Social media is everywhere in the modern world. Its ability to improve communication and to compel our attention makes it one of the most powerful forces of the 21st century. This makes it incredibly useful to recruiters, but many have yet to unleash that power.
So how can you get the most out of social media in recruitment?
Innovation And Imitation
Most companies have now jumped on the social media bandwagon, making it a feature of their recruitment strategies. But they use it in the way that they used old-fashioned techniques like mass advertising.
The old way is a spray-and-pray approach to recruitment. Like a Gatling gun, designed to throw hundreds of bullets into the air in the hope that just one hits, the old-school recruiter hurls adverts out into the void in the hope that someone will see them. Sure, the eyes of the world are now on social media, and so adverts there have a chance of getting anyone’s attention. But unless the social media strategy is better differentiated, unless the adverts are correctly channeled and carefully crafted, they have very little chance of reaching someone who cares.
Social media is an innovative medium, but many of the adverts just imitate old ways of working.
Standing Out And Being Heard
A select few companies approach social media in a way that differentiates them from the crowded, noisy marketplace of social media. They do so not by following old patterns but by disrupting the way companies communicate with the talent community.
As Seth Godin has often pointed out, this sort of marketing is about connecting directly and personally with the people most likely to be interested in you. It is about building the right relationships, not trying to talk to everyone at once. It is about showing what unique things your business has to offer.
The most powerful way to do this is to tell a story. Humans have been telling and responding to stories since we first sat around campfires in the dark of night. We instinctively respond to stories and the emotions they evoke. So use social media to tell a story about your company, what you stand for and what opportunities you offer. Make it a story that inspires, that engages, that elicits an emotional response, and that declares a call to action – to come and work for you.
Reaping The benefits
A company that can disrupt the communications of the talent community will see real value in return.
You will see increased brand recognition, as your story lodges in people’s hearts and minds. You’ll become a company that people are interested in working in for your sake, not for the pay and benefits.
You will see increased access to passive candidates, those who are not actively seeking a new job. These are often the best people to recruit as they have the skills that others also want and the right attitude to turn their work into something productive and fulfilling. But without that story they may never notice the opportunities you offer.
You will see greater process efficiency in recruiting talent as you make use of the best tools. You will also see reductions in talent acquisition’s process costs. Increased access to candidates means you have to spend less time and money hunting them out, decreasing the amount of time in which jobs remain unfilled. And as brand power overtakes salary concerns in attracting recruits there will be less need to offer expensive packages to get the best.
So get out there, tell your story, disrupt the recruitment landscape. Get the best out of your social media recruitment.
About the Author: Mark Lukens is a Founding Partner of Method3, a global management consulting firm and Tack3, a mid-market and not-for-profit focused consultancy. Most of Mark’s writing involves theoretical considerations and practical application, academics, change leadership, and other topics at the intersection of business, society, and humanity.