Recently we analyzed the content and keywords used in more than 6,000 LinkedIn posts that were published on the company pages of users of our Rally® Inside™ Recruitment Marketing tool. The analysis is summarized in our latest benchmark report on social recruiting, which is packed with lots of data on how employers are using social media to attract talent. In this blog post, I’ll focus on what we learned specifically about LinkedIn to help you know what types of content (and literally what words) actually work better to engage talent through your organic LinkedIn feed. And importantly, I’ll explain what this means for the candidate journey that you will need to provide in order to lead candidates from LinkedIn to your company’s open jobs.
Rather than making you wait to the end of this post, let me tell you the key finding: Candidates engage more with LinkedIn posts that talk about your “employees” and “team” versus posts that say “we’re hiring” or “apply now”.
In Recruitment Marketing and employer branding, we all know the power of people stories to attract talent to our company culture and values. Candidates want to see and hear about who works at our organization to help them visualize themselves in a new role.
But when it comes to creating our social media calendar for LinkedIn, shouldn’t we be promoting our open jobs? Afterall, LinkedIn is a professional network. We’re hiring and they’re looking for jobs, right?
Actually, this is where some practitioners are getting mixed up, confusing LinkedIn as a job board with LinkedIn as a social network. Consider why people check their LinkedIn feed. They’re looking for updates from colleagues and from people and brands they follow. Their attention is grabbed with what’s new, interesting, informative, helpful, provocative and entertaining. Their eye is caught by photos of smiling people and by images and videos that are out of the ordinary. Their curiosity is piqued when they see people they know reacting and commenting on a post, because they don’t want to miss out.
Despite news of recent layoffs, 80.7% of people aged 25 to 54 already have a job, the highest share in over 20 years. And perhaps because of recent layoffs, some people may be more comfortable staying put in their current role.
All this means that if you’re publishing “we’re hiring” type social posts on LinkedIn all the time, you’re using your LinkedIn platform in the wrong way.
If you’re trying to use your organic LinkedIn channel for recruiting, Rally Inside data reveals a better approach:
- The image should be optimized for mobile phones
- The post content should be about your employees
- The call to action should be to learn more
- The link should go to a landing page where people can continue reading what the post content is about, and
- The landing page should feature related jobs where interested candidates can carry on to read your job descriptions and apply
Let me show you the data we uncovered about how to create this high-converting candidate journey, to help you maximize the potential of your organic LinkedIn channel for recruiting qualified talent.
Rally Note: Data in this blog post comes from users of our Rally® Inside™ Recruitment Marketing tool which shows you how to recruit talent using the social networks and websites where people already hang out. Sign up for a free Rally Inside account here >
How to get your LinkedIn posts seen by more candidates
The first step to creating a higher-converting candidate journey from your LinkedIn posts to your open jobs starts with ensuring that your LinkedIn posts get seen. There are 3 key factors to consider:
- When you publish to LinkedIn
- The image or graphic with your post, and
- The topic of your post
Rally Inside data shows that organic LinkedIn recruiting content gets the most candidate engagement on Tuesday afternoons, Thursday afternoons and Wednesday afternoons in that order (Eastern Time). The specific day of the week and time of day may be different based on the candidates you recruit, so it’s valuable to track when your content gets the most engagement, as this will increase the potential that your talent audience will see your content.
In addition, 77% of candidates who engage with organic LinkedIn content from Rally Inside users do so from their smartphone. This means that the graphics you use with your LinkedIn posts really matter. Our data shows that photos of smiling, happy people perform the best, especially photos of your employees in their work environment. If you are going to create a graphic, the font size makes a huge difference. I see so many examples of graphics where the text is hard to read from my computer and practically impossible to read on a mobile phone.
Next, the topic of your LinkedIn post impacts whether or not it will get seen by your followers and potential followers. Rally Inside data shows that content designed to help candidates with their career gets very high engagement on LinkedIn. This includes career advice, your training programs as well as examples of career progression at your company. Posts that get high engagement get more impressions, meaning the social media algorithms will reward you with showing your content to a larger audience on their platform. For LinkedIn, the average recruiting post gets 49 clicks, according to Rally Inside data. But content that shows how to achieve career advancement gets twice the number of clicks, especially when the advice is shared by your employees.
With that said, Rally Inside users publish lots of organic posts to LinkedIn on all kinds of topics. In fact, they share content about Team Jobs more than any other topic. In our platform, Team Jobs means promoting Sales careers, versus an individual requisition for a specific sales role. The data shows that there’s a right way and a wrong way to promoting jobs through organic LinkedIn posts. The answer is to do it indirectly, and I’ll explain how.
Make your employees the focus of your LinkedIn posts
To find the most effective way to use organic LinkedIn posts for recruiting, we analyzed the keywords used in more than 6,000 LinkedIn posts published on Rally Inside users’ company pages. The results are absolutely fascinating!
In the table below, the top row shows the average engagement of all posts published by the company. As you know, most recruiting teams share their company’s LinkedIn page with corporate marketing and product marketing. So the average is really the baseline.
The question is, how does recruiting content on LinkedIn perform compared to the baseline – does it perform above average or below average? The answer we discovered is that it depends on what is the focus of the post: employees or jobs?
We analyzed 6 keywords: Apply, Hiring, Job, Career, Team and Employee. Posts that featured the word “employee” significantly outperformed the average:
- 34% more impressions
- 65% more reactions
- 130% more clicks, and
- 44% more engagement overall
However, posts with the word “apply” significantly underperformed compared to the average:
- 59% fewer impressions
- 67% fewer reactions
- 62% fewer clicks, and
- 41% less engagement overall
The key takeaway: Your LinkedIn posts will get more engagement when featuring your people and culture, and more engagement will lead to more impressions, meaning more potential candidates will see your posts.
If you’re treating the organic feed of LinkedIn like a job board, you won’t be successful. As I described at the start of this blog post, the majority of people are not actively looking for a job, and therefore are scrolling past content in their feed that looks like a job ad. So you should avoid the words “apply”, “apply today”, “apply now” and “apply here”. Candidates know that clicking a link in a social post where the call to action is the word “apply” is taking them down the path to see a job description. And passive candidates aren’t ready for that.
You’ll get the best result when you talk about the people who work at your company and when you show photos of your employees. Rally Inside data shows that using the word “employee” gets 509% more clicks than posts with the word “apply”. (Remember to tag your team members in the post too!)
Use landing pages to create a higher-converting candidate journey
It’s not only word choice that will affect the performance of your LinkedIn posts, it’s also where you’re trying to take candidates when they click a link in your post. Asking passive candidates to go from an organic LinkedIn post to a job description is a recipe for a poor-performing post. Let’s do the math, using data from Rally Inside.
If your “we’re hiring” post gets 1,000 impressions, only 4% of people will click, according to Rally Inside. That equals 40 people who will view your jobs page. The industry average is 73- 92% of people will drop off when they visit your careers site or a job description. That means as many as 9 out of 10 people will hit the back button. So in this example, only 3 people will apply for your job. And that’s the best-case scenario, because 34% of organic jobs content on LinkedIn get no clicks at all, according to Rally Inside.
But if you shared a post about your employees, Rally Inside data shows that content gets 2.25x the number of impressions, meaning the post gets seen by 2,250 people versus 1,000 people. Rally Inside data also shows that a post about employees gets an 8% click through rate. That equals 180 people who click, not 40.
Now, you can’t bait and switch candidates. You shouldn’t talk about your employees and then send candidates directly to a job description. The better approach is to send candidates to a landing page where they can keep reading about the employee or team featured in your post. Then, from that landing page, you can encourage candidates to learn about related jobs and your company’s career opportunities.
Therefore, if 180 people click and go to a landing page, assuming 80% drop off, there’s still 36 people who could click an Apply button to go to a job description page. And if there’s 80% drop off again (less drop off than going straight to a job description, because these candidates are showing more interest), it could result in 7 people applying, compared to 3 in my previous example. The numbers illustrate that by showcasing your employees and using a candidate journey like this could actually result in 133% more applications from your organic LinkedIn posts.
In summary, you can promote jobs through your LinkedIn social recruiting strategy, if you do it indirectly and you take candidates on the right journey.
The data-driven strategy that I’ve described in this blog post enables candidates to follow your people content to a landing page where they can read more, and then the page upsells candidates on your job opportunities. A candidate clicking Apply from the landing page has gotten to know more about your people, your culture and your values, with the goal that if they continue on to apply then they’re higher quality.
I hope the data and strategies shared in this blog post will help you get better results when trying to attract talent through your LinkedIn posts. You got this!
Rally Note: To begin tracking and analyzing your social recruiting strategy, sign up for a free Rally Inside account.