social media

While it’s true a lot of creative professionals hang out on emerging networks you might not have heard of, the odds are that a majority of the candidates you want to attract practically live on the social platforms we’re all too familiar with: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc.

Since that’s the case, in order to land the best candidates, you’ll probably want to consider social media outreach. Not convinced just yet? Take a look at the following stats:

  • According to the Aberdeen group, 73 percent of professionals between the ages of 18 and 34 found their last job through a social network.
  • If you’re not using social media to recruit candidates, you’re in the minority. Recent research indicates 94 percent of businesses are using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to fill empty positions.
  • Nearly half of recruiters who use social to find candidates say they’ve seen an uptick in the quality of the applicants interested in open positions.

Now that you hopefully see the merits and necessity of incorporating social into your talent marketing strategies, let’s take a look at five tips you can employ to increase the likelihood your efforts are successful:

1. Understand where your candidates hang out the most.

In order to lure the right candidates to your company, you need to understand where they’re most likely to spend their time over the course of the day. Right off the bat, you might think that LinkedIn is the social network best suited for recruiting. In most cases, you’d be right, as there are over 350 million professionals on the platform).

But that’s not always the case. For example, developers, often in heavy demand, are not too keen on hanging around LinkedIn and getting bombarded by an avalanche of inquiries from recruiters. So if you’re targeting developers, you might want to target them on a less invasive service like Twitter.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for millennials to apply for positions, you might want to launch a campaign on Instagram, as 26 percent of folks from the younger generation use the photo-sharing service on a daily basis (altogether, the platform boasts 300 million users).

2. Find the most relevant hashtags on Twitter and Instagram—and target them.

Hashtags make it easier than ever to find content related to topics you’re looking for, or in this case, topics prospective candidates are looking for. By latching on to some of those hashtags and proverbially commandeering them for your talent marketing purposes, you’re able to increase the likelihood top talent finds your job postings.

If you don’t know where to start, check out some social influencers in your space and see what kinds of hashtags they’re using. You can also use tools like Twitonomy, Hashtagify.me and RiteTag to fortify your efforts.

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3. Encourage employees to share insight into company culture on social media, and reward them for their efforts.

When recruiting new candidates, virtually every business tells prospective candidates that they have a “work hard/play hard” culture that’s really awesome and everyone is friends and oh my god you are going to love it if you get this job because it’s just simply the best! (Or some variation thereof.)

But any grizzled professional who’s been around the block a few times knows that talk is cheap. Your actual experience at a job doesn’t always match the rosy picture the hiring manager paints before you accept it.

To give prospective candidates a more accurate taste of what working at your company is like, you should encourage your staff to post about their days on social media. Let’s say your company hosts a happy hour in the office on the third Thursday of every month. Chances are most employees look forward to tossing back a couple of cold ones while on the clock—which makes happy hour as good a time as any to take some pictures and socialize them.

When talent sees these kinds of postings on social networks, it may very well pique their interest and get their digital foot inside the door.  To encourage this, consider rewarding team members who market job openings on your behalf.

4. Engage in paid advertising, but make sure it’s targeted correctly.

It’s perfectly fine to move forward with paid advertising campaigns. But it’s essential that you do your due diligence prior opening your company’s purse.

For example, you might want to consider running some pay-per-click job ads. You’ll only pay when prospective candidates indicate they’re interested in learning more, and even if you don’t land who you’re looking for, you can use the data you generate to revise and refine future campaigns.

Additionally, when possible, try to serve developer content to developers, marketing content to marketers, and so forth. Make sure you’re delivering something personalized to generate engagement.

5. Listen and respond to questions and comments.

When people interact with your brand on social channels, they expect responses. Believe it or not, 67 percent of customers (some of whom are prospective candidates) expect brands to get back to them within 24 hours on Twitter (and 25 percent of that figure expects a response within an hour).

If you’re going to socialize your talent marketing efforts, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to abandon your post, so to speak. Great brands are responsive, and both customers and prospective candidates are drawn toward that behavior.

Had any social media successes recently? Let us know in the comment section below!