Social media has, in many cases, become an integral part of daily life, changing how people learn about news and pop culture, watch television and even search for jobs. Search engines remain one of the most popular ways to look for jobs, and social media and mobile now each play a growing role, requiring organizations to rethink their search strategy and what it takes to be found in a mobile and social world.
Companies today can no longer expect to connect with top talent by simply putting up a career site in hopes of being found. Rather, they need to go meet their candidates in the places where they consume information and bring branded content to candidates where they are active. While massive use of social media is changing dynamics both in the world around us and in the workplace, many organizations aren’t getting enough traction or results with their social recruiting efforts. Most likely, it’s due to committing one, many or all of the seven deadly sins of social recruiting:
Sin #1: Failing to master the basics – At a minimum, you need to know how to write a detailed job description, use appropriate tags and ensure jobs are properly optimized to be found by search engines. When it comes to search, think about the way people behave – often seeking information based on geography or role. Find ways to make your job descriptions appealing, relevant, and shareable. Remember, leveraging social networks is also critical because a lot of content posted on them is indexed by search engines.
Sin #2: Not knowing who you’re talking to and how they communicate – You have to know what motivates your employees and your candidates. What do they find of interest about your company? Do they use mobile? How engaged are they in social media? When they share content via one of their social networks, why do they share? Internal employment brand ambassadors provide a powerful way to convey why your organization is a great place to work, but motivating them requires providing them with content that is of interest to themselves and other candidates; giving them the tools and conduits with which to share the content, and the opportunity to have interactions of real value with your audiences. Design and implement strategies and communications that allow you and your teams to really engage with your candidates and that give them the reasons and motivation to share your story with their connections.
Sin # 3: Being socially irrelevant – Limiting your “findability” to job boards or your company career site won’t extend or enhance brand engagement. Instead, use blog posts, videos, photographs and employee participation to show what the culture is like. Showcase the people that work together to advance the company mission and drive career advancement opportunities for the future. Participate in places where the target audience is active, whether that’s Facebook, LinkedIn or a proprietary community and help others carry your stories forward.
Sin # 4: Failing to consider the psychology of interactions – When people share dessert, no one wants to be the one to eat the first bite — but once someone spears the center of a brownie ala mode, it is fair game. Social media is like that, too. The first like, comment or share fuels participation because it provides “social proof” that it is OK to share and engage. It is human nature to want to be helpful to your friends, be the source of valuable information or share experiences that strike an emotional chord. Think about what drives social dynamics and human behavior and don’t underestimate the value of third-party endorsements; when someone in your network says “check out this awesome company or job,” you do.
Sin #5: Having little or no mobile strategy– Many employers have not yet elevated their mobile destinations or content to the same level that users experience when searching for consumer goods, restaurants, and films. You and I can easily find movie times, locations, and even purchase tickets using our mobile devices. Job seekers expect the same immersive content when using their mobile to search for jobs. It’s time for organizations to put mobile in a priority position and deliver a mobile experience that works.
Sin # 6: Failing to treat candidates as brand ambassadors – Not every candidate will be a right fit, ready to make a move, or even qualified, but if you deliver valuable content and information and a good candidate experience to everyone throughout the process, you’ve given them reason to be a brand ambassador and speak highly of the organization. It’s expensive to get mindshare, so when you have someone’s attention, work to keep it and leverage it.
Sin # 7: Not using metrics to optimize your results – A commitment to metrics provides insight into what’s working and what’s not, helping organizations to optimize their strategy. A combination of hard metrics – apply source, applications created or completed, number of interviews, and actual hires – as well as soft metrics such as likes, shares, comments and other social interactions will show what campaigns are effective at increasing awareness, engagement and applicant flow. Make sure you establish your success metrics at the outset and build the right systems and processes to effectively track, measure, and analyze your efforts.