It’s no secret that social media is a hiring leader’s El Dorado, laying claim to millions of active and engaged potential candidates.
According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 84 percent of organizations already recruit via social media and 43 percent already use channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to vet potential candidates.
Not to mention, at a time when fewer and fewer qualified candidates are actively looking for a job via traditional channels, social media can trump job posting sites or resume databases as a top sourcing destination.
However, it’s one thing to know that social media is a candidate goldmine and another to understand how to unearth the rare gems that you need to take your organization to the next level. That’s why we picked the brain of social recruiting expert Katrina Collier and convinced her to answer 10 common questions about the art of using social media to hire top talent.
Social Media Hiring Q&A with Recruiting Expert Katrina Collier
- If I’ve never used Facebook for recruiting and sourcing, what advice would you give to get started?
There are over 2 billion monthly Facebook users, and even if you are yet to start using it to source and recruit great talent, there’s nothing to say that candidates and applicants aren’t already looking at your profile.
Your profile and banner photos are always public, so ensure they’re showing you in a good light. Then check what photos you’re tagged in just in case they’re saying things they shouldn’t. Often I’m asked if a recruiter should have two profiles, but the answer is no. Besides breaching Facebook’s terms, it’s too much extra work.
You can recruit on Facebook without adding anyone as a friend, which is good because friend requests to strangers are creepy and unlikely to be accepted. But if you do message via the platform, it’s more likely the recipient will thinks its spam if you do so from your work profile and you have no friends.
- Is it okay to reach out to a candidate on Facebook – or is that unprofessional? Should I send them a ‘Friend Request’ even?
Finding other ways to contact a person is always preferable, but if you cannot find their email or phone number, then why not reach out on Facebook? I regularly recommend to my clients that they send a video message. The recipient receives a ‘Facebook Message Request’ and can watch the video without the sender knowing… and who can resist a play button?
Regarding friend requests: Would you accept a Facebook friend request from someone you don’t know? So no, I don’t think you should do this.
- Should I use a potential candidate’s social media profiles to evaluate their fit for a job
Social media gives you insights that can be used as conversation starters for outreach, which is essential for grabbing the attention of potential candidates in today’s noisy world.
However, profiles on Facebook, Twitter, etc. don’t paint the full picture. Think of the things you share yourself; you hold back, right? Social media is a show reel, so further investigation is always required. Of course, if you’re after a software architect, and a possible candidate’s social profiles have them listed as first line support at an IT desk, you can confidently to move on.
- Is it better to put ad spend behind a job posting promoted on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter?
As I teach sourcing and free ways to use these sites, I asked Audra Knight, Recruitment Operations Manager at Tenable Network Security, for her thoughts.
“For recruitment advertising spend, the best bang for your buck is Facebook, over LinkedIn and Twitter. A very modest spend will get you a massive reach (and trackable applications if you have the right HR Tech) to a highly targeted audience that you choose. I have had success with LinkedIn ads as well, but the cost per click is much higher. That may change over time as more marketers start using Facebook for advertising.”
- Is there a way to recruit on LinkedIn for free?
Definitely, it’s very easy to X-ray search for LinkedIn public profiles and find contact information. However, if you’re having success using the site to hire, consider paying for a premium license because, even if you don’t like the direction it’s going, LinkedIn is paying to host the data you’re accessing.
- Does my company need a separate profile on social channels for our employer brand? Or can we just use our main company profile?
Personally, I prefer to see one corporate profile with updates aimed at both consumers and future employees because who is to say that a client couldn’t become interested in becoming an employee. Often the marketing department doesn’t agree with this point of view because they’re concerned that the feed will just be full of jobs, and neither a company nor a career social media profile should ever be just full of jobs.
- What can I do to my own social profile to make me and my company’s open jobs more appealing to potential candidates I’m reaching out to you?
Remember that social media is a conversation platform and not a job board!
Entice people to roles through insight into the company by letting your employees have a voice—and avoid only sharing a list of boring job specs (read here for more ideas about employer brand content).
Try using a video interview with the hiring manager or a person in the same role that dives into what the job involves, what it’s like to work at the company, and so on—and share those instead.
- Are there any tools that can help me find candidate email addresses or phone numbers via their social profiles?
Countless and this is a huge part of the problem with candidate engagement as we end 2017!
If you don’t use social media to find those aforementioned conversation starters and craft respectful and attention-grabbing messages and calls, all the contact detail-revealing tools under the sun won’t help you. How many emails do you ignore? See what I mean?
- Do you have any advice for getting better response rates to my LinkedIn InMails?
Don’t use them! If recruiters couldn’t run two keyword searches and mass message 100 irrelevant people in the hope that one person responds, we wouldn’t have half the issues we do with InMails. People are fed up: just look at the comments on this one recent LinkedIn update, and you’ve seen similar updates I am sure.
Not to mention, many people turn off the email that follows an InMail, so don’t assume that you’re reaching their inbox. Success comes from being curious enough to ensure the relevancy of your job opportunity against the potential recruit and then choosing the communication method that is most likely to reach them: phone, email, text, Messenger, WhatsApp and so on.
- How effective is Facebook’s new job posting feature? Who would you most recommend it for?
We don’t have it in Europe, but the feedback I’ve seen is that it’s not all that as yet.
Facebook Page posts require promoting to gain visibility, and the targeting options are not as good as creating a promoted post directly in the advertising section. This is to protect from discrimination, and though I understand that, it’s also frustrating if you’re wanting to increase diversity by targeting male nurses or female engineers for example.