Recruiting is a sport. Companies who are in the “top echelon league” (Google, Facebook, Disney, etc.), with tremendous social following and national notoriety, have very successful social media recruiting strategies to find great talent. Unfortunately for the other 85% of companies who are not in that league, social media recruiting is still presenting some challenges.
Companies with less than 500 employees looking for very specific talent have to understand that social media recruiting is a lot of work. It won’t be successful because many of you will not have the time to execute a thorough strategy.
What is complicating this further is the talent pool is drying up and employers who spend time and money on the wrong social media recruiting strategy will actually fall behind in the race to hire great people.
So how is this solved? The answer is different for each company and the type of positions you are trying to fill.
Here is the main issue.
Finding outstanding talent via social media is certainly possible in 2017. However, it is still a huge struggle to get enough talent when other recruiting resources are performing well (niche job boards, aggregators, programmatic ad buying, etc.). This is not a knock, it is just reality for so many great companies who don’t have a huge public social following. On top of that, employers don’t have the manpower to manage all the work it takes to execute a social recruiting strategy or hire an outside agency to do this for them.
“But if our company doesn’t recruit in social media, does that mean we are not cool and won’t attract millennials”?
You already have a company social media presence for your business. But like so many good employers, your company social media pages are neglected with very few posts and little information. Having these pages optimized for your business and culture is something that has to be done anyway and actually gives job seekers a peek into your company. Without a good social presence, it may send a signal to potential candidates wondering why. Also, you miss a great opportunity to really separate yourself from your competitors.
If you can’t keep up with your social media business pages for your company, you should not use these same channels to recruit great talent.
You have to define the difference between social media recruiting and advertising. No matter what sources you use to find talent, it is essentially advertising. Social media is free. That is the problem, free doesn’t work for 85% of the companies out there. Any employer who ever disputes this, I ask them to do the following test. Post their job ONLY on their corporate website, twitter feed, and Facebook page; don’t post it anywhere else (no job boards, etc.). This will cost you nothing and you will get some results but certainly not in any significant numbers. Crickets.
I don’t see too many retweets for a posted driver position in Orlando on Twitter. However, if I am a job seeker and search Twitter for this position, I will find it very quickly. So, does that mean you should post all your jobs on Twitter? That is the point. It may be part of a strategy that you commit to, but just tweeting out a job posting will most likely be a waste of time without understanding how to do this correctly.
Teenagers are straightening their own teeth by themselves instead of going to the orthodontist. Orthodontists are freaking out. Kids that have tried it have messed up their teeth for life and will have to pay huge money for dental work the rest of their lives. The same is true for social media recruiting. You can’t DIY the social media recruiting strategy and save money. It's impossible and it could have a long term negative effect if not done correctly (and updated regularly).
So, what is the answer?
In my opinion, the best way to use social media for recruiting is use it like advertising. It will cost you money, but with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, they have something called “sponsored posts”. These allow you to post your job as an update or tweet and sponsor/boost it to show up on the walls of exactly who you want to see it.
For the driver position in Orlando, I can boost my post to be delivered to the news feed of driving professionals in Orlando who have Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. Sure, I have to pay some money but to me, this type of targeting can yield some great rewards.
Your jobs need to be advertised and that will cost money. Social can really boost your results if you spend money and really target your audience.