Social media is changing talent acquisition, see how this fits into your HR strategy
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A few weeks ago, McDonalds announced its plan to use Snapchat to recruit. Dubbing the process as ‘Snapplications’, the company has taken the power of social media one step further with this innovative recruitment strategy.
‘Snapplicants’ were able to watch a video from McDonald’s employees talking about their experience in a ten-second video and then had the opportunity to swipe up to be directed to the career’s page and send their application.
We spoke to Founder and managing director of OST Marketing, Luke Brynley-Jones, the social media consultant, respected social media speaker and conference host joined HRD Connect to talk about the challenges of social media for organisations, as well as ways to use certain platforms to acquire the right talent.
Drawing applicants to your job site
Although there are a lot of ways to draw applicants to your career’s site, Luke Brynley-jones says that “publishing content about your job as opposed to just direct recruitment works well.”
He adds: “A good technique is posting examples of projects and what people are doing at your company, that can draw traffic through your site and at the same time engage people on those channels encouraging them to get in touch.”
Posting opportunities is vital, however the power of social media relies heavily on being social, approachable and relatable – this can be seen as the unconventional way of advertising. Not only do you become relatable and easily accessible, but you are able to reach a large percentage of the population.
Luke says: “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn posts and even pinterest boards can be very good for publishing content around jobs. LinkedIn advertising and ‘In Mail’ has provided the option to target individuals with direct requests which gives you a lot of opportunities.”
Therefore drawing applicants to jobs can take a variety of forms as opposed to the conventional job pitch, especially with the option of direct targeting tactics.
Effectively targeting your optimum candidate profile
Targeting candidates is getting easier by the day with the help of customising your posts and aiming them at small groups or individuals.
Luke gives two examples for optimising this – push and pull.
He says: “On the push side of things you can use the traditional form of advertising. Using even perhaps LinkedIn, you can very accurately target individuals by a job title, by seniority, by location and target them with direct adverts and direct emails which you can tailor specifically for quite a small number of people”
Through direct communication, candidates have become easier to source and approach, a technique thoroughly encouraged by LinkedIn.
The pull method on the other hand is about putting up content and posts that will attract certain candidates.
“If you are trying to recruit a finance director for a utility company, there is only a certain number of people who might be interested in the kind of content that you put out for that, simple things like a guide to being a finance director for a utility company. An opportunity where you’ve got the keywords there and it targets that specific audience.”
He adds that keywords and creating content around roles are vital to attract candidates, ultimately effectively targeting your optimum candidate profile.
Monitoring social media
One of the biggest challenges that HR teams experience is the increasing use of social media by their employees. Although in the millennial world this has become the norm, social media can put a company’s reputation in a state of vulnerability.
Social media monitoring is necessary and most companies have established a monitoring system.
Luke says: “There are a lot of monitoring platforms out there that companies can use which range between free tools and simple things. You have platforms like Google Alerts as well as more comprehensive platform like Brand Watch where you can put in keywords, company names, senior staff names, product names etc and track what people are saying about them on public social media channels. From this you would be able to pick up all mentions.”
Placing tools like this will maintain and keep up with the culture of social media, however it will also help with brand reputation.
“Social media is eminently measurable”
So you can start posting and targeting potential candidates – but how will you monitor the impact of your recruitment strategy?
Thinking of the outcomes you need to achieve is important when you set out a strategy. Luke states that based on your outcomes, you need to have tracking systems in place so that you know how candidates have accessed various landing pages.
This tracking will allow you to enhance strategies and understand what you’re doing right, along with what you’re doing wrong.
Luke said: “Most of the social channels, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn enable you to include that track through to your sites. It is fairly straightforward so all of the awareness, the reach of your post, you can track the reach quite accurately through social channels and the levels of engagement that you have.”
“This could be great for a positive impact on the brand. All of these metrics can be picked up because social media is eminently measurable, it’s just a question of knowing which one’s matter to you.”
Who’s doing it best?
Aside from McDonalds’ story which has shown the power of social media recruiting and ways of targeting the youth, Luke says that: “If you look at brands like Hubspot they have an awful lot of content they produce and create. They have bespoke content around jobs and for recruitment that are very well targeted to the demographic they’re looking at.”
“Recently Marriott hotel published a top-secret profile of their HR Manager on LinkedIn and it was a sort of introduction to this HR manager, what makes them tick, what’s interesting about them and it was very visually compelling. I thought that was an interesting use of LinkedIn posts, start to introduce yourself to a selection of candidates.”
There are many ways of targeting specific ages and audiences and companies are becoming increasingly creative with their recruitment, Luke adds: “I think the majority are still somewhere behind the curve though so it’s definitely a growth area.”
Founder of OST Marketing, The Social and Digital agency, Luke Brynley-Jones is a social media consultant, respected social media speaker and conference host. Luke is known as a passionate advocate of digital customer engagement.