accounts, chances are they’ll occasionally post something that helps your social recruiting goals anyway.
Check out the FAQs
Remember: you don’t need to answer all the questions in this blog post on your own. We put together a helpful FAQs exploring the top questions marketers have for marketers. There’s no cost, commitment, sign up, or anything like that. We’re here to help.