Setting the Foundation for a Successful Social Recruiting Strategy

by Allison Reilly

You would think that social media is the foundation for a successful social recruiting strategy, but that foundation is much more than having a few profiles online. It’s also about what you present to the world, who you’d like to present to, and how that presentation is deployed. Before you start social recruiting, you need to know where to start, and how to start in a way that ensures success. Below are the key elements in the foundation of a successful social recruiting strategy.

Related: Social media is cruitia for a successful recruiting strategy

Solidifying the Employment Brand

social recruiting foundation resized 600“Anything that’s presented in the public sphere is amplified significantly,” says Joel Capperella, vice president of marketing at Yoh. “Therefore, it’s critical for us to evaluate what your employment brand actually is, and it needs to be beyond look and feel.”

By beyond look and feel, we mean that the employment brand needs to go beyond what you want to present in a campaign, like a large hiring event, and really needs to be representative of the entire employment experience. It needs to be a representation of who you are as an employer. Once the employment brand is this big picture, it can then serve as a style guide for the digital conversation and how you communicate the brand to potential employees.

Consider the style guide as broad guidelines for what the brand is and its message. This way, when folks within the organization talk about the employment brand or who the company is as an employer, the conversation remains on-message and doesn’t risk confusing potential candidates on what the brand and the message is.

Related: Trashing your employment brand

Determining Your Reach

“The best and the easiest way to minimize the complexity of the tools… is to understand that there’s a certain level of engagement that’s required to use social media for recruiting,” Capperella says. “Estimate what level of effort you are willing to adopt, and then multiply it by 20 percent.”

Social media recruiting is a time-consuming process, just as time-consuming as traditional recruiting strategies, maybe even more so. The main reason for the time and effort is that with social media, you have to identify the content that’s required against where you are looking to reach. Since social media is driven by content, driven by a perspective, you need to create and/or to find content that will reach who you want to reach, as well as the number of people you want to reach.

Researching the Candidate Marketplace

“You want to be able to profile the talent that matters to your organization,” says Capperella, who suggests that this market-based approach ought to be done more aggressively in social media. “What’s the DNA of the types of employee at every level that you want to bring into the organization?”

A big part of reach is who is in that reach, and the best way to provide your company with that picture of your reach and your ideal candidate is to create a persona. A persona is a stereotype of the ideal member in your talent pool, and each persona for your company (you should have several) has a name and a specific conversation with your employment brand. Once you have developed detailed personas, you can structure your social recruiting around those individuals and engage them across the spectrum of their career options.

Related: What is an employment brand?

Initial Deployment and Tool Prioritization

“Don’t worry about the tools… define the engagement preferences,” says Capperella. “How do I prefer to engage them?”

There are a lot of social networks and tools out there, and you simply don’t have time to do all of them. To figure out which tools and network will give you the biggest return for your time and effort, you need to know not only which networks your personas are on, but which networks play to your strengths as an employment brand. If your organization is hesitant about using video, then YouTube won’t be a good choice. However, if your personas are reading blogs, and blogging is something your organization is already doing, then spending time on Tumblr would be a good use of time and effort.

When using social media for recruiting, make sure that there’s a distinction in your company between social media for recruiting and social media for other company objectives. However, don’t let policy and procedure inhibit use in a way that hinders the effort and the ultimate goal.

By setting up your social recruiting strategy properly, and carefully considering your employment brand, your candidate marketplace, and the social media tools that best engage your audience and communicate your brand, you’ll have the foundation that ensures successful social media recruiting. In a future blog post, we’ll discuss the framework for executing your social recruiting strategy.

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