The Keys to Social Recruiting: What We’ve Learned

At the start of the 21st century, social media wasn’t even a part of our vocabulary. Now, almost two decades later, it’s an integral and inescapable part of our everyday lives. The way the world works has changed as a result of the major influx of new technology. All industries from home design to healthcare have become part of the revolution – and recruiting is no exception.

Over 94 percent, the vast majority, of professional recruiters participate in social networking with the intention of acquiring talent, and more than half of employees say social media presence played a role in choosing a new employer.

It’s 2017 – pretty much everyone is on social media. What’s great about it? For recruiters, there’s unparalleled opportunity to access millions of potential candidates, and it’s free. 80% say that they’ve found passive candidates through social media, as three-fourths of eligible talent aren’t searching actively. What’s not-so-great? The sheer size of these new talent pools and saturation of Internet-savvy recruiters competing for candidates.

Moving forward, 89% of all companies intend to recruit through social media. So, what can you do to find the best talent for your positions through social recruiting? After successfully navigating the realm ourselves, we’re here to give you some advice in establishing a social competitive advantage. 

What We’ve Learned

The team at AllWork has had great success with social recruiting, specifically through the use of Facebook groups. We own and moderate two career-focused groups, where we’ve been able to create environments that facilitate career growth through social media relationships. With Cosmetic Peeps, our 37,000-member-strong beauty talent community, we’ve been instrumental in helping match retailers and brands with candidates, those both actively and passively looking for employment. We have recently started a new group for fashion talent, AllWork Fashion Jobs, with the hopes of providing a similar space for that industry.

Job seekers view the job search as unengaging and impersonal. Employees, Millennials especially, associate the tone of the job search process with the company culture; if the recruiters are impersonal and unresponsive, many candidates feel like they’re wasting their time. That means it’s no longer good enough to have online applications and automated tracking systems. Candidate expectations have evolved, and competitive recruiters have to communicate authentically, in real-time, to interest and engage them.

Therefore the principal approach to recruiting great candidates on social is to keep them engaged and to build relationships through that engagement. To engage effectively, recruiters must communicate useful and relevant information in a transparent, authentic manner. Interact and converse with candidates – don’t just advertise job listings.

Our advice on effective candidate discovery and interaction through social recruiting:

Shared Passion Discovery

All across the internet are groups of people, united by some similarity. These “communities” can be quite small, catering to a niche interest or a local activity, or exceptionally large, like those sharing crafting hacks or recipes. Encompassing every possible interest, thousands of these groups are out there, and it’s almost guaranteed that your ideal candidate is part of at least one. The trick is in determining just where that might be.

People are more trusting of brands that use social media actively – it’s all part of the community experience and the need for authentic relationships. Ensure you’ve established your social presence, that the presence matches across all platforms, and that your interaction is high.

Socially savvy recruiters will locate and integrate into the specialist networks. Chances are that people in your industry have a set of common interests; people who are united by similar passions will seek out relevant content on social media. No matter their specific interest, candidates are united – and accessible – through internet communities. It is then up to you to initiate conversations and get involved.

By identifying the potentially shared passions of your target recruits, you can then seek them out through the appropriate channels. Whether through an Instagram hashtag, Facebook group, or LinkedIn keyword search, it takes only minutes to locate people of interest. The overwhelming world of talent, magnified in size by the internet, becomes instantly easier to navigate once you center in on the specific, shared passions of your ideal hires.

Community Targeting

Once you’ve located these communities, it’s essential to spend some time developing an understanding of their dynamics. Blindly sharing a generic post is not going to win you any friends and can be seen as disruptive – not exactly the best way to come off as engaging and personal to potential candidates.

First, think about what you want to get out of your social recruiting strategy. Set short-term and long-term goals, whether it’s finding higher quality candidates, getting more resumes and more candidates, branding your organization or simply building awareness. The most successful social recruiters tailor their messaging by audience and channel, which enables them to locate, engage, and recruit candidates faster.

Observe what kinds of content other accounts are posting, how the accounts interact with each other, and who the audience seems to be. If the community is a fit, tailor your post strategy to the dynamic. Use familiar language and be clear about what you’re sharing from the first few words – grab their interest before they scroll past your post.

If the communities you find don’t seem to be a fit, try asking people within your network where they hang out online. Better yet, ask the people who already work with you where they first learned about the opportunity and, if it wasn’t through social media, where and how you could have caught their attention. Some companies, like AllWork, have found success by recruiting in social networking communities they took the time to start and foster over time.

Controlled, Purposeful Interaction

As a member of these communities, you must be just that – a member. A robotic presence will only turn potential employees away – nine out of ten candidates are more likely to apply for a job when the employer’s social media presence is authentic and engaging. Oftentimes simply posting an announcement that you’re hiring or an invitation to message you about an opportunity is more lucrative than a generic job post with a link because it prompts interaction.

The best online communities for social recruiting are those that have a central commitment or goal, like Facebook and LinkedIn groups. While some groups are free-for-alls, many serve an actual purpose and that’s where you want to be. What’s great about groups is that they tend to be moderated by administrators. The monitors ensure the content stays central to the page’s focus and the audience remains targeted. When there is this air of exclusivity and the comfort of similar people, most people are more willing to interact and share more personal information.

Posting in these places not only shows that you know who these people are but also that you’re interested in them specifically. To engage effectively, real-time communication and two-way conversations are essential. This can be as simple as liking or commenting on member’s posts, but it’s important because it shows authenticity in your interest and engages the potential talent in a relationship – especially those who are passively looking.

No matter the platform, no longer are the days of generic job posts. Automated, general posts show no effort on your end, leaving potential candidates feeling disrespected. Devote the time to target and interact with only the most relevant talent in their communities of interest, and save both of you the pain of the traditional, outdated hiring process.

It’s essentially impossible to discover and secure today’s best talent without the use social media – social media is already the primary tool used in a job search for a quarter of job seekers – and, as time goes on, each new wave of digital natives will only continue to expect to be connected with companies through social media. Recruiters who are strategic in seeking out candidates through targeted, relevant interaction will be more successful in building valuable relationships and selecting top candidates.