Recruiting is about telling a story of your company, about the culture, opportunities and careers. Social media is about sharing stories using a mix of images, video and words.
Companies and individuals can shy away from social media fearing it is a dark art. In reality you should treat a digital conversation in the same way you do a face to face chat. The only major difference is that your face to face chats aren’t archived and searchable so in theory can’t come back to haunt you. However, as with any negative, there is a positive, searchable content is findable so other people can join in. These people could be looking for a job with a company like yours.
Of course, there has to be a point to these digital conversations, ultimately you want people to be so enthusiastic about your brand, company and culture that they want to work for you before you even advertise careers are available.
Social media is a great tool, however, like any media bad news travels faster and further than good. So, if you have an unhappy workforce, a poor brand or a bad reputation you need to address some of those issues before undertaking a social media campaign. That being said you will already have a presence on social media, just not the one you want to attract valuable team members.
You will always receive criticism and potentially negative comments but the positives should far outweigh them. It is important for social media to engage, so never delete comments but be seen to respond. Transparency is really important in building trust in your brand.
Social media tools by their very design are easy to use, but it takes time and a little research to ensure you hit your target audience with the right messaging and engagement level. There is no ‘one size fits all’ so learn to talk to your followers not the general public.
As in many social situations the most difficult part of talking to relative strangers is thinking of a topic of conversation. So, forgot you’re online or on a device, you’re still talking to people just via a different mechanism.
People love to listen to storytellers, so tell the story of your company, the people who make things happen, the jobs they do and the value they add. Think about what makes you different, it could be the charity and community work you do, show it off, not just with words but will pictures, video and text.
Social media is about engagement so the key is to ensure you’re a great listener as well as a storyteller. If you think about your own personal relationships, you talk, you listen, you offer advice and insight, you share humour and experiences - you’re trying to replicate the same online, so, ask questions, and offer answers.
Experiment with your content and see what reaction you get from your followers. You will quickly see what content your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook followers find interesting, you will probably find popular content on Facebook is not popular on LinkedIn so you need to adapt accordingly.
Again, this is the same as the “real world” you wouldn’t talk to your Nan in the same way you talk to your siblings!
A look inside: You’re looking to offer insights into your company and culture. Show the people, the fun, the day to day and all the things you can’t find out from a corporate website.
Charity begins at work: Showcase the values of your organisation by demonstrating your charity and community work. Christmas jumper day, human table football or silly activities and the people involved. Social is about people, so always go back to the people element of any event.
On a more serious side you need to look to offer value to your followers, how to guides and top tips are a great way to do this. They are also good for increasing your followers as they have a natural spread.
Conversation shouldn’t be a one way thing, and social media shouldn’t just be push marketing. So, ask your audience questions, what would they value from their next role or organisation? What perks would make them want to move jobs?
And of course jobs, your social recruiting strategy should form part of your overall branding and social media strategy but don’t forget to post your jobs, you now have followers waiting for them.
Finally, always remember people like to talk to people, not machines or companies. Think how irritated you become with automated systems, your social media presence has to be from people to people. Don’t talk corporate, talk as yourself and let your personality and that of your organisation shine.
About the Author
Mike Scotney is a director of Applause IT, a specialist IT recruitment agency covering Birmingham, Manchester and the rest of the UK.
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