When I was younger there was a well known brand of beer that had the strap line 'Follow The Bear' - any of you remember it? The beer was pretty average to be honest, but the marketing spin was excellent, so we ALL followed the bear down to the off-licences and bought it by the case load.
[Disclaimer, I may have been a little younger than I should have been at the time, to drink beer! ;-)) ]
Sound familiar? Excellent marketing, low cost (free) and everyone doing it?
Of course it does - enter the world of social media. Follow me, friend me, like me, connect me etc. etc.
This is actually becoming a problem with social recruiting. Unless you are careful (and dare I say it strategic) you will have a whole bunch of followers, fans etc that have no real value to your recruitment needs.
Ask all those Follower and Like junkies who succumbed to the get numbers quick schemes, buying thousands of fans and followers for $9.99. How many are relevant? Having a few thousand extra likes on your Twitter account or Facebook page may look great, but what real value are they adding? Zero, nil or nada, that's how much they are worth!
Ok, so some of you reading this will be saying I am wrong, that you can never have enough fans, followers, friends, connections etc. Well maybe if that is how you are measuring your success. But is that really how your CEO/MD is measuring the success of social recruiting at your company?
Now, of course you might have defined a set of objectives that include measuring the size of the audience and how often they engage with you (likes, tweets, RT's, comments, shares etc.), and that is good. But the important thing is whether the people you now have following you (across the different channels) are the right people for (what should be) your primary objective in social recruiting - recruits / hires / candidates / employee pipeline / referrals.
Successfully using social media for recruitment (social recruiting) = ultimately making hires via people that became aware / got interested / interacted on one of the social media channels
Note that I don't define time here. You get people interested in your companies via the social channels, but most of the time you will convert them to applicants via your career site or website or embedded job page on your Facebook page (maybe!). This can of course be instant, but realistically takes a little time, and can involve multiple social media touchpoints.
The biggest problem currently in recruitment systems is being able to manage these interactions and track them back via multiple social media lines- not just as a candidate source but also for providing context of the social platform used to engage. Obviously tracking jobs back via social sources is more straightforward, but still not done as often as they should.
Anyway back to the point of where I was going with this.
To make sure you get the the right people following you etc you need to first spend some time understanding who your target audience actually is (I would like to hope you know who this this), and more importantly where they could reside online. You can do this in a variety of ways, using a number of different tools and platforms:
- Asking existing employees and teams
- LinkedIn - people search, Group search
- Google+ - people search, Community search
- Twitter - people searches via Followerwonk, search lists and interrogate the lists using SocialBro +loads more uses;
- Facebook - using the advertising function to help find where people are as a starting point, then search seperately
- BoardReader - great tool for searching on the forums for people
- IT people - these are well take care of with sites like StackOverflow, GitHub
- Quora - brilliant for finding people on specific subjects
- Meetup.com - like minded people who meet up - simple!
- Foursquare - people who check into places with a similar interest/work location
- Niche sites - such as WorkingWithRails.com for Ruby On Rails techs
You can use sites like Talentbin or Dice (TheSocialCV) that aggregate these searches across some of these platforms but they can be expensive if you are just using them for these purposes.
What is great is that most of these sites above have several common platforms in place - at the very least Twitter and Facebook (and maybe LinkedIn) - which enables you to start to build your following and networks by simply following them, their followers and their followers.
I didn't say this was easy now did I!!!
Of course when you have started to grow the right audience, you need to then serve them engaging and relevant content to that specific audience and start to engage with them. With a little time and a lot of focused work, you will start to reap the rewards of your hard work, whether that be candidates directly or referrals.
You may not end up with gazillions of followers, but at least the ones that do choose to follow you, like your pages, connect with you etc will be extremely relevant and and (ultimately) give you a much higher yield on your investment.
Now the answer to your next question (that's all very good, but what content do I share with them?) will have to wait for another day! You will have to make sure you subscribe to this blog or even come along to the social recruiting content workshops for that.
We work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them integrate social media into their existing recruitment strategy and recruitment processes. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.
NEW for 2013 - Social Media Content For Recruiter Workshops - using the power of social media content to help reduce your advertising costs, build your digital brand and create new methods of candidate attraction. For more information go to the booking page here.