Social media is one of the most important talent attraction strategies that every employer can use today. It’s becoming harder and more expensive to recruit candidates through traditional job boards when practically everyone that a company wants to hire is already employed and therefore not looking for job ads. This is why talent acquisition and Recruitment Marketing teams are investing more into using social media to get their employer brand and career opportunities in front of candidates where people already spend time online.
But using social media for recruiting is challenging. It requires a never-ending amount of interesting content to keep your social channels full and the know-how to create social content that will attract and engage quality candidates. Effective social recruiting also requires continuous tracking and measurement of what is catching your talent audience’s attention and what influences them most to want to learn more about your company and careers.
To help the Rally Recruitment Marketing community get better at using social media for talent attraction, we held a virtual Social Recruiting Rally from Jan. 23-27, 2023. This first-of-its-kind digital event used training and technology to teach participants what works and what doesn’t work to attract talent through social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Nearly 500 practitioners signed up for the rally, representing employers across all industries and company sizes. Practitioners also represented all skill levels in using social media for recruiting:
- 55% identified as beginners
- 38% identified as professionals
- 7% identified as experts
During the Social Recruiting Rally, practitioners used our Rally® Inside™ Recruitment Marketing tool to create and publish best-practice social media posts to their channels. Rally Inside tracked and analyzed candidate engagement on the posts in real time, providing new insights into the types of content that influence talent to visit an employer’s careers website and view their open jobs. And now we’re ready to share the results!
We summarized our key learnings from the Social Recruiting Rally participants as well as all of the users of our Rally Inside tool into a new 40-page Social Recruiting Strategy Benchmark Report. The report analyzed over 2,200 pieces of organic social recruiting content published through 8 social media channels from July 2022 through February 2023.
It’s important to point out that the social content analyzed in our report was “written” by a practitioner, not an auto-generated “We’re hiring” post that gets pushed by a recruiting tool or applicant tracking system to a company’s social channels. Rally Inside data shows that those types of posts don’t work, and actually perform in the bottom 25% of social content published by employers. They’re clogging your social recruiting channels, and we recommend against them. The most effective social recruiting content tells stories, not treats social media like a place to stream job ads.
In this blog post, we unpack the benchmark report to help you learn how to use social media more effectively for recruiting, including:
- Why content is the most important factor to successful social recruiting (and why clicks are the most important engagement metric to track)
- How to rely on data to know what to post (and stop worrying about copywriting), and
- Ways to effectively promote jobs on social media (and what not to do)
Let’s dive into the benchmark data to help you improve your social recruiting strategy!
Rally Note: There’s lots more you can learn about how to improve your strategy for social recruiting, Recruitment Marketing and employer branding with our Rally Inside tool. Sign up today to get your Free account >
Content is the most important factor to successful social recruiting
Engagement is the most important metric to track on social media, because the more engagement your content receives, the more that the social media algorithms will reward you by showing your content to a larger audience on their platform.
Social media platforms generally calculate engagement by counting the number of people who take an action on your post (i.e., click, share, comment) divided by the number of people who viewed your post (called either reach or impressions).
When it comes to social recruiting, Rally Inside data shows that 33% of organic social recruiting content gets no engagement at all.
There are many factors that affect whether your social recruiting content will get engagement: What is the content? Does it have an image or video? When was it posted? Are you publishing to a personal profile or business page? How many followers do you have?
Our data shows that the most important factor that determines engagement with social recruiting content is the type of content itself, and that the most important engagement metric is tracking clicks. Why clicks? Because ultimately, as practitioners, we’re publishing content to try to drive a candidate to take an action, which is to visit our careers website to learn more about our company, culture and career opportunities, and hopefully to apply for a job. So a click measures candidate behavior during the candidate journey by showing interest with us as an employer.
Rally Inside data shows that organic recruiting content engagement varies by channel.
- 32% of LinkedIn social recruiting content gets no engagement
- 39% of Facebook social recruiting content gets no engagement
- 41% of Instagram social recruiting content gets no engagement
- 28% of Twitter social recruiting content gets no engagement*
- 21% of Employee Advocacy social recruiting content (multiple channels) gets no engagement
*Note that the Twitter figure is misleading, because recruiting content on that channel receives far fewer clicks than other social channels (download the report for more information).
Effective social recruiting relies more on data than copywriting
Since the type of content you publish on social media is the most important factor affecting the amount of engagement your post will receive, we wanted to test what types of content work best to attract talent. Social Recruiting Rally participants were given access to best-practice social media templates on a variety of topics, and were asked to fill in the templates and publish one post daily during the week of the rally.
The results are in: The best-practice social recruiting templates that we provided to the Social Recruiting Rally participants got engagement 41% more often than social posts written from scratch by Rally Inside users who did not participate in the rally. It was like a giant social media A/B test!
It means that, using baseball terminology, Social Recruiting Rally participants hit the ball 41% more. Collectively, the rally participants drove 2,437 free clicks to their careers site in 1 week!
Why did the Social Recruiting Rally templates perform better than social posts written from scratch? Because the templates were constructed based on the highest-performing social media content analyzed by Rally Inside since 2021. We just followed the data!
Here were the template topics and when they were published:
|Mon Jan 23||Team Jobs + Benefits|
|Tues Jan 24||Holiday + Team Jobs + Employee Recognition
|Wed Jan 25||Team Jobs + Company Culture|
|Thurs Jan 26||Employee Testimonial + Career Progression + All Jobs|
|Fri Jan 27||Individual Jobs + Benefits|
Practitioners were able to use their creativity to fill in the blanks to customize the templates, but didn’t have to think about what they should post about or how to construct their post.
All templates performed better than posts written from scratch, with one exception.
The template we provided that promoted an Employee Testimonial got 15% fewer clicks than posts featuring employee testimonials and employee stories from Rally Inside users who did not participate in the rally. Upon analysis, both groups used a similar style graphic and a similarly constructed post, except for one element: the call to action (CTA). The rally template CTA was “Join us” and clicked to the careers site homepage or a job description, whereas other users used a CTA such as “Learn more” or “Read X’s story” and clicked to a careers blog with the fuller employee story.
The lesson we learned is that when candidates get interested in an employee spotlight, they are more likely to click to read more about the person featured, not be led directly to a path to apply now. So our recommendation is to lead candidates to your careers blog, and then on the blog page, such as in a sidebar or at the bottom of the blog post, link to view related jobs.
The other lesson we learned is that effective social media is more about using best practices based on data than it is about being a good copywriter.
You can promote jobs on social media (if you know what not to do)
Rally Inside users use up to 8 social media channels for recruiting. The social media channels that they use most often for recruiting are:
However, channel performance is slightly different. The social media channels that get the most engagement for Rally Inside users are:
Twitter is a very distant fourth place, typically getting just 5 clicks on average per post, compared to LinkedIn which gets an average of 49 clicks per post.
When determining channel performance, the most important factor is what is the content that practitioners share on that channel. For example, content featuring career advice performs great on LinkedIn, whereas Facebook is more effective for promoting hiring events and job fairs. Jobs content doesn’t perform at all on Instagram or Twitter. Based on Rally Inside data, we recommend not using Twitter at all for recruiting content. The data shows that recruiting is just not the type of content that Twitter users are interested in.
When using social media to promote jobs content, LinkedIn gets 33% more clicks per post on average compared to Facebook. One explanation is that LinkedIn is made up of professional connections and people are more open to hearing about jobs, whereas people use Facebook largely to connect with friends and family.
So is it possible to use Facebook to attract talent to jobs? The answer is Yes! The templates we provided to Social Recruiting Rally participants that promoted jobs performed significantly better on Facebook compared to posts by Rally Inside users who wrote their posts from scratch.
Templates that promoted Team Jobs got 53% more clicks, and templates that promoted Individual Jobs got 118% more clicks! The best practice when sharing jobs is to include messaging about the benefits you offer, describe your company culture and/or feature your employees. Plus, include a graphic!
Thank you to all of the practitioners who participated in the Social Recruiting Rally, and to everyone who uses our Rally Inside Recruitment Marketing tool! Because all of you are tracking your Recruitment Marketing content and campaigns using Rally Inside, we’re seeing what works and what doesn’t work, and together we’re getting better and better at using modern talent attraction strategies that are brand-led and marketing-driven.
Be sure to download your copy of Rally’s Social Recruiting Strategy Benchmark Report, so you too can learn how to improve your talent attraction efforts by connecting with candidates through the social media channels where they already hang out online.
If you’d like to get access to the best-practice social recruiting templates that were used during the Social Recruiting Rally and that got candidate engagement 41% more often, start by signing up for our Rally Inside Free Plan.