When I Am Asked, How To Get Into Social Media Recruiting

Posted by Eric Putkonen on 10/21/2016 in Recruiting articles |

In conversations I have had over the last few months, I have been asked by a couple HR VPs and Directors that they wanted to launch into social media recruiting and wanted to know how I would do it.

Going forward, I think my first question I ask is “why do you want to go on social media?”  It seems everyone wants to be on social media…it’s cool…it’s what Google or Amazon is doing so I do too…etc.  These are the wrong answers!  You do not go into social media recruiting unless you want to start up a dialog with applicants and potential candidates.

Thank you to GotCredit (CC BY 2.0)

Thank you to GotCredit
(CC BY 2.0)

You can not start using social media for recruiting with the intention of just posting your jobs on the feeds.  If this is the plan, it would be better just not to go on social media.  Few are going to follow a jobs feed on Facebook or Twitter…job feeds are what email notification and RSS feeds are for.

Social media done poorly is worse than not being on social media at all.

OK, so you want to start a communicate with your potential applicants and current applicants.  But wait!  I said you want to start up a dialog.  This means you want them to reply and answer back.  You want potential candidates to come and ask questions.  You want to engage with them in both directions (2 way communication).

You will need to post things that ask for feedback and ask for questions.  If the feedback is poor…what will you do?  You really need to think all this through before you jump down this rabbit hole.

Also, who will be doing the work of being on social media?  If you think that a recruiter or two will spend a couple hours a week on this, just forget about being on social media for recruiting.  It takes a lot of time to come up with all the content, responding to everyone who does comment, and coming up with engaging posts.

Per The Social Media Frequency Guide, the frequency they share to social networks at Buffer are as follows:

  • Twitter – 14 times per day, from midnight to 10:00 p.m. Central Time, never more than once per hour; seven times per day on weekends, from 3:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., roughly every three hours
  • Facebook – 2 times per day, seven days a week, 10:08 a.m. and 3:04 p.m.
  • LinkedIn – 1 time per day, 8:14 a.m., no weekends
  • Google+ – 2 times per day, 9:03 a.m. and 7:04 p.m., no weekends

The article also offers the following suggestion for frequency:

  • Twitter – 5 times per day
  • Facebook – 1 – 2 times per day
  • LinkedIn – 1 time per day
  • Google+ – 1 – 2 times per day

Many companies have a dedicated person, if not dedicated department, to social media marketing and social media recruiting.

QuestionSo my second question (going forward) will be “who do you think will be the one doing the work?”  Often, the companies I am speaking with about social media recruiting seriously underestimate the time it takes to do it well.  Again, social media done poorly is worse than not doing it at all.  So if you are not going to do it well…don’t do it.  To do it well takes time…far more than most HR leaders and company leaders think.

Too many times I hear that this will be done by the recruiter or recruiting team, but if you have been pushing your recruiters with full desks of 30 – 50+ open positions…where is the time going to come from in order to do the social media part well?  The recruiters can take part (it is recommended).  Ideally, the hiring managers and employees will also get involved.  But a word of warning, you don’t want all the posts and comments coming from the company…you want people from the outside talking and engaging…not making an online water cooler.  So who is going to do the work…ideally a dedicated person whose job is the social media aspect.

Is there enough to do – some may ask.  Absolutely!  Because just posting on social media and responding/engaging with people (including searching for people’s comments about your company and replying to their comments) is only the tip of the iceberg.  Pictures and video are a big part of social media.

Thank you to Liren Chen (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Thank you to Liren Chen
(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Your company could have a Flickr account to host need photos around the office.  Obviously don’t photograph proprietary things or company secrets (designs on desks or whatever).  But there is plenty of opportunity to take candid photos all over the place.  Or create events to photograph, like a Halloween or Christmas cubical decorating contest.  Potential candidates what to see the offices, people, and environment.  Pictures are worth a thousand words.

Video is even better.  With a smart phone, a tripod, and a microphone – you can make high quality video with high quality audio.  If you want to learn more about this, check out my article from last year, “Recruiting Videos – a Peek into Culture & Brand.”

Reputation management and responding to criticism and comments on other sites like Glassdoor.com would be part of the job.  Glassdoor has company reviews and you can acknowledge and reply to reviews.  This too would be social media recruiting, because you are managing the employer brand online.

So before you start wondering how you too can get into this social media recruiting action, please think it though and commit to doing it well.  Answer these three questions:

  • Why do you want to go on social media?
  • Who do you think will be the one doing the work?
  • Are these two answers in line to help our company do social media well?

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1 Comment

  • lee says:

    Hi Eric,
    Great article. Like you I am a fan of social media recruiting, we not only try to engage from within our website but we use social media extensively for our targeted search. In today’s world it’s so easy to find the right person and gone are the days where you find someone with the right skills only to find out they are obnoxious and toxic in the workplace. A quick scan of social media will not only allow you to find someone fast but also to find out about their persona too and if they are a good fit.
    Again many thanks for a great read.

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