Social media can be a terrific recruiting tool, but only if you understand your audience and the laws that formally and informally govern networks. Most organizations have figured out by now that blasting generic job postings over Twitter doesn’t generate much targeted interest. The better approach requires a bit more legwork but is certainly worth it in the end.
Locate where your targets already hang out
Most organizations go directly to LinkedIn because that’s what everyone else is doing. But depending on the segment you’re trying to attract, LinkedIn may or may not be the best option. There’s also Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, as well as hundreds of industry-specific social networks. In an article for the Cornerstone on Demand blog, Andy Headworth suggested employing Google X-ray searches to find potential candidates across networks by using relevant keywords with job titles, skills and interests. Here’s the command:
- Site: linkedIn.com inurl:pub <“insert job title”>
- Site: twitter.com <“insert job title”> OR <“insert job title synonym”>
- Site: plus.google.com inurl: about “lives in <insert location>” <“insert job title”>
As you do more searches, you’ll notice a pattern of certain types of candidates appearing in specific places on specific networks. That’s how you’ll know where to focus your recruiting efforts.
Create audience-specific content
When using social media, it’s a best practice to engage substantially with each community before posting too much of your own content. This means commenting on others’ posts and offering feedback and ideas 5-10 times for every 1 time you submit an article or link from your company.
Your own content should present a strong and consistent employer brand. It should also be novel and relevant to the topic and/or audience. Curating interesting content from other expert sources is a smart way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and using different types of content – from quotes and questions to videos and Slideshares – will prevent things from getting stale.
Here’s another important piece of advice: don’t just set and forget. Even if you have an automated system (Hootsuite, etc.) that allows you to send social media posts live at a particular time, it’s your responsibility to monitor comments and likes and engage frequently with feedback. Only then can you accurately assess if the content is fulfilling recruitment objectives.
For the last tip, check out the full post on the SilkRoad blog.