• The Power of Social Media for Recruiting

    Posted by Allison Padgett on April 22nd, 2021


    Using social media platforms for talent acquisition isn’t a new strategy. Many recruiters are likely implementing social recruitment practices into their recruitment efforts without even realizing it. Social media plays a key role as a high-performing channel in every customer-facing and employee-facing aspect of communications. Companies that utilize social media recruiting understand how to unlock the value of social media and are in a better position to meet job seekers’ needs. And the importance of social media in recruiting continues to grow. An Adweek report suggests that 92% of recruiters use social media and the share of companies that uses social media for recruiting has increased to 84%.

    How are recruiters using social media to recruit employees?
    Social media recruiting, or social recruiting, is exactly what it sounds like – utilizing social media channels in your recruitment strategy. This type of recruiting can come in many forms, some of which can be carried out on all social media sites. Some ways to carry out social recruiting include sponsored content/paid ads (which we will discuss a little later), regular feed posts, Instagram stories, Facebook stories, YouTube videos, posts made by employees on their social media channels, job postings, and more.

    Not only is it important that recruiters have a social media recruiting strategy, but current employees should be using social media, as well. Employees might use LinkedIn for employee advocacy, which includes things like corporate culture discussions, posting job openings, and sometimes even to talk about what their hiring process was like. Employees that have had positive experiences at a company are more likely to speak out about that company, giving the company a positive social media presence and strengthening their employer brand. A larger presence on social media can help companies interest passive job seekers and turn them into potential candidates.

    With all that being said, you should avoid using social recruiting as your only strategy – you should have other, more traditional recruiting strategies in place – cold-calling, texting, referrals, and word-of-mouth. While social media recruiting can be effective, your strategy should go more in-depth. Studies show that it takes anywhere between 12 and 18 touchpoints before a candidate converts to an applicant. This means that job seekers need to see your presence everywhere if you want their attention.

    Social media usage is growing.
    Social media user numbers jumped by more than 13% over the past year, with nearly half a million new users. This increase took the global total to almost 4.2 billion by the start of 2021. On average, more than 1.3 million new users joined social media every single day during 2020. That breaks down to roughly 15½ new users every single second.

    Where are those billions of social media users spending their time? In 2020, Facebook was the leading social media platform. It includes 3 billion of 4.2 billion social media users worldwide. In fact, Facebook usage has increased 77% from 2015 to 2020! YouTube and WhatsApp follow Facebook with 2 billion, and then we have Messenger, WeChat, Instagram and TikTok all coming in at 1 billion or more users each.

    Not to mention, implementing social recruiting into your overall talent acquisition strategy will help your company save money in the long run. Paid ads are, of course, a factor to consider, but a lot of the engagement you will receive will likely come from word-of-mouth. Even passive candidates will tell their friends about your company if your culture and values align with what they’re looking for. Social media recruitment is a way for you to see business success without breaking the bank.

    What is social branding and why is it important?
    Social branding provides visibility to consumers. Having a strong, positive presence on social media is pertinent to your success, especially in a time where millions of new users join social media every day. Job seekers all over the world, whether they’re active candidates or passive candidates, are utilizing social media platforms to do research about companies they want to work at, whether that’s now or at any point in the future. If you’re visible (and active) on social media, you’re more likely to gain interest from potential candidates. At the end of the day, you’re less likely to gain traction on your job postings if your company doesn’t have a strong employer brand.

    Whether they’re active job seekers or passive candidates, people are interested in your company culture. While many people start their job search by looking at job boards, people are also looking at the social media sites you’re active on. Being active on social media is all about building brand awareness to consumers and potential job candidates alike. If you’re difficult to find on social media, you’re going to have a hard time finding candidates. People will not take a chance on you and your company if there’s no information to be found. Job seekers like reading reviews from employees, both past and existing. They’re looking for an honest outlook about your company, and that’s not something they’ll be able to get from your website or from job boards.

    How can I create a social brand to help with talent acquisition?
    A strong social brand is the gateway to successful social recruiting, which ties into brand awareness. Without a social brand, there is no social recruiting or brand awareness, which can then lead to an unsuccessful social recruitment strategy.

    • Make sure your social media brand persona is consistent. Not only is it important that your profile photos are the same across all social media platforms, but the tone of voice across all platforms should be the same, as well. It shouldn’t sound like there are multiple people running your social media accounts (even if that is the case). Your brand persona should also represent your company culture.
    • Create content suitable for each social platform. If you’re using Facebook or LinkedIn for social recruiting, you’ll want to create long-form written content. When you’re posting on Instagram, however, your content should focus more on visual aspects.
    • Be consistent with your posting. You don’t have to post at the same exact time every day, but your content should be published within the same 2 hours every day that you have designated for posting on each platform. This can be achieved by scheduling posts to go live ahead of time.

    What are people doing on social media?
    Let’s look at some social media behaviors for a moment. This is really where the stats start to get interesting. The three that impact your company are the following:

    • 2 hours and 25 minutes. This is the average amount of time that users spend per day on social media.
    • 8 accounts. That is the average number of social media accounts each user is actively using.
    • 40%. This is the percentage of internet users who use social media for work purposes.

    Social stats

    Having a strong social media presence as an employer is crucial, both for current employees and for potential job candidates. Think about it: of the 4.2 billion active social media users, 40% are using it for some type of work purpose such as networking, job research, applying for jobs and more. And they’re doing it across 8 different social accounts! This would include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and more. When you post job openings on social media, the potential for visibility is higher than it would be if you were just using traditional recruiting methods, like posting openings on job boards, cold calling, and sending direct messages on LinkedIn.

    • 28% of social media users discover companies they may not have been aware of through paid social ads. Once they make this discovery and realize there is a job that they are interested in, they are going to begin their research about the position and the company itself.
    • 44% are conducting their research on various social networks. Since more than 70% of professionals out there are PASSIVE candidates, you need to be actively posting to your social media feeds. Then, when they start their research, they recognize your employer brand, and they can see the type of company you are and why it would be great to work with you.

    Utilizing social media to carry out recruiting efforts is becoming increasingly popular. Recruiters everywhere are adding social recruiting (also called social media recruiting) to their toolkit. The most common form of this is connecting with people on LinkedIn and then giving a “sales pitch” in their inbox, but social recruiting may come in other forms. Another example is using Twitter to post links to job openings and using hashtags that are relevant to that job posting. Some companies also post photos of existing employees with a message encouraging job seekers to apply for a position.

    Which social media platform is the best for social media recruitment?
    While there are many social media platforms that can be used for talent acquisition, some will fare better than others. LinkedIn, for example, is marketed as being for “professional networking and career development.” With over 750 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It’s a good place to start when you’re utilizing social recruiting. Job candidates often go to LinkedIn when they’re trying to learn more about a company, whether that’s company culture, the size of the company, or to network with existing employees that have the job title they’re looking to hold.

    LinkedIn may be the best option for finding prospective employees, but there are multiple social media platforms that can (and should) be utilized. For example, Facebook is the largest social media site, with over 3 billion users. If you are struggling to find job candidates on LinkedIn, Facebook should be the next place you go to post your job opportunity, if you haven’t already. It has been found that 81% of job seekers want to see job opportunities posted on Facebook. Based on the number of active Facebook accounts, that comes out to over 2.3 billion prospective employees. When you integrate Facebook into your social recruiting efforts, you’re more likely to see organic traffic. If someone engages with one of your posts, whether it’s a job posting or something else, and one of their friends sees it and is interested, they may like and share it, which creates additional free traffic and builds your employer brand.

    You’re most likely to reach your target audience on either LinkedIn or Facebook, but if you find that your social media recruitment efforts are suffering, there are other social media platforms you can utilize for social media recruiting, such as Twitter and Instagram. On these sites, you can share job openings via links, as well as use hashtags to increase visibility and engagement. When spreading your recruitment strategy across multiple social media sites, you’re more likely to catch the attention of passive job candidates. Even though they may not have been actively looking for a job, you’ve grabbed their attention.

    Why you need paid social advertising.
    I’m frequently asked why I recommend paid advertising on Facebook instead of only posting on your Facebook wall. That’s easy…Facebook has an ever-changing algorithm that really makes it challenging to connect organically with users who like your page.

    With Facebook sponsored post advertising, your company can get your posts in front of users who may be interested in your brand but don’t currently like your page…or even users who don’t know about you but are familiar with your competitors.

    This really gives you the ability to focus on those passive job seekers. Statistics show us that only 5% of organic posts receive engagement, whereas sponsored posts have a 28% user engagement. That’s a 23% increase in likes, shares, saves and comments!

    Let’s talk about Facebook.
    Sponsored Facebook posts drive qualified traffic to your career site where potential candidates can fill out an application. The campaign is designed to build your audience, generate interest in your brand and create awareness in the available positions you have to fill. With customized targeting, the campaign allows your company to keep up with not only your current audience, but also your future audience and your competition.

    Facebook image

    Facebook offers a multitude of options for targeting your audience. This is where our team of experts can really jump in and help.

    • We find the best markets to pull qualified candidates from. We research and carefully select relevant groups, fan pages and audiences related to the positions the campaign is promoting.
    • Our creative team creates a brief description of your company and the position being offered.
    • We work with you to produce an engaging image that will capture the attention of the candidate.
    • Finally, we create a CLEAR call-to-action. This learn more or apply now button appears near the bottom of the ad. When a candidate clicks this button, it takes them to the specified career landing page of the site.

    Facebook offers several types of paid ads. The one we use most often is the Link Click Ad. The great thing about this type of ad is that it can be supported through not only Facebook, but also your Instagram account (which is typically connected to your Facebook page). Because you can use this type of ad with several placements, it allows you to deliver the same message across multiple news feeds and reach a larger audience at the same time.

    Where social fits on the candidate journey.
    Finding a new job can be challenging. We’ve all been there. Active candidates are hoping to find that job at the perfect company that is meant for them.

    Around 81% of the U.S. population is active on at least one social media account, and an additional 59% of candidates utilize social media to research companies they are interested in working at. Candidates want to learn about your company and what the culture is like. There’s a reason they’re looking for a new job, and it’s important that you help them do just that. You should also be utilizing your social media channels for job postings, rather than just posting on job boards.

    As previously mentioned, current employees of your company should be encouraged to use social media platforms. It is likely that they have accounts on multiple social media platforms, and on those platforms, they can talk about the company culture, job openings, what their recruitment process was like, and more.

    Candidate Journey

    Check out this visual of the candidate journey. In Steps 1, 3 and 6, candidates are researching your company and open to any messages you may be offering. For a candidate, the journey starts well before they apply for the job, and it doesn’t finish until after the company has made an offer.

    Now that we have an understanding of the candidate journey and where social recruiting fits into it, let’s look at the bigger picture – your company’s overall social recruiting strategy. When it comes to social media, not all companies are optimally executing, and some don’t have the right internal resources. This is where a recruitment marketing agency like NAS can assist, no matter what your current situation is. Some of the key steps include:

    • Reviewing your social presence not only through your career site, but also on select major social platforms
    • Researching your reputation data from specific review sites
    • Benchmarking your company against your top competitors
    • Using that data to develop a custom approach to either build or enhance your social media strategy
    • Filling the gap by executing and managing your strategy where necessary
    • Finally, optimizing and measuring the performance of the campaigns

    NAS has prepared a social media infographic that really tells the story of how important social media is for your recruitment marketing efforts. Check it out. And if you would like to further discuss the topic, feel free to contact us and we’ll set up a convenient time to talk.

    Allison Padgett

    As Director of Digital Marketing for NAS, Allison brings over 20 years’ experience to the team. She specializes in PPC/SEM and social where she brings her expertise in planning, strategy, execution, and analyzing, by creating employment marketing campaigns for numerous NAS clients. Not only is Allison determined and motivated about her work, she is also a very dedicated wife and mother to two children. Any free time she gets, you can find her volunteering at the school helping children read or spending time with her family.

  • Subscribe to NAS Talent Talk