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How can I use social media to attract top candidates?

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

It’s fair to say that social media has radically altered the way we communicate. The average person will spend five years of their life using an online platform like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and when it comes to recruitment, 79 per cent of applicants will use this in their job search. Given these statistics, having a concrete knowledge of how to recruit via social media is now an important part of any company’s hiring strategy. To successfully engage with those who are actively seeking a new role, as well as passive Candidates, consider taking these key steps.

Use the right platforms

To reach Candidates, you need know where to find them. With this information at hand, companies can focus their efforts on building a presence on the right platforms. A survey of 896 job seekers and 280 hiring managers found that LinkedIn was the most popular for recruitment needs, with 85 per cent of people surveyed owning an account. While this in itself isn’t surprising – LinkedIn allows recruiters to view a potential Candidate’s experience before contacting them – it’s also worth considering where potential Employees get their news, keep up to date with industry trends and the places they look to for inspiration. There are some great examples out there, including Marriott Hotels, whose dedicated careers page on Instagram is carefully branded to show staff working at picturesque venues around the world. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or even WhatsApp, each community has something slightly different to offer, so make sure you build an understanding of this in order to fully explore the nuances between each offering.

Re-think your job adverts

While job boards are still important when advertising your next role, many companies are also turning to social media to spread the word about new positions. However, to do this successfully, you’ll need to use a different format. A long-form message describing the opportunity just isn’t suitable for this medium. As with any post on social media, it’s best to keep text short and simple. Always include a link making it easy for potential Employees to find more information if needed. Using images or videos will also help boost engagement, so think creatively. Consider interviewing current members of staff or producing a film to show a typical day in the office. Or why not produce a quick animation sharing the five top things you’re looking for from potential Candidates? According to Glassdoor, companies using video in this way receive a 34 per cent increase in their application rates

Build your brand culture

Over 60 per cent of Candidates look at company’s social media profiles when deciding whether to apply for a post – which is why your brand culture is so important. Are you a target-driven company which expects staff to go the extra mile in return for high rewards? Or are you a small business with a focus on treating Employees like members of an extended family offering flexible working, a generous holiday allowance and regular social outings? However your organisation operates, it’s important that potential Candidates can view examples of this posted consistently on social media. This will help them to visualise what it’s really like to work for you. Don’t be afraid to show off the different personalities which make your organisation a success, sharing team photos, staff interviews and shouting about peoples’ achievements. Your Employees are your strongest brand ambassadors, so encourage them to build their own personal profile, as well as to share company news and job opportunities within their own social network.

Engage with Candidates regularly

Recruiting via social media takes time, which is why you should be consistent, even when you don’t have an opportunity immediately available. It’s thought that 70 per cent of today’s international workforce are passive Candidates. These are people who aren’t actively looking for a role, but are open to making a move if a better opportunity arises. Using LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook is an ideal way to start a conversation with these types of applicants because they might not be searching job boards. In an ideal world, hiring managers should be able to attract people who not only have prior knowledge of your organisation, but are actively engaging with you. That’s why spending time building relationships with potential Employees now will pay dividends in the long run. To begin the process, start by posting interesting, engaging and relevant content which is genuinely useful to those in your profession and creates an opportunity for interesting discussions. 

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 we opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.  

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