5 Ways Companies Can Stand Out in Social Media Recruiting

by Staff Writer

social media recruitingChances are you’re already using social media to recruit. And if you’re not, you’re missing out on a veritable landmine of talent. 72% of all Internet users are on social media, and today's most talented professionals know that social media is a great way to find – and land – their dream jobs.

Social media recruiting is a great way to reach millions of potential candidates. But with an audience that big, you need to stand out – and a basic social media presence is far from enough. To stand out in an ever-growing crowd, you don’t just need do social media. You need to do it well.  

Below are 5 tips, tricks and cutting-edge strategies to help you stand out in the social media recruiting crowd.

Make it Personal

Many businesses take an impersonal, buttoned-up approach to social media. But that’s not what social is all about. Social media is meant for creating, maintaining and sharing a unique identity – and using that identity to connect with others. This provides companies with great opportunities to connect more effectively with potential candidates.

How can you make social media recruiting more personal? Start by selecting a few employees to act as the faces of your company on social media. Have them to post from umbrella accounts, like @yourcompanyname on Twitter, or give them their own accounts and allow them to act as brand ambassadors. When potential candidates can see real faces and personalities behind your company, they'll be more interested in working for you.

An added bonus? Having several active social media accounts makes it easier to reach out and make meaningful connections with more prospects – without seeming spammy.

For example, Facebook is increasingly falling out of favor with younger users, with many migrating to sites like Instagram, Twitter and Vine. Another issue? Mobile devices, which just this year surpassed PCs in web usage. To recruit effectively, companies need to stay on top of trends like these – whether that means expanding into more social networks or optimizing sites for mobile devices.

Task your recruiters with staying on top of the latest social media trends. By getting to the right places (and the right screens) before your competitors, you'll have the first pick of some of the brightest, most talented candidates on social media.

Quality trumps quantity

Having lots of followers and fans is a great way to gain influence and increase your reach. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. If you add people indiscriminately (or gain followers through less-than-legitimate means), you run the risk of coming across as spammy. And that means that savvy recruits are less likely to take your company seriously.

Try to create meaningful connections on social media, instead of just accumulating as many followers as possible. When serious prospects check out your company's connections, they should be impressed by your influence and your legitimacy.

A great way to find effective social media connections? LinkedIn. Scanning the professional networking site is the easiest way to find people with the talent, authority and influence that you're looking for in candidates. An added benefit? Even if many of them aren’t interested in working for your business, having them as connections will enhance your company's social profile.

Provide an inside look at your company
Job seekers like to have a feel for what it's really like to work for a business before submitting their resumes.  But you don’t need to rely on slick marketing materials to show them. Instead, let current employees do it for you through social media.

Recruit employees to take over your social networks or blog for a day to talk about their position. Use social media to highlight unique workplace perks, whether it’s a walking track or an in-house bistro.  Show potential hires what it’s really like to work for your company – and show them that your business is a friendly, interesting place to work. It's more effective and more meaningful than posting a generic marketing video.

Want to stand out even more? Arm a few employees with cameras (or smartphones) and have them create and upload their own day-in-the-life videos. It’s a terrific way to demonstrate the culture and vibe of your business – which in turn is a great way to attract the right people.

Reward Your Followers

One of the top reasons people choose to follow businesses on social media? To gain insider information – and to get access to certain perks that aren’t widely available.

For instance, you could plan occasional meet-ups (virtual or not) for people who follow your company on Twitter and other social media sites. Hold contests for one-on-one sessions with important figures within your business. Host exclusive Q&A sessions with industry leaders or interesting influencers. With perks like these, you're sure to attract all kinds of followers – not to mention incredible talent.

These strategies are just the tip of the social media iceberg. When it comes to social recruiting, the more personal and unique your efforts are, the better your results will be. One thing that’s certain? You can't go wrong by using social media to enhance your recruiting.

Follow their Lead: Zappos and Atlassian

Making your recruitment strategy personal, meaningful and successful takes work. But that work pays off. One example of a company who does it well? Zappos. The online retailer takes personal recruiting to the extreme, eschewing position-based recruiting completely. Instead, Zappos invites candidates to learn more about the company to find the job that fits them best.

Zappo’s careers page looks distinctly different from the careers pages of other businesses. There are no job postings, no list of required skills, and nowhere to upload a resume or cover letter. Instead, there are interesting resources full of insider information. Candidates can learn more about the different teams at Zappos.  They can get an inside look at the company’s culture, and even take a virtual tour of the Zappos campus. The result? Candidates that are better informed, better prepared, and genuinely interested in a career at Zappos.

Another great example is the Atlassian company events page. In 2012, the software company launched a massive recruiting campaign called “Europe, We’re Coming to Steal Your Geeks.” Recruiters from the company embarked on a bus tour of European cities to try to lure developers to their Australian headquarters. They sold candidates with an all-expenses-paid relocation package, and they promoted the campaign heavily on Twitter and Instagram. The campaign ultimately earned them 1,000 applications in just five weeks.

That wasn’t Atlassian’s first foray into effective recruiting, either. In 2010, the company launched their “32 Campaign,” in which they attempted to recruit and hire 32 engineers over social media. Atlassian attracted thousands of applications then, too – and not only because the company promised a free vacation to each new hire.

Do you use social recruiting? If so, which sites and strategies do you focus on?

Abby PerkinsAbby Perkins is Managing Editor at Talent Tribune. When she's not reading or playing with her dog, she writes about human resources and workplace trends, and technology. candidate sources charts

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