As Recruitment Marketers we know that social media can be extremely helpful to any organization’s recruiting efforts.
While we know social is worth investing time in, there are many questions that need to be answered before jumping in: like whether you ought to share social accounts with Marketing, and who should be responsible for creating and posting content?
There really is no right or wrong approach across the board, so the best way to determine the right answer for your business is to have social media and recruiting sit down together and have an open discussion.
Here are four questions to get your conversation started.
1. What is the goal of your company’s current social media accounts?
For some B2C and B2B companies, the social accounts are there to showcase products. Typical posts are about enhanced product features, customer testimonials or new product launches.
For others, the handles are used to promote the company brand. Posts are focused on things like community engagement, sales releases and perhaps employee spotlights. Consider with Marketing, on a scale between “Sales/Product Focused” and “Brand Focused,” where does your organization fall?
For companies whose pages fall more on the branding side of the scale, posting employment related content makes sense. Employee stories, testimonials and job openings will fit well into that narrative.
But if the main goal of the business page is to sell products, get clients to book appointments or otherwise attract customers, including employment-related posts will seem jarring to followers.
In this case, followers are there to see your products, not your employment perks. A few examples where this might be the case:
- Shoppers may follow a clothing retailer on Instagram to see the latest styles and trends.
- Accountants may follow a software company on Twitter to learn tips to be more efficient in their work.
- Viewers may follow a TV show on Facebook to get behind-the-scenes looks at the cast.
These individuals won’t be interested in information about your employment brand and it could result in a loss of followers for your product or consumer brand, which is less than ideal for you and Marketing!
Also consider the overall content mix and how often Recruiting is looking to publish content. If an employment-related message makes sense in the feed, but the recruiting team would like to post several jobs each week, that may be excessive. However, almost any organization is able to post employment-related content at least once or twice a month without seeing a negative reaction from their followers.
2. How much overlap is there with your intended audiences?
Think of a Venn diagram with two circles. One is the intended audience for your business page, filled with customers, investors, community members, current employees and more. Consider their interests, their job titles and their locations, as well as why they follow your pages. What sort of content are you consistently providing that they’ve come to expect?
The second circle is filled with your prospective candidates. Again, consider their interests, titles and location. How much overlap is there? The more overlap, the less necessary a separate profile for recruiting may be. But if your current page is focused on reaching teenagers throughout the U.S. and you’re a gaming company based in Michigan, your candidate pool does not have much overlap with your customer base.
3. Is there a person who can dedicate at least 50% of their time to social media?
Done well, social media management takes time. If you want to reach the right audience with compelling and valuable content you’ll need someone to dedicate a consistent portion of their week to curating content, writing posts, gathering (or snapping!) photos, creating target audiences for ads (more on that in a future post) and analyzing metrics.
The best social media managers are in the platforms daily, testing, tweaking and trying. If there is not a person who can dedicate at least 20 hours per week to building the recruiting social profiles, success will be challenging.
The follow-up question here is: should this person be from Recruiting/HR or social media/Marketing?
Both scenarios will work, as long as there is constant, open communication between both teams. There are intricacies to recruiting that differ from marketing.
For example, even though a majority of your employees may be traditional college age, you cannot post an ad for employment with a target age of 18-22 (unless, of course, you enjoy settling EEOC claims).
Recruiting also tends to be very reactive. As much as recruiters work with hiring teams to determine how, where and when jobs will open, they’re never able to 100% predict upcoming hiring priorities. Recruiting is based on a combination of business needs and human behavior.
In some cases, we can plan a Recruitment Marketing strategy months in advance, but more often than not, we need to react quickly and begin attracting candidates to a position within a matter of days.
Just as there are nuances to recruiting, there are also nuances in marketing and social media. There’s an entire lexicon that must be learned: reach versus impressions, engagements and click-throughs, followers, fans and visitors and what the heck does organic mean?
Posting engaging content means knowing the best picture size, post length, hashtags to use and how to keep up with the constant changes.
Within both recruiting and marketing, there’s as much art to the job as science, so there’s no one book to read or class to take to learn how to do it well.
The most successful marketers and the most successful recruiters are constantly learning through webinars, articles from peers and through good old-fashioned trial and error.
If the person in charge of social media for recruitment is a member of the Marketing team, they need to ensure they spend a significant amount of time with recruiters learning about the challenges of the different job openings.
For the recruiter-turned-social-media-specialist, a strong partnership with Marketing is key to ensure proper branding, to learn social tips and tricks and to best utilize available budget.
4. Is there budget available to support recruiting efforts on social media?
The reality is that some budget needs to be available whether you’re posting employment messages on your current page or a newly created careers specific page.
Typically to reach the right audience for job postings or employment branding messages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you’ll need to create targeted ads. The spend can be as low as ten dollars per post or well into the thousands, with several factors at play.
If the budget from the recruiting team is minimal, it may make more sense to lean towards using the one general business channel and using the limited budget to boost select posts.
If you’re able to allocate more budget, it will be easier to help build an audience for a careers specific page as you can create more targeted posts to attract your intended audience.
These considerations again need to be balanced against the previous questions, like whether your organization’s profiles are dedicated to branding or sales specific goals. Even if you don’t have a big budget, it might make sense to start that careers page if you have a dedicated person for it and if your organization’s current channels are mostly sales focused.
I hope these questions are a useful starting point to determine how your organization’s team may dip its toe in the social media waters. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you have questions or to let me know how your experience with social recruiting goes!