It’s 2020 and yet many firms still debate whether there is a need to use social media as part of their recruitment strategy. They are of course wrong, all the statistics back up the fact that social media should be a cornerstone of any recruiting strategy in this day and age. Research from Capterra found that 73% of 18-34-year olds found their last job through social media and 89% of recruiters say they have hired someone via social media. However, the reason many firms still debate its effectiveness, is because their social media recruiting strategy is inadequate.

Posting a job advert is not a social media hiring strategy

Let’s start with my biggest frustration. Posting on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter that “we are hiring, click this link and apply now” is NOT a hiring strategy. It is instead, one of the laziest and least effective ways to attract job applicants there is. Only 20% of a talent pool is ever actively looking for a job, so 80% of the talent pool have instantly scrolled to the next post. The vast majority of the remaining 20% usually have no idea what the job is, because this approach is usually combined with internal jargon in the job title. For example, an old company of mine would say they are looking for a global data services consultant. Any idea what this is? You are thinking some sort of technology role, right? Wrong, its what they call their HR consultants that specialise in salary data. A simple shift in emphasis can make a huge difference to the success of a digital hiring strategy.

Target the right audience

A proper social media hiring strategy begins with targeting the right audience. For example, if you are looking to hire retail staff to work in your fashion store, they are highly unlikely to be on LinkedIn regularly. They are, however, highly likely to be on Instagram or TikTok and following fashion influencers. Likewise, a senior executive is more likely to be on Twitter and LinkedIn than Instagram or TikTok. So, the starting point is to create personas around the types of individual most likely to be hired into a role. Using these personas, you are then able to understand where they are most likely to spend most of their time and what type of content is going to be engaging to them.

Create engaging content for these individuals

One of the quickest ways to create disengagement on social media is to continue to ask for people to do something. If you think about your own social media usage, do you enjoy following individuals and brands that constantly ask you to buy something? No, you do not. You follow individuals or brands because they share something of interest, not because they want something from you all the time. A maximum of 20% of the posts you share on social media should be asking for a person to apply for a job. Even then, its better to ask your followers if they know anyone who could do the job, instead of asking them to apply for a job. One is more engaging and collaborative, the other isn’t.

The remaining 80% of content should be focused on delivering value and sharing insights with the audience. If you are not giving people a reason to follow your company, they are not going to see your jobs. No one follows a brand on social media just in case they advertise a vacancy. This is a chance to highlight the charity work the organisation does, share experiences of employees, thought leadership from the organisation, basically position the organisation in a favourable light, so that when you do ask for someone to join your firm, a large number do, because the perception of the brand is that it’s a great place to work.