How to Master Social Media Recruitment in 2015

By Jay Freeborn

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Social media is becoming more and more prevalent in the recruiting world. A few years ago social media may have been an optional way to attract the odd candidate, but today it’s practically essential if you want to project a well-rounded and professional view of your company. Without a well-structured social media campaign, candidates are more and more likely to dismiss your company as an unrealistic career prospect.

But how do you manage a professional social media campaign? Do you have to dedicate hours upon hours to recruiting via each site? Or can you just carry on exactly how you have been, throwing in an occasional “share on Facebook” button to your website?

Do Your Research

The first and most important thing you need to do is research. You know your target audience inside and out when it comes to their skills, but you now need to know a different side of them. Which social media sites do your preferred candidates use? Search for LinkedIn and Facebook groups with relevant titles, see how many Twitter hashtags have been created around the topics you have in mind? Are there popular circles in Google Plus?

There is no benefit in spending hours on a perfect Google Plus profile if there aren’t enough possible candidates there to make it worth your time. Experimenting with newer social media sites is one thing, but only invest your time where the likelihood of success is high. 

Once you know where they hang out, you can see what times of the day they are most active. You may be used to posting job specifications during working hours – but candidates may be more likely to be searching for work outside of working hours. Are they searching before and after work during their daily commute? Maybe they are using their lunch hour for a quick search, or they may be leaving the job search until they are home of an evening?

The turnover of messages on social media is much faster than other online methods. Posts are quickly replaced by other newer content, quickly pushing your updates down your target’s newsfeed, making it essential that you are hitting the site at the right time. The only way to get this right is research and testing. Use shortened trackable links to monitor where your traffic is coming from – which posts in particular are most effective – to get an idea of the most successful posting times. Once you have built up intelligence on the most successful times, you can concentrate on these and avoid wasting your precious time posting when your target audience is not online.

A more sophisticated tool provided by recruitment management software can provide huge insights into your candidates with accurate source tracking. Once you have a clear idea of your best (and worst) social media sources, you know where to invest your time and can make decisions on what social media sites are to focus your efforts on.

Recruitment software also allows you to post your jobs to social media in just a few clicks. Integration with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus means less moving between sites, copy and pasting and manual tracking, allowing you to spend your time on more valuable things like getting your job descriptions perfect.

Catch their Eye

Job descriptions become even more important on social media as you need to stand out amongst the non-work posts which, let’s face it, tends to me more exciting! Of course the prospect of a new job is very interesting, but to candidates, especially passive candidates, recruiters have their work cut out for them to stand out amongst the special offers, friend’s pictures and latest celebrity gossip!

Using attractive key words can often help to get candidates’ attention, and this can help you too if you have applicant tracking software. By using your preferred keywords in the adverts, candidates who most identify with them are more likely to apply – and these will feed into your recruitment system so you can identify those candidates who have those key words in their application. Plus, using your keywords also helps with the SEO for your website, which should increase natural traffic to your site.

Embrace the Full Experience

Talent acquisition is a two way street. As much as you want candidates who impress you with their CVs, candidates need to be impressed by you in turn. Gone are the days where just posting job specifications to social media is enough to secure candidate’s interest. There are so many competing recruiters out there that you need to do more than just post a link to your job site or latest vacancies.

Your social media activity should have a personality. It’s not just about your job vacancies but your company in general. Share things you find interesting that are relevant to your company. Share new projects your company is embarking on. Especially important is to share anything that talks about your corporate responsibility. Candidates are more and more looking to work for companies with consciences, so showing off any charitable endeavours is increasingly likely to turn a candidate’s head.

Monitor your social activity for replies, and follow up on them immediately. It’s no good looking like a fully social brand and letting all of that effort go to waste by not jumping on any opportunity to interact. Even if they aren’t a possible candidate, address their comment, don’t just let comments hang without a response – it may deter those who are in your target market.

From a Post to an Application

Once they are aware of you, and know you are hiring, you want to make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply. More and more companies are coming to realise the importance of having a fully mobile careers site as we know that increasing numbers of candidates are searching for work on mobile phones and tablets. While it is still impossible, or at least very difficult, to upload a CV to an application, steps need to be taken so you don’t lose a candidate’s interest. While active candidates may bookmark your job to apply later when they are at a computer, passive candidates are very unlikely to do this.

To really embrace mobile recruiting you need to make sure that the full application process is mobile friendly and therefore candidate friendly. Recruitment management software allows you to give candidates an option to register their interest in your company. Candidates fill in a few details about themselves which are sent to a recruiter and saved in their system. They can later come back and apply for specific jobs easily, or can be contacted directly from the system if a recruiter finds a vacancy they think is appropriate.

This can also be very useful for building up a talent pool for future vacancies within your company. If you can get possible candidates to fill in a registration of interest form once you have attracted their attention via social media, even if you have no current vacancies you are more prepared for the future. Once a new vacancy arises, you already have a list of possibilities in your system to assess their suitability and message where appropriate. Hence even when you are not actively recruiting, constant social media activity is well worth the effort. Plus a company with a constant social media presence is often deemed as more trustworthy than those that only post when they have job applications!

Applicant tracking software can also allow candidates to apply for a job with their LinkedIn profile, taking information they have already filled out to populate the application. Messages can later be sent to the candidate if the recruiter requires additional information, all data being saved in the system in an orderly manner for later analytics. Once again not only is this useful for current vacancies, but adds to the talent pool for the future, saving you a great deal of time when the next opening arises.

Spread the word

Social media is all about sharing. The most successful posts are always those that are highly shareable, and you want to make sure your job posts are exactly that.

Allow social media sharing with others with a few clicks. Whether someone wishes to discuss a specification with a friend for themselves, or are recommending someone else apply for the role, giving them as many options as possible can only encourage a favourable opinion of your company.

Another way to get more shares is to implement an internal referral scheme for your colleagues. Offering a monetary reward for anyone who recommends an applicant who goes on to successfully pass probation is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to encourage social sharing and get your applications out to a much further audience. Once again source tracking from recruitment management systems makes it much easier to identify successful referrals and track over time how long referred employees stay with a company as opposed to people hired through other channels. It is often said that referred employees stay longer and have greater job satisfaction than employees from any other source [1].

Continuous look and feel

So you have a branded careers portal on your site, it’s a seamless journey from your website to your careers pages, even if they are hosted by someone else. But what about your social media? As well as maintaining a single tone of voice and personality, your social media approach should look and feel similar to the website you are directing them to. All popular social media sites allow you to customise your profile with images and descriptions and it is well worth investing the time to perfect these.

A social applicant shouldn’t feel their experience is any different from a direct website applicant. Social candidates will still expect a response to their application, and this should be branded, personalised and include information on the next steps in the application process where necessary. This can seem like a time consuming project and so is often overlooked by HR teams. Recruitment management software makes this easier as custom emails and text messages can be sent directly from the system, either when a set event happens, or manually where appropriate. Not receiving any feedback is one of the main frustrations candidates feel in the 2015 job market [2], so this is an easy way to set yourself ahead of your competitors.

Difficulties with Social media

There is a worrying idea that candidates are not embracing the standard social media tools that we are familiar with. Younger generations seem to be moving away from LinkedIn, the average age of users on that site being 44 [3]. With most of the world seeming to already have a Facebook account, and with Facebook moving more into the business arena [4] it is likely that the role of the recruiter is also to follow candidate trends, and adapt their approach in the light of new developments.

In Conclusion

For the recruiter in 2015, social media is essential. And with more and more people using social media in every aspect of their life, both social and professional, it’s likely to stay that way for some time. Hopefully the information and tips above will help for the short term to put a robust and successful social media recruitment campaign in place, but the recruiter must always be vigilant for the best big trend.

One thing that is definitely around to stay is recruitment software. Numerous times above has an integrated tool added another element to social hiring – whether it be saving you time and therefore money in your hiring process, or proving tracking information and analytics abilities.

If you think that recruitment software could help you and your HR team, or would just like some more information on their application outside of social media, please visit or contact us here.






What does our team do?

The team at Social Hire never just do social media management.

Our group of specialists are an organisation that helps our clients boost their social media marketing by offering social media management services on a monthly basis.

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