Employers: How businesses can recruit staff through social media
By Carolyn Brown
According to The History Collective, social media came of age in the 1990s when people first began to share their thoughts about life online in the form of blogs. Other people would read them, leave comments and share them amongst their friends via email. They also credit Six Degrees as the first proper social media platform (yeah, I hadn’t heard of them either). The site allowed people to create profiles and create linkages with others. It was launched in 1997, seven years before Facebook, but never gained the traction that Mark Zuckerberg achieved. LinkedIn, which was launched in 2002, is older than Facebook (I did not know that) and was marketed as the network for professionals, it still is.
So why the brief history of social media? Because, basically, I want to emphasise that social media is not a new fandangle technology, but a fully grown-up form of communication which is here to stay.
Why use social media to employ people?
Because it is a great way to not only find people who are already interested in working for you (they don’t just follow you because of your witty memes) but every post counts when it comes to algorithms and search engine list rankings. Posting a well-written job advert not only lets people know you are hiring, but it also declares what you do, what your work culture is and what you sell.
How can you use social media to employ someone?
Easily, and here are the top tips from the internet on how to use social media in your recruitment process.
1. Be open and able to back up your vacancy post with facts.
The 2019 Global Millennial Survey reported that over half of those surveyed thought that social media did more harm than good. They were increasingly wary about whether or not what they read online was accurate. They were also concerned about how safe the information they shared with a company was, i.e. the potential for their data to be hacked and misused. So the number one tip for employers using social media to recruit staff?
- Be honest about what you do, what you can offer and what you are looking for
- Make sure you have already have a presence on the internet, e.g. a website, Google Business page, reviews etc
- Provide access to a real person so that potential candidates can talk/meet with a representative before they apply.
2. Know your space; know your target.
You already have a great bunch of people working for you, so ask them what social media platforms they use and what postings catch their eye. There is not much point in paying for a Facebook ad if the people you want to recruit don’t use that particular platform.
Different social media platforms use algorithms which allow you to target your advertising based on education, interests, skills etc. This is an easy way to make sure your vacancy is seen by people who meet your requirements already.
If you want to expand your gene pool of talent, then, by all means, go wide with your advertising, but do invest in talking to social media professionals first. It’s their day job after all, and they could save you money in the long run with their advice.
[Note, if figuring out how to run a Facebook advert for your listing has you running for the hills, a premium listing on Do Good Jobs includes a paid and highly targeted Facebook advert targeting potential jobseekers based on their current job titles and skills that we believe would be suitable for your role – find out more here].
Poor communication can kill a company’s reputation faster than a short and curly in a bowl of fries. Social media is a communication platform, not a billboard, so when you receive enquiries about from people looking for work opportunities via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., respond politely and timely. If you have one, direct them to the career page on your website. This not only drives traffic to your website, but it is where they should be contacting you anyway (see my blog on social media tips for job seekers).
Keep an eye on who frequently comments on/shares your social media posts. Does their profile match what you are looking for in an employee? If, so then make a note and contact them next time you have a vacancy.
4. Leverage the power of employees, past and present.
You like the staff you currently have working for you, right? Then don’t be afraid to ask them to share your job vacancy post on their profiles and networks. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together.
If your vacancy requires professional qualifications, add your favourite Universities/ lecturers to your contact list. Post in forums and Alumni pages, anywhere you can identify as a key breeding ground for the employees you want working for you.
5. Link your social media posts to traditional job searches
If you prefer to use online job boards (I hear Do Good Jobs is a fantastic resource) to find your next employee, no worries. Seek, for example, does boast of receiving 450 million visits to their site every month after all. But do use your social media platforms to let people know where they can find your vacancies. AND make sure you include your website in your job advert so that visitors to these job boards can easily check you out too. I have had personal experience of being frustrated with a company because I had to do an internet search to find them. The unemployed are busy people too!
So can social media be used for employing people?
Yes, of course it can, just follow the tips listed and you can easily find your next star employee*
*Disclaimer – the writer cannot actually guarantee that you will find the perfect employee if you follow these tips, I am a blogger, not an HR consultant.
About Carolyn Brown
Carolyn enjoys writing stuff that engages readers, makes them feel like they are in a conversation with the screen, and doesn’t require a dictionary on standby to make sense of what she has written.
When she is not creating content, she likes to keep busy volunteering for various not for profits; throwing sticks to her step-dog as they walk along North Beach in Christchurch, and enjoying the company of friends. If you would like to know more, head on over to her website www.writecopynz.co.nz or email her at [email protected]