That ever-present black-hole of time. The never-ending stream of collective consciousness which brings out the best, and worst, in anyone.
We’re going to pass over LinkedIn, and leave that beast for another day, for not all social media sites are made equal, and all have their purpose.
Still, it exists, and it will continue to expand in its reach whether we choose to like it or not. The question is no longer “if” you should be embracing social media as a recruiter, but rather “how”.
Here we’ll look at three simple ways you can attract candidates, recruit and hire, and build your brand on social media – my social media tips for recruiters:
Don’t just post jobs!
If you’re somebody who has a presence already on social media, you’ll have witnessed the endless feed of job ads on some accounts belonging to recruiters or recruitment businesses. I’m not in the business of naming names (those who are guilty of this need no singling out), it is, after all, an easy trap to fall into. After all, if a social network is where your target audience exists, why wouldn’t you want to be direct in your approach?
The answer is simple – it’s ineffective.
Recruiters know that when a candidate is actively looking for a new job that they will move into the digital spaces where they are able to view their options. This may be LinkedIn, the job boards, or your own recruitment business website. Job seekers will be receptive to job ads, for that is what they are actively looking for.
Instead, what is required are inventive social media strategies for reaching passive candidates – those who may be moderately unhappy in their current role or open to a job opening elsewhere without actively searching. The “Admin Assistant – £22K – Hatfield” approach will be the most effective recruiting strategy for these people.
Passive candidates require a different approach. The recruiting process needs to come from a completely different angle, a different direction. It is here that you will need to leverage the “social” in social media. Focus on the dreams, wants and needs of your potential candidates.
A great example of this in practice is the reed.co.uk “Love Mondays” campaign. In this campaign they don’t describe the roles they are hosting on their job board, instead, they make a short statement, “Love Mondays”, and leave the rest to your imagination. The reason it is so effective and successful as a marketing strategy is that everyone can have a reaction to the statement. Either you already love Mondays, or you don’t, and if you don’t – why don’t you? Maybe there could be something out there which might make you love Mondays – or at least not loathe them?
COMPARE THE TWO:
Post: “Admin Assistant – £22K – Hatfield”
Response: I’m not interested in being an Admin Assistant OR I can’t afford to live on £22K OR I don’t live near Hatfield
Post: “Love Mondays”
Response: I do love Mondays OR I hate Mondays OR why should I love Mondays? OR how can I love Mondays?
Recruiting passive candidates always begins with planting a thought in their mind for it to grow. Using social media to achieve this is no different.
Which leads us on to…
Building a brand with character
You’re an individual, with a personality and a sense of humour (I hope!?), and your business and career is an extension of that. We explored earlier the dangers of posting dry and soulless content, this point is about constructively building a positive online brand, whilst keeping in mind the tips of what NOT to do.
There are two things to consider here:
- Who are you?
- Who’s your target audience?
The answers to these two questions could be easily answered with generic nonsense: “I am a recruiter and I want more clients/candidates”. If we take the lessons we learned from point one, we will already see the problem with this approach. Social Media is very rarely a space for direct marketing.
Instead, imagine it this way: When on social media you have the opportunity to speak to people in a deeper and potentially emotionally exposed way than most other environments. People will dip into Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and others while waiting for the kettle to boil, while sitting on the bus on the way to work, while having a drink with their friends or while watching the football on TV. You have the opportunity to catch people when their guard is down. I hope you can now see how the “Admin Assistant – £22K – Hatfield” example is a hugely missed opportunity.
I cannot tell you how to manifest your character and personality on social media – only you can do that – but here are a few examples of recruiters we’ve worked with who have their social media presence down to a fine art.
Martin Sandford – Future Levels
Martin recruits in the Somerset Levels, a region which is rich in history and culture, which he uses and leverages in his activity on social media. He interacts with local business conversations on Twitter and posts beautifully composed images which stir curiosity in the mind of the audience and create a true sense of place and purpose. Everything Future Levels posts on social media promotes the company culture and brand he represents – a local recruiter for local businesses.
Mark Hopkins – Thomas Lee Recruitment
Thomas Lee Recruitment recruits for technical and engineering positions across the UK, and the content Mark chooses to share on social media reflects that. Mark recognised that to be respected as a knowledgeable recruiter in his sector, he should demonstrate his businesses understanding of the sector. Mark links to sector-specific articles both by industry publications and blog posts on his own site. In addition to this, Mark also guest writes on numerous industry blogs and vlogs answers to some of the key questions he is asked as a recruiter in his sector. Here’s an example of one of Mark’s vlogs:
So you know the sort of content you should be posting, and the content you certainly shouldn’t. Here’s the final point when it comes to building your brand with social media…
Be social and have fun!
So, hopefully, by now you’re creatively thinking about what you can post online without falling into any of the most frequently trodden pitfalls. What more can you do? Certainly content is the most important consideration when working on social media, though of course, you need to then maximise what you achieve with the new followers and subscribers you’ve acquired.
The vast majority of your content will be focussed on planting ideas and starting thought processes in the minds of your audience. To maximise and crystallise that interest though, social networks are the perfect place to engage.
Ask questions, answer questions, converse with businesses and the big players in your sector. Strike up conversations with potential clients and candidates alike, and drive them to engage with your professional or company page. Encourage open debate, create a space for people to talk. Try to approach social media as an open shop where you, the proprietor, are there to help gently guide people to the product or service which would suit them best. Some people you’ll interact with (maybe even most people) will be “casual shoppers”, curious about what you have to say but without a clear motivation to do any kind of business.
Treat this as an opportunity to show the best of your brand, either as an individual or as a business, and have fun!
So those are three simple, and yet hard to master tips to maximise your impact on social media. As always, feel free to reach out to me on social media (!) if you have anything to add, subtract, agree or disagree with.
Keep an eye on our social media feeds for more content just like this, and good luck in implementing these social media tips into your recruitment process!