How to use social media to recruit candidates
For the majority of people, social media implies Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – several most popular platforms these days. And, because they are mostly intended for entertainment purposes, many people do not understand how it is possible to find a perfect candidate somewhere in the Twitter thread about dogs.
However, there are other platforms that are used by a specific audience and this is where recruiters should be present if they want to increase the chances of finding the right person.
Still, social media is a rocky place – people are free to express their ideas and thoughts online so a recruiter should be twice as careful when approaching a candidate on a social media platform.
We’ve compiled a few tips to finding and hiring the perfect candidate on social media. Read on to enhance your recruitment strategy.
Why social media recruiting?
Before looking into social media recruiting strategy, it is important to understand why you actually need it.
People tend to be more open and honest online. For recruiters, it’s a great chance to learn about the person’s interests, views, and ideas and see whether the candidate will be a good fit for the company. For the companies with strong culture and an established set of values, it is especially important to select people with a similar mindset and attitude so that everyone feels comfortable.
As well, people can share their expertise online (i.e. Quora) and the recruiter can immediately assess whether the person is skilled and knowledgeable enough for a certain position.
Thus, social media is a valuable source of information that would otherwise be hard to retrieve during a formal interview or a LinkedIn profile. But recruiters must create and follow a certain strategy in order to gain the most out of social media presence.
Brush up your profiles
One of the biggest mistakes that many companies make is ignoring their own social media profiles when looking for candidates online.
In the world of the Internet, your social media profile is your trademark. It represents the identity of your brand and immediately informs the visitors about your mission, values, and goals.
Now, when a person visits your page and sees an empty profile with no photos and no company description, they will most probably leave – simply because your profile does not seem trustworthy at all. So before writing to people, first, make sure that your page looks good:
- Fill in all the information about the company: this not only attracts the potential candidates but contributes to SEO ranking and visibility,
- Add photos,
- Post content that represents your company’s culture and vision,
- Use the right hashtags to help people easily find you (i.e. in posts about job openings).
At this stage, your main goal is to create a solid online presence with a visible company image. You need to be recognizable online – otherwise, people will not trust your brand.
LinkedIn is, without a doubt, the most popular professional social platform out there. Candidates use it to search for the vacancies and recruiters use it to reach out to the right people and promote the companies.
While LinkedIn seems to be a piece of cake, there are still some rules to follow if you want this platform to bring you the most profit.
Always personalize your message
The worst thing that a candidate may receive on LinkedIn is a random and non-personalized message from a recruiter.
On one hand, it is understandable that after screening 100+ profiles, a recruiter can make a mistake and send the wrong message to the wrong person. However, if you want to show genuine interest and respect for a person, always take some time to personalize the message and make it interesting for the candidate.
Use relevant filters
Filtering is probably the easiest way to find the right candidate but many recruiters still seem to ignore it.
Filtering allows you to search the candidates by location, experience, occupation, etc. So once you have a profile of a perfect candidate, match it to the right filters and it will be much easier and quicker to find a person.
Do not rely on groups solely
LinkedIn groups are either open or private communities where people can share their expertise and thoughts. Unfortunately, marketers actively use these groups as well as an easy way to promote the company’s content. Because of that, it becomes really hard to find one experienced candidate among dozens of marketers or expert wannabes.
While the presence in LinkedIn groups is preferable, do not see it as your only or primary talent pool.
Move to email when needed
Move the conversation to a different platform when needed. If someone reaches out to you on social media, where your responses need to be short and sweet, ask to move the conversation to email instead. This will allow you to craft a more personalized, private, and professional message unconstrained by a character limit or public eyes.
Use niche platforms
LinkedIn is awesome – but have you tried GitHub or Quora?
There are several niche social media platforms that are amazing in terms of finding experienced and knowledgeable candidates. For developers, these are Stack Overflow and GitHub, marketers occupy such platforms as Moz, and management actively participates in conversations on Quora. Even when you are browsing a website dedicated to SEO and Marketing, you can see the author of your favorite post and get in touch with them.
Work with niche platforms requires much more time and effort than search via LinkedIn – but the results tend to be more accurate and satisfying as you can immediately see one’s level of knowledge and experience.
Invest in internal PR
Internal PR is all about promoting the company’s image and brand among the company’s employees. So what does it have to do with social media recruiting?
The thing is, satisfied and loyal employees usually become the company’s ambassadors and gladly share their experience and ideas with friends and peers. Once you create a strong internal PR culture and enhance the company’s culture, the employees will more actively talk about the company online – thus, attracting new potential candidates to check you out. People greatly trust the feedback from friends and family – use it to your advantage.
Recruiting on social media is not easy and may be even harder than the standard recruitment process – but it’s 100% worth it. To sum up, remember the do’s and don’ts’ of social media recruitment.
- Show genuine interest – never spam either people or groups
- Personalize your messages and do a bit of research
- Keep your company’s profile active and filled-in
- Never spam the candidates with copycat messages
- Do not recruit in inappropriate places (i.e. Instagram)
- Do not assess one’s skills based solely on their social media profile
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