If it feels like you can’t go a day without hearing about social media, you aren’t going crazy! Since 2009, the term “social media” has increased by over 5X in terms of Google Search terms. Additionally, the frequency of the term has increased by over 10X in usage! The challenge is that this term could quickly become the only hammer in your tool chest, when it should be one of many. In my perspective, social recruiting is similar to the Employer Value Proposition push in the early 2000’s – both are absolutely important, but neither will get you success on its own. As a result, here are some of my favorite techniques when it comes to using social media in the recruitment process.
Caveat – one of the first things to realize is that how you can use social media, depends largely on your corporate culture and external communication approaches.
Tip #1: use employee networks!
The average number of social connections that your employees have on LinkedIn is around 300, and the average number of Facebook Connections that they have is 342. So the range, depending on the amount of overlap, is anywhere from 300 to 642 connections per employee. That is a lot of untapped potential impressions – that could be free – if done right.
RELATED: Get Social and Get More Referrals
The key is using this network pool correctly. Pick very strategic items that you want to focus on, and keep a moderate frequency. For example, once a month, provide copy and graphics that your employees can cut and paste into their social media channels of choice. This can range from new product releases, to jobs that you are really searching for. Make it cool stuff that they would want to post—nothing overly promotional or stale. Then the magic occurs – this exposure reaches an entirely new network of individuals, whom presumable share desirable qualities with your current employee base.
Tip #2: Try the paid advertising!
I know this isn’t using the social media as a media distribution, but as an advertising channel – social media is really, really, really good! When you advertise on social media channels, you have the ability to be very specific, and these channels still use a Cost per Click model, so you only pay for actual traffic. So you are looking for a Scrum Master who knows Hadoop worked for Microsoft and lives in the Northeast – you can target that person, and only that person. This is contrast to some of the other more traditional channels where it is very broad traffic.
RELATED: How to Tap into a New Candidate Pool
Tip #3: Take advantage of Scheduling and auto-scheduling.
Most of the social media networks have scheduling and for those who don’t, you can use a tool like Hootsuite – which can do your scheduling. There are two main things to take into account.
- Scheduling allows you to load content that is scheduled to release when you want it to. So you want to time a recruiting post to go after a great press release – you can. But more importantly, use the scheduling to post international jobs in the right time zone. This is key because if you post in the wrong time zone, it is likely the readers won’t see the post as by the time they get to reading, your post has now become history, and they are reading the more current posts from other folks.
- Auto-Scheduling. Hootsuite, and some other 3rd party tools, can analyze your company’s social network, and figure out the best time to post content and increase the probability your targets will read them! I love this feature and found it works very well – for US content. I have learned that if your followers are 85% North American, and you post a UK targeted tweet – the tools don’t know that, and post the UK tweet at the right time for your US readers (as they are the majority).
Tip# 4: Add rich media!
It doesn’t matter as to which network, but I have found the engagement to increase by at least 3X if there is a photo or video attached to the word content. The caveat is to make sure the rich media content matches the message.
Tip #5: All of this can change!
The last tip is to full realize that the social media environment is changing so quickly, that by the time you have a sure fire approach, something is bound to change. Here are some of the things to consider:
- The demographics of who uses which social media network changes quickly! The demographics of facebook changed rapidly in the last 3 years.
- The physical medium of how folks access social media is also rapidly changing! It is going from PC’s, to Tablets, to Smart phones – and from there it will go to wearable computing (e.g. Google Glass).
- The Social media Channels are also chaining rapidly. For instance, the top new channels are Pinterest, Tumblr and Vine. To give an idea of speed – Vine is now at 40 million users and Vine was only created in October of 2012.
So have fun, as I know I do on social media. In fact, please make sure to follow me on Twitter at @FranzGilbert.