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How Sustainable Is Your Social Media Recruitment Strategy?

Gone are the days when a weekly Facebook post, Linkedin update or solitary tweet will suffice on your social media Company pages. Social media is now an all-consuming entity that needs a continual stream of content to maintain progress and traction. To some extent this is true, as the hunger for fresh content appears to be never ending across all sectors. This presents a problem for many recruitment departments, HR teams and recruitment staffing agencies where content creation and marketing are just not part of their workdays. I happen to believe that marketing is a key skill for future recruiters, but many still disagree.

But content is just one aspect to using social media for recruitment, there are many other aspects that also need to be considered.

There is a common misconception (and a big failing) for many companies when considering social media for recruiting, and that is the lack of appreciation for all the planning, preparation and ongoing work  that needs to be done to make social media work for them. They see the visible aspect – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram etc – but don’t realise what is involved to get there and (often) how much time needs to be committed to the task.  To demonstrate the level of work that needs to be considered, I created an easy to understand analogy  - I call it the Sustainable Social Media Recruitment Tree:

Above the ground is a tree showing off its foliage. This is representative of all the external and visible social media pages and profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Blogs, Instagram, Google+, YouTube etc) – all looking good and ready for people to visit and engage with them. Throughout this external facing and very visible layer is the evidence of the company culture and core values  - in fact it is at the centre of it all, as it is the life of the tree.

The hard work I was referring to earlier is below the surface - below ground - and it is here where all the social media work is really done:

  • Analysis
  • Business alignment
  • Content Strategy
  • Research
  • Training
  • Support
  • Technology
  • Setting and management of objectives
  • Resources
  • Measurement
  • Monitoring
  • Establishing ROI

Without these areas - representing the rootball and foundation of the tree - happening continually, the tree will, in time, just wither and collapse. How quickly, simply depends on how many of them you choose to miss out or ignore.
You may even have examples of this yourself at your company, where you set up some social media accounts ‘because everyone else was doing it’. A few weeks later (if it took that long) – with no audience research, planning or content strategy – it came to a standstill. As a consultant helping and advising companies with social recruiting, I find this happening all the time - often the only content has been half a dozen jobs (posted via their ATS) that were posted on their social media account, left there in the wilderness!

These forgotten  ‘wilderness posts’ can actually damage reputation and employer brand if left there. Prospective candidates will find these social accounts easily enough (they might even still have links to them on the career site), and interpret the lack of activity negatively.  Sometimes it is easier just to take the sites down until you are in a better position with resources to do them properly.

Another sustainable approach (and another good analogy) to recruiting talent is to use social media to help grow and develop talent pipelines.

So what can you do to ensure your social media recruitment strategy doesn’t just wither and die? You need to put in a social recruiting framework to help you. Here is a process I work through with my clients:

These eight stages are clearly defined and allows for companies to work through a process to put their social media recruiting strategy in place. The framework works because it is easy to follow:

1. Set Your Objectives: Agree your objectives for using social media for recruiting and align them to your business objectives

2. Define Your Audience: You must understand the audience you are looking to reach and which social media platforms they are on

3. Choose Your Platforms:  Select the right social media platforms that will meet your objectives and find the right audience

4. Select Your People: Choose the people in your team best suited and motivated to take responsibility for social media

5. Provide Training: Provide your people with the tools and all the training required to be effective and responsive

6. Decide On Your Content Strategy: You need to create and curate content to post and share on your social networks

7. Measurement: You need to ensure measurement is in place to assess success of objectives

8. Monitoring: Put in place online monitoring of your brand, people, campaigns and discussions

There is an excellent infographic that shows this social media recruiting strategy framework in more detail

There is more about this subject and how your company could really benefit from social media in my latest book, social media recruitment. An amazon reviewer summed it up perfectly as “the social recruiting bible’.

If you want to discuss areas of this post, or need help with regards to improving your strategy or process, just send me an email and let’s have a chat.

And remember, if you like this post, don’t forget to subscribe to Sirona Says  blog to ensure you don’t miss the weekly posts.

  • Tony Restell

    Great that you’re helping educate in this way Andy. With so many recruiters I speak to, it’s a moment of significant relief when they truly understand all the work that has to go into these various elements - and therefore why their efforts to date haven’t produced results. Understanding that the business simply hasn’t appreciated everything that needs to happen to be successful on social media is a big weight off their minds. Sure you’ve experienced that yourself?!

    • Thanks Tony - it is a mission of our isn’t it? 😉

      I agree but I still think we have a long way to go.

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