Three Steps to Better Digital Recruiting

The right social media platform can attract great future hires. The employer brand is its reputation when it comes to culture, benefits, pay and more. Companies should work to shape it in the workspace and social media.
By Chris Lennon
February 11, 2019

Digital recruitment in 2019 isn’t an emerging trend or even a best practice. It’s the status quo. And if a company isn’t doing it, it is sending a message to the world it might not like:

  • “We are either unable or unwilling to adapt to change.”
  • “We don’t care about technology.”
  • “We don’t care about finding top-tier employees.”
  • “We aren’t investing in ourselves, our people or our culture.”

No company wants to be that company...

In today’s digital media environment, there’s no excuse to stay silent. Social media serves a higher purpose than just marketing - it should be about employer brand. Every industry interested in high-quality talent acquisition has an opportunity - and perhaps an obligation - to find the best candidates for its ranks, and with an appropriate digital media approach, every business can.

What Is Digital Recruiting?

Digital recruiting is a broad term that covers active candidate searches like recruiter contacts and job postings, as well as more passive recruitments, such as well-executed employer branding efforts that attract candidates who may not even have been looking.Unfortunately, great digital recruiting isn’t an on/off switch. It takes time and strategic execution. Here are three steps businesses can take to take to be a next-level digital recruiter.

Do a Digital Media Checkup

Social media can be intimidating, but avoiding it speaks louder than making no effort. Here’s how to look at social media smartly, with an HR spin.

A Social Media Rundown

Choosing the right platform to attract great future hires is just as important as having quality things to say. A company’s social media presence needs to be a good match for its culture, size and target demographics1.

  • Facebook. 68 percent of Americans use it; it’s a great place for passive recruitment because people hang out here whether they’re job searching or not. It has a dedicated place for job postings. But don’t focus solely on this platform; in early 2018, Facebook announced it would de-emphasize content from brands to allow newsfeeds to prioritize posts from friends and family.
  • LinkedIn. Just 25 percent of Americans use it, but it’s still a top contender for digital recruiting. It’s entire premise circles around work life, so business content is not only popular, it’s needed. 50 percent of Americans with a college degree are on it, and 45 percent of people who make more than $75,000 use it, too. It has a dedicated place for job postings.
  • Instagram. 35 percent of Americans use it. It’s a great place to show off company culture, and for targeted recruitment, its demographics skew heavily to the 18-29 age range.
  • YouTube. 73 percent of Americans use it, making it the most popular social media channel. Demographics skew younger, with 91 percent of 18-29-year-olds using it, but even 65 percent of 50-64-year-olds are on it.
  • Twitter. Just 24 percent of Americans use it, but it’s a good place for niche industries or topics.

What Content Should Be Shared?

Companies need to incorporate an HR focus into their social media strategy. To do that, they should consistently share what it’s like to work at their company. The culture, the people, the work - all these things can be used to build an employer brand that ultimately keeps the audience engaged. That said, it can’t be all culture all the time. A mix of engaging posts - including images and videos - should cover lots of topics:

  • education and learning;
  • promotional and marketing; and
  • delightfully share-worthy.

A reliable stream of interesting and thought-provoking content will enhance an audience’s perception of the company and make the occasional job opening that pops up more appealing, even if the audience member isn’t looking for a new job.

Lean into Employer Brand

Employer brands are up for interpretation, so smart digital recruiters will do their best to shape the narrative to their vision of the company culture. But how to do it?

Enlist Employees to Strengthen Social Media Presence (Theirs and The Company’s)

Employer brands can harness the energy of current employees by encouraging them to embrace their personal brands in partnership with their job enthusiasm. Here’s how companies can start that process:

  • Ask for Company Reviews. Many engaged team members will happily share their experiences on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, where current or former employees can review a company. Note: A dozen five-star reviews posted at the same time doesn’t come off as authentic. Make requests strategically, based on timing and hiring needs.
  • Encourage Relevant Social Media Interaction. By spending time on social media to engage with relevant brands or news, employees are building a reputation for enthusiasm and thought leadership that reflects well on them and their organization. Potential recruits who see this are having their perceptions shaped by this activity.
  • Create Content for Personnel. Some people just aren’t confident writers. Create a few blurbs for target employees and ask them to tweak them and post at their discretion to their personal social media.

Manage What Potential Hires See

In industries where jobs are hard to fill like construction, in-demand workers have their pick of companies. Recruiters should make sure reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed are responded to when good, and answered if bad. An explanation or commitment to improve on an issue is preferable to no response at all and shows that employees are heard.

Attract Passive Candidates

Passive candidates are great catches. Typically, they have a job they like and are doing it well. For hard-to-fill spots, luring away a competitive skilled worker is a major win. A full-scale digital recruiting strategy can help nurture a passive candidate into the hiring process, and here’s how:

  • Great content on social media gets attention and shapes the perception of a company, keeping it top-of-mind and making it stand out as a leader in the market.
  • Posting jobs on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram goes where the people are, not where the job-hunters are. It seems counterintuitive, but passive candidates aren’t scouring job sites - they’re living their lives on social media.
  • Enthusiastic brand ambassadors who talk to about their companies elevate the employer brand and pique interest when a job opening pops up.

Leverage Technology

The future is here - just ask the 33 percent of HR teams using artificial intelligence technology, according to a 2017 Deloitte study on Human Capital Trends. It’s time to consider how user-friendly technology can make it easier to attract high-quality candidates.

Targeting Young, Blue Collar Recruits? Get Mobile, STAT
According to Glassdoor, blue collar workers are more likely than any other sector to use mobile technology to search for jobs, create resumes or cover letters, and apply for positions. Combine that with data that shows younger people spend more time on mobile tech than older generations, and a recruitment process that is difficult on a mobile device is a recipe for poor results.

Prioritize User-Friendliness

When it comes to digital recruiting, ease of use can make or break how many potential applicants are willing to become actual applicants. Note that Glassdoor reports more than half of all job hunters come to its site via mobile device, so:

  • keep the application short;
  • don’t require attachments, such as cover letters and resumes, which can be cumbersome to upload on a phone or tablet;
  • allow for applicants to save their work and come back; and
  • automate the response - an applicant always deserves to know their application was received.

The case for digital recruiting is open and shut: Companies need to develop a smart strategy for leveraging social media both as a company brand and as an employer brand, and they need to do it in a way that is user-friendly and mobile-accessible. Digital recruiting can be time-consuming, but for industries struggling to recruit enough of the right workers, the process can bring a necessary competitive advantage.

by Chris Lennon
Chris Lennon is responsible for ensuring the BirdDogHR Talent Management System meets the needs and exceeds the expectations of its customers. He does this by working directly with customers and partners, identifying key market opportunities, developing product strategies and bringing exciting new products, features and partnerships to market. Chris is an active participant in the talent management community bringing more than 18 years of experience to BirdDogHR. He has presented at numerous industry events and has been quoted as an industry expert in leading publications like Talent Management magazine, CLO magazine, New Talent Times, TLNT and HR Bartender.

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