Social hiring has moved into the mainstream, and according to a recent survey by Jobvite, 92% of recruiters are using social media to attract candidates. LinkedIn is understandably the most popular social network, with 87% of recruiters using it, but Facebook and Twitter have become important too, with 55% and 47% of recruiters using them for hiring purposes.
If you’re not actively building your company’s brand on social media, you could be missing out on top talent. A 2015 employer branding study found that 75% of job seekers take an employer’s brand into account before applying for a job and 62% visit social media channels to evaluate an employer’s brand.
Of course, even if you are among the 92% of recruiters who are finding candidates through social media, there’s a difference between simply being active on social media and using it effectively. So here are some of the most commonly made mistakes and how to avoid them.
Not having a clear objective or plan
Knowing that you want to attract quality candidates to your brand is a good start, but your goals need to be a bit more defined than that if you want your efforts to pay off.
You first step should be to identify your audience and find out which social network is best for reaching that audience. Some sectors may primarily use Twitter; while others might be more active on LinkedIn, Facebook or even Instagram, so it’s important to invest the bulk of your time into the platform your audience is actually using.
Once you’re clear about who you’re targeting, it’s time to decide what your main objectives are. Do you want to enhance your brand’s visibility? Are you looking to drive relevant candidates to your career pages? Would you like to see an increase in referral hires?
All of these goals may require a slightly different approach, so you need to be clear on what you’re trying to accomplish before you get started.
Sending generic messages
One of the biggest benefits of using social media to connect with potential candidates is the fact that it allows you to interact on a more personal level, so sending out generic messages that don’t target anyone in particular isn’t a good use of your time.
Responses to comments or questions should always be thoughtful and personalised, and even when you’re not reaching out to candidates one-on-one, you should still tailor your messages and posts so they appeal to or target a specific group of people who are in the same job category, geographic location or age group.
Not providing useful or engaging content
Many employers make the mistake of assuming that everyone they come into contact with on social media will be desperate to work for them. But while this might be true of some people, the reality is that most highly qualified candidates have their own set of requirements and will want to know more about your company culture and values before committing to a time-consuming application process.
With this in mind, it’s important to think not only about what you need, but also what your audience might be looking for. What sort of content might appeal to the type of candidate you’d be interested in hiring? How can you make your brand stand out? Are there any links, resources, downloads, tips or advice you could provide to make it easier for potential candidates to find jobs or just inspire them to further their careers?
There’s really no point in being on social media if you can’t respond to messages or queries in a timely manner. In fact, being unresponsive may actually tarnish your brand’s image, so if you’ve made the decision to use social media as a recruiting tool, it’s important to follow through and spend the time necessary to make it work.
Of course, it probably won’t be possible to provide an applicant with detailed information on the status of their job application in a short tweet or Facebook comment, but questions or comments shouldn’t be entirely ignored either. For example, you could leave a short comment to reassure an anxious candidate that they’ll receive a response once their application has been reviewed, or provide a link to a page where they can find more information on your company’s hiring process.
What other common social hiring mistakes have you seen? Let us know in the comments.
About Marianne Stenger
Marianne Stenger is a writer with Open Colleges one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She covers everything from life hacks and career development to learning tips and the latest research in education. You can connect with her on Google+ and Twitter or find her latest articles here.