Brand and Candidate Experience

The 7 Biggest Social Recruiting Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

It's so easy to make social recruiting mistakes that many recruiters don't even realise where they're going wrong.

Social recruiting has become a key part of almost every top hiring operation. In fact, only 4% of recruiters don't use social media in the recruiting process. An overwhelming 92% use social media regularly!

Social Recruiting Importance

Great social recruiting is so much more than just finding candidates on social media though. Done right, it can have a huge effect on candidate engagement, employer branding and sourcing results.

Sure, you could always outsource it, but keeping social recruitment in house lets you take control of your Employer Brand and get proactive and engage relevant candidates that haven't applied.

We've broken down the 7 biggest social recruiting mistakes that you might be making, and outlined the best way to avoid them.

**1. Not making an authentic connection **

Anyone who has tried their hand at social recruiting understands the difficulty in establishing an authentic connection with their target candidates. Trust me, the struggle is real!

You're not just competing with other recruiting and branding teams, you're up against every other consumer brand. You're fighting for a place in the candidate homefeed with the Marketing and Social Media departments of companies like Coca-Cola and Nike!

You have to remember that candidates are consumers first and foremost, and nowhere is this more apparent than on social media.

Candidates are consumers first and foremost[tweetery-end]

You can't fight big brands when it comes to resources, you're unlikely to have the full power of a marketing department at your fingertips, but you can certainly emulate their "human touch" and the way that they connect with consumers online.

Too many recruiting departments use their social feeds to churn out job blasts. This might result in an extra application or two, but it's going to do little in the long term to improve social recruiting results.

Word of warning, consumers are so overloaded with ads nowadays that they may even subconsciously block out jobs that you share via social media. It's a phenomenon commonly known as banner blindness.

The best social recruiters know that success lies in making an authentic connection with candidates, not broadcasting open roles. The primary goal on social media should always be to open up a dialogue or start a new relationship with a candidate, not get them to click on a job advert.

The candidates that you engage in conversation are far more likely to come out of the exchange with a positive impression of your brand and are more likely to apply down the line.

It's natural for anyone considering a role at your company to want to engage with your team and find out more - don't deny them this opportunity.

For a lesson from the marketing world, take a look at this witty exchange between Sainsbury's and disgruntled customer Marty Lawrence

Sainsbury's Twitter Exchange

You can find the rest of this tasty exchange here it goes on and on!

Key Takeaway

There can be as many as 7 touchpoints between your brand and a candidate before they choose to apply.

You're better off viewing social interactions as one or more of those pre-application touchpoints and trying to build as many relationships as possible, instead of going the whole hog and trying to convince everyone to apply.

[tweetery]Social recruiting 101: start conversations, don't share jobs. [tweetery-end]

2. Not creating a social recruiting strategy

"Failing to plan, is planning to fail" - Benjamin Franklin

Ok, so it's an overused quote, but there's still plenty of truth to it. If you're walking into social recruiting without a solid plan, you're unlikely to hit it out the park.

Social recruiting is important. That's a given. But that can't be your reason for investing in it at your company. You need at least a basic strategy to help you get the greatest ROI from social channels.

Don't worry, this doesn't take weeks to put together. You just need to be able to answer 3 core questions:

i Why are you on social?

Being active on multiple social accounts just for the sake of it is a surefire way to burn valuable time and resources. You need to have a clear reason for investing in social recruiting.

This can be pretty simple. For example: "we're active on social media because we think it helps us build our employer brand and attract new candidates".

ii How are you going to succeed on social?

What social recruiting tactics are you planning to use? Are you working with your marketing department to produce infographics and videos for job seekers? Are your employees sharing snapshots of their day on Instagram? Are you live streaming events on Periscope?

Social media is a broad field and ever expanding category, you have a lot of options. Pick a few channels that you think make sense to begin with and then dive in and see what works.

iii How are you going to measure success on social?

What does social recruiting success look like for your team? It could be a certain number of new candidates "engaged" or spoken to each day, a specific number of retweets or favourites, maybe even a target amount of "likes" to your Facebook page.

You work towards KPIs when it comes to other areas of the recruiting process, why shouldn't you think about social recruiting in the same way?

3. Failing to monitor your brand

The social web is a fickle friend. One minute it's helping your team spread their employer brand and connect with new candidates, the next it's escalating harmful allegations about your company like wildfire.

[tweetery]A strong employer brand takes a lifetime to build, but can be destroyed in a matter of minutes.[tweetery-end]

You're making a huge social recruiting mistake if you don't have an effective brand monitoring strategy in place. You need to know what people say about you when you're not in the room!

The key value of monitoring isn't damage control though, if you're not keeping an eye on your online mentions, you're going to miss all of the good stuff that candidates say about you!

Anyone that is talking about your company online is a potential applicant. If you're proactive and take the time to respond to their comments in an authentic way, you can look forward to an increase in applications from social media and improved brand perception.

Set up free or low cost brand monitoring tools like Respond, Mention and Tweetdeck to track mentions of your brand, specific team members or hashtags that are close to your heart, and make sure your team are ready to respond.

Pro tip: Monitor Glassdoor

You might not be familiar with Glassdoor, but you can be sure that your candidates and employees are!

Glassdoor lets both employees and candidates leave candid reviews on your company and your hiring process. Even if you've never heard of Glassdoor, you may well already have a profile where people are leaving reviews.

The site lets you actively promote positive feedback, respond to comments and manage your brand effectively. It's an essential part of every social recruiter's toolkit.

An easy way to get started, is to claim your company's page so you can begin to control the way that you're being perceived on the site and promote your brand.

Here's an example of what this can look like below from Dell a company that's got a great Glassdoor strategy in place and is particularly sharp at responding to feedback.

Dell Glassdoor Page Responded

4. Not having good content to share

We get it. Social recruiting is pretty time consuming, especially if you're trying to balance it with your other recruiting responsibilities, so posting regular, high quality content to your social channels is one of the toughest challenges to overcome.

If you don't have a strategy around the kind of content you should be sharing on social media, you might find that your social accounts slip into silence...

Posting the right content can help you engage a broad audience of relevant candidates and get real results from social. Here are a few easy ways to get started:

i Visual content

It's no secret that visual content is easier for people to consume than the written word, but are you aware of _how _much easier it really is? Visuals are processed 60,000x faster than words by the human brain!

To take advantage of this, try sharing a mixture of infographics, pictures of your team, and videos. Not everything that you share needs to be informational though, you can also try sharing inspirational quotes or funny memes.

For example, a meme like this could help you attract and amuse IT candidates:

Programming Meme

Design resources are no excuse. Use simple tools like Canva or Pablo to create beautiful graphics in seconds and start sharing them with your audience.

ii Transparency

Being open and sharing content that illustrates what day-to-day life at your company is _really _like can be hugely effective.

People love knowing that there is a “real person” behind your social profiles, and by giving them a look into your employer brand you're more likely to create genuine human interactions.

iii Curated content

Think about the kinds of content that would appeal to the candidates you're trying to attract, and share it from your social channels to build a following of relevant talent.

Tools like Buffer let you create a "content inbox" and fill it with content from your favourite blogs and websites hopefully including Beamery, making this very easy.

5. Focusing on quantity not quality

Some brands use volume to try and stand out to candidates. They try and block out competitors in the feed and stay front of mind with quantity of social content.

This can work, but you'll need a pretty extensive team that's dedicated to producing original, authentic content to churn out to avoid being repetitive or lowering your standards. Frequent posting tends to work better in marketing teams with more resources to dedicate to social.

It's far more effective to post less to social media, but focus on quality. You need to set a high bar for quality with all of your social recruiting efforts, otherwise candidates are unlikely to follow your social feeds and engage with you online.

If you get this right, you'll find that people start following and engaging with your brand organically over time.

Pro tip: Be interesting

For most candidates, social media is an escape. Instead of knuckling down at work, they're browsing Facebook, flicking through Instagram or trawling Twitter.

You need to be engaging with your social recruiting efforts, or most candidates will just go back to looking at pictures of cats!

6. Not encouraging sharing

Social recruiting isn't just about finding individual candidates, it's about looking for ways to amplify your employer brand so you can attract even more qualified talent.

Ideally, you want every piece of employer brand related content that you post to social to be shared and re-shared by your target audience. This will significantly increase your company's social reach, and introduce you to new candidates.

It's impossible to force anything to go viral, but the best way to increase your chances is by getting into what we like to call a "share-first" mentality.

Before you post anything, ask yourself: "Is this something that I would recommend, comment on, read or share on social media?" If the answer is no, it might be worth taking your finger off the trigger and finding something better.

Let's look at an example. Which of the following examples would you be more likely to share?

Example 1:

Unengaging social recruiting content

Example 2:

Engaging social recruiting content

This is an obvious one, perhaps made more obvious by the fact that I've included some of the stats from example 2 posted yesterday as a "hint". Both posts are focusing on the same message, the second just does it in a more engaging way.

Pro tip: Remember the psychology of sharing

A New York Times study boiled sharing down to one simple factor. Relationships. 49% of people said they share introduce others to valuable or interesting content. Focus on making your content worth sharing and you can expect people to spread the word.

[tweetery]Make your content worth sharing and you can expect people to spread the word.[tweetery-end]

7. Not creating quality visuals

We've already touched on the importance of visual content, but it's so important that it bears repeating.

Visuals and graphics are the second most important factor for success on social media right behind the quality content. Visuals are 40x more likely to be shared on social than other types of content.

There's just one issue. You're probably not too familiar with image creation and design.

We've already mentioned Pablo and Canva, both great tools to help you create original images, but if you don't have time to create and customize your own visuals, take a look at this list of free image sources.

Stock images are typically a terrible choice. They make your company look bland and uninteresting, but this list is packed full of high quality photos that will help you stand out.

When you're creating visual content, here are a few important considerations:

  • Avoid overused stock images
  • If you're overlaying text follow best practices
  • Make sure you size images correctly for social sharing great resource on this here
  • Make sure your images use your brand's correct logos, fonts and colour palettes

Used correctly, visuals can spice up job descriptions, highlight your company culture, engage candidates and promote your employer brand.

Now it's over to you. How are you going to change the way you approach social recruiting to get better results?

State of Talent Engagement 2019 report

The results of the State of Talent Engagement 2019 survey are in! You can download the full report here for statistics and data on how companies plan to engage with talent in 2019.

[image-caption][download report] [image-caption-end]

State of Talent Engagement 2@2x 1

Ben Slater

VP Marketing

Ben Slater leads marketing globally at Beamery. He typically writes about the future of work and talent transformation.

Join the Beamery Blog

Stay up to date with the latest talent news, thought leadership and trends, delivered directly to your inbox.

By submitting, you agree to Beamery’s Terms of Service and Privacy Statement.

Email Address