With social media becoming a bigger and bigger part of Recruitment Marketing strategy, talent acquisition teams are devoting more time and resources into building a social recruiting presence to attract talent by showcasing their company culture and career opportunities. But when there are a multitude of social media platforms available (and new ones gaining in popularity), how do you decide which social channels to use for your recruitment efforts?
This is a common question that I receive often from practitioners in the Rally Recruitment Marketing community. One of the reasons that this is such a big decision is because most recruitment marketers are solo practitioners, and you can’t be everywhere all the time. Another reason is that the corporate marketing team likely already has a social media presence, so you need to work out how to ‘share the real estate’, so to speak, on these social platforms.
Fear not! To help you choose the right social media channels for your recruiting strategy, there are 6 questions that you can ask to help you make this important decision.
1) Are your target candidate personas on the social platform?
The first question to ask is where your target candidates spend their social media time. Most people spend 2-3 hours on social media each day. So it’s important to determine where you have the biggest chance to reach the people you want to hire most.
I recommend defining your candidate persons so that you can understand where they spend time online. This information typically comes from surveys of your employees and conversations with your recruiters and hiring managers.
I also recommend doing some homework on each social platform. Because social media companies monetize their audiences through selling advertising, they provide advertisers with lots of information about their audience demographics and interests. A little googling, and you can find the info you need to determine if your audience is present there.
It all boils down to knowing your audience: who they are and where they ‘hang out’ in the world of social media.
2) Does your company have a corporate presence already?
The second question to ask is whether your company already has a presence on the social media platform. If the answer is yes, then you should evaluate whether your company has an engaged following, or is the marketing content gathering digital dust? If your company’s profile is active and thriving and lots lots followers, using that platform for your recruitment strategy could provide an immediate jumpstart. However, if your company’s presence on the platform is non-existent or lackluster, you’ll need to invest time and effort to ramp it up.
If your company already has a social presence on the channel you want to use, it’s time to become friends with corporate marketing! But get ready, this will likely be challenging.
If there’s a dedicated marketing resource for social media, they might feel a bit protective, or they might have the directive to use those channels for customer acquisition only. You’ll need to make a business case for why your talent audience is also on that platform and why you should be included in the content plan. This may not be easy, so arm yourself with data, not only that your talent audience is there, but also data about what type of content you plan to publish that will attract and engage your talent audience. A tool like Rally Inside can help you show your marketing colleagues what type of Recruitment Marketing content is most effective in recruiting for each social media channel.
If there is friction with the marketing team, I recommend that your senior leader help to bridge the relationship with the marketing leader. You won’t be successful in recruiting talent today unless you can reach your talent audience on social media, and you have every right for your employer brand to be present on those channels too, so stand your ground 🙂
3) Are your talent competitors there?
The third question to ask is whether your talent competitors also have a presence on the social media channel. When you visit their page, do you see employer brand or jobs-related content? If so, then your competitors are already recruiting talent on the platform and are one step ahead of you. That’s another point to add to your business case. But also look for job ads running on the social platform. In Facebook, you can find this information by looking in Page Transparency.
Next, take a look at what kind of engagement your competitors’ organic social content is getting. While you may not be able to see the number of impressions or reach, you can see other engagement metrics such as likes, shares and comments. Do an audit to note what type of content topics from your competitors are getting the most engagement, so that you can incorporate these learnings into your own social media content plan. Our Rally Inside Recruitment Marketing & Analytics tool can help here too, as the product has built-in benchmark data showing what content topics get the most engagement per job function per social media channel. The benchmark feature is available with a free account, so consider signing up for Rally Inside if you haven’t already.
4) Does the content you’ll need to post align with your employer brand and company values?
The fourth question is one that I think is often overlooked by Recruitment Marketing and employer branding professionals. Before deciding on a social media channel, it’s important to evaluate whether the content you’ll be posting aligns with your employer brand voice and company values.
What do I mean by this? Well, let’s take TikTok as an example. If you’re not on TikTok today (and most recruiting teams are not on TikTok yet), you’re probably considering it or maybe even starting to get questions internally, like “Why aren’t we on TikTok?”
If your talent audience is on TikTok (they probably are, by the way), and especially if your talent competitors are already thriving there, then it’s time to seriously consider a TikTok channel. But ask yourself, are you ready to create TikTok-style content? More importantly, is your leadership ready to embrace showing the entertainment side of your brand? If not, and you can’t convince them it’s worth the investment, then don’t bother with TikTok.
It’s critical that the nature and style of your recruiting content matches the vibe of the social media platform, otherwise it will fall flat, get no engagement and never get in front of your talent audience. Compatibility between your brand, the platform’s environment and your audience’s expectations need to align for your social recruiting strategy to be successful.
5) Can you create or source content regularly for that social media channel?
Every social media channel requires a steady stream of engaging content that’s suited for that channel. But remember, it’s not just about quantity, it’s also about quality. The fifth question to ask yourself is do you have the resources to generate or curate top-notch social content regularly for that channel, or for a second, third or fourth channel that you might be considering?
Social media is a long-term strategy. Building a following and getting candidates to engage with your careers content doesn’t happen overnight. But if you don’t have a content plan or the resources to execute it, you’ll find yourself on the “social media hamster wheel” where you just keep running and running to create content without ever taking the time to evaluate if what you’re publishing is actually working.
Or worse, you’ll publish content so infrequently that you won’t build much of a following, so your manager will start questioning whether that social channel is even worth it. (You’ll start questioning it too, as you should…)
So before you commit to a channel, I recommend to build out a 3 month content plan. For LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, plan to publish 2-4 times per week. Yes, I said per week. The key is to create content that your talent audience wants to engage with, not just what you want to talk about. I teach a digital course called Rally Content Rescue that can show you how to do this.
6) Does the content coming from other users and brands align with your company values?
Last but definitely not least, the sixth question to ask is what do you think about the other content being published on the social channel? Take a deep dive into the content coming from other users and brands – does their content align with your company values?
For instance, if you’re committed to sustainability, social responsibility and equality, but the platform is dominated by brands and users who don’t align with these values, it could create a disconnect for your target audience. Or content that’s strongly against your company’s values might show up alongside your content.
This is one of the reasons I know that many people and brands gave up on X (formerly Twitter). Another reason is that our Rally Inside data shows that X just isn’t effective for recruiting content. 40% of the content that our Rally Inside users publish to X get no engagement at all, and the content that does get engagement may get 2-3 clicks per post at best. So you may have a reason to be on X, but don’t expect that it will drive a lot of clicks to your careers site.
Asking these 6 questions will help you and your leadership make a well-informed decision on the best social media channels for your recruiting strategy. Mastering social media recruitment requires more than posting engaging content; it’s about understanding your target audience, considering the platform’s environment, assessing your competition, creating content that truly works on the platform, ensuring you have the resources to keep the social content flowing and having a social presence that aligns with your company values and brand voice. These six questions will act as your compass, guiding you to choose the perfect platforms that’ll become the springboard for your Recruitment Marketing success.
Sure, it might take some time to find your ideal mix of social channels, content and strategy, but the benefits are undeniably worth it – the ability to reach passive talent who you can’t reach through job boards, higher visibility for your employer brand among a wider talent pool and more organic (free) traffic to your careers site and jobs – you can’t afford to not be on social. You’ve got this!