Social recruiting is like starting a business. Anyone can do it, but not everyone can do it successfully.

According to Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey, 93 percent of recruiters use or plan to use social media for hiring– yet only 18 percent consider themselves experts in social recruiting.

Social media hiring

Why is there such a significant confidence gap?

Because effective social recruiting isn’t easy. It’s the lovechild of two exhaustive business practices: HR and marketing. Companies must now engage candidates like marketers engage customers, because top tier candidates won’t choose their next employer lightly.

Perfecting a social recruitment strategy can be one of the most effective ways to stay competitive for candidates with in-demand skills — but only if you do it the right way.

Follow the practices below to amplify your online voice, expand your reach to applicants, and recruit on social media like an expert.

Invest in mobile

Companies harnessing the power of mobile are already seeing a positive impact on candidate engagement, including improvements in time to hire, as well as increases in candidate quality, quantity, and employee referrals. Despite these benefits — and the fact that 70 percent of job seekers are willing to apply for a job via smartphone — a recent survey by Jibe and Kelton Global found more than a quarter of larger companies admit that “not a single part of their hiring process has been mobile optimized.”

Using Instagram on a smartphone

Let’s say you’ve perfected your latest job posting. Naturally you promote it on Twitter, where 80 percent of active users are on mobile. The ideal candidate you’ve been searching for clicks through, ready to join your amazing company. But your career site isn’t mobile-optimized or friendly. They can’t upload their resume or apply with an existing social media account. The user experience breaks down, and the candidate abandons the process out of frustration.

Smartphones and tablets are no longer “emerging” technology. A mobile-friendly website that includes your career portal and job application template is now a best business practice. If your company hasn’t embraced mobile, you’re missing out on valuable job candidates.

Show your culture

Your company’s social media accounts shouldn’t just be automated job board posts. Highlight the company culture and the benefits of working at your organization. Put yourself in the applicant’s shoes. What attracted you to the company? Build a case for your business. You can feature news, workplace events, and even praise employee accomplishments. The key is to show why people should want to work at your company. If candidates see it’s a fulfilling place to work, then the resumes will start to arrive.

Envato laptop gift to one of the members
source: Envato Facebook page

Start social listening

One of the best ways to find candidates is to do what others don’t: listen. Many companies are so busy shouting their message that they tune out what everyone else is saying. Or maybe they do spend time using social media monitoring tools to hear customers, but neglect to extend that strategy to their recruitment efforts.

With key phrases tailored to your industry, social listening can tell you when talent is looking for a new opportunity. It can also help you determine the content most valuable to your target candidates, which helps you fine tune your recruitment strategy.

Engage and empower your workforce

Do your employees know what positions you’re hiring for? They should. Employee job referrals have greater job satisfaction, stay longer at companies, and begin their position more quickly than those found through job boards. Your workforce is living proof for your brand. To help further your recruiting efforts, keep them informed with an internal job board and encourage them to recommend professionals from their own networks.

Use the right technology

Social media moves fast. Recruiters can’t afford to miss — or forget about — a conversation with a candidate. For example, imagine you’re chatting with a professional on Twitter and you encourage them to apply for a job they’re suited for. Unfortunately, this conversation has already happened before– on LinkedIn. And they’ve already applied. But you didn’t remember you already reached out. Or maybe you didn’t realize it was the same person.

No matter the cause, it doesn’t leave a great impression on them.

Don’t give your candidates dejavu.

Human resources software, such as an applicant tracking system with social recruiting features, can help you track social media activity associated with a specific candidate. This means you have a record of all the previous conversations you’ve had with an applicant– so you’ll never drop the ball again.

We are hiring!

Social Recruiting Advice

While you’re testing and adjusting your social recruiting strategy, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Go beyond LinkedIn. Search outside of Facebook. Your next hire could be hanging out on industry specific forums or curating their own niche website.
  • Social recruiting is not a replacement for your existing hiring process. Use it to bolster your existing efforts. You can’t ignore social recruiting, but relying on it solely won’t be enough either.
  • Build a thriving social media presence. First and foremost, your goal is to be an expert and help others by providing relevant information. This is what naturally cultivates a community that’s interested in your brand and product. Then work your job postings into the conversation.

Above all else, remember that social recruiting isn’t just a window you use to peer into the workforce – it’s a portal with two way glass. Candidates use it to discover your company’s personality, judge your profile, and see if you’re a good fit for them. Being relevant and valuable is the best way to draw applicants to you. When it comes to social recruiting, give, and you shall receive.