Some say social media has completely changed the way we go about recruiting people. And in many ways that’s true: candidates have so many options when it comes to interacting with companies now. They can learn about companies through their friends or colleagues easily since that’s exactly what they’ll see if they visit a company page. They can interact with recruiters on social networks, learn about the company by following updates about company events etc.
Somehow, the ones who seem to be left behind, are recruiters. Quite often they share the same old job ads (or rather job descriptions) on social media with just a click of a button without spending too much time thinking about it. The digital equivalent of walking into a room shouting you have a role to fill. That doesn’t seem very social to me, but that’s not even the problem. The real issue is it doesn’t seem to bring them the results they’re looking for.
You may say it’s just a couple of seconds of your time, so why worry about how your ads perform when you share them on social media. I would argue there’s no point in spending time and money using social media unless you do it right. It’s perfectly fine not sharing your jobs with your LinkedIn or Facebook (or any other) network at all. If you do decide to do it though, there’s a couple of things you may want to consider first:
You’re busy – we all get it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put at least a little effort into describing the job that you’re trying to advertise. Does the update below sound familiar?
Just think about it. Would you click on a link to find out more about something without having any idea what it is? It doesn’t look appealing at all – and how would you even know if it’s meant for you? How is the right candidate going to know this is something they should be interested in when you can’t even show a little interest yourself?
If you’re tired of going through large numbers of irrelevant applications, you have to make sure candidates know whether they could be qualified for the role before they even click on the link.
There’s really a number of options here. You can mention the job title (if it’s something your target audience will recognise and understand) or where the role sits within the business. You can mention the challenge that the creation of the role is supposed to help resolve or the type of skills it will take in order to get the job. If you’re not sure what your target audience is looking for, you can create a candidate persona to help you figure that out. You could also just talk to someone from the team you’re recruiting for: just ask what it was that they thought was interesting about the role back when they were a candidate and whether that changed after they joined the team.
The easiest and quickest way to come up with a compelling message to promote your job ads online is (in my personal experience) coming up with one during or right after you learn about the role. That’s when you can plan your communication with candidates at all steps of the process – including advertising on social media.
If you’re looking for a tool that will help you automate job posting while still giving you control over what the update looks like, I’d recommend you check out Buffer. It will help you schedule updates for when you’re busy meeting candidates
This seems to be a point recruiters don’t always agree on. I want to make sure the candidate is motivated, so I don’t want it to be too easu to apply some would say. That’s fair enough, but you have to remember that social media as a communication channel isn’t supposed to be complicated. If other recruiters make it easy to contact them and you don’t – you might just end up missing out.
Unless you’re hiring a sourcer, there’s really no reason not to include your contact details in your update:
Sure, it’s pretty obvious who this is addressed to and what the location is, but how does a potential candidate get in touch? You may argue that you want them to be able to find your contact details… but is this something that could be part of their job? If not, why complicate matters for someone who probably doesn’t spend an entire day sourcing? After all, you may be an incredible merchandiser without having the faintest idea how to find the contact details for a recruiter, right?
Not to mention, the update doesn’t really mention anything that could catch the eye of the coveted “passive candidate”. Let’s be honest, unless you’re currently looking for a role as a site merchandiser, you probably won’t even notice this, and if you’re looking for a role and spending you’re entire day looking at your LinkedIn feed, hoping something like this may pop up… does anyone actually do that? Or would they just check out a job site instead?
Make sure your update mentions at least one way people can get in touch. Better yet, give them an option – why not encourage some to apply and those who are still on the fence to drop you a quick email. If all your candidates can do is invite you to connect to get in touch, you’ll quickly lose control over your inbox and will waste time trying to organise the chaos it creates.
I found this example of an update from a candidate, that I think works quite well. It gives the audience two options for getting in touch and is quite specific about who (and why) should get in touch in the first place:
Simple, short, but covers all of the basics. I’m sure recruiters could do this too
While looking through different updates on LinkedIn, I noticed that most of them still list requirements before (or instead of) mentioning anything that could be interesting from a candidate perspective. The language used is often focused on the author of the update (or their employer) and generally rather unappealing:
Before you publish an update similar to the one above, just ask yourself: why should anyone care? If you’re going to attract anyone to the roles you have available, you should make sure they see what they can get out of it. It’s quite ironic that these updates are quite often produced by “headhunters” and other “executive search” professionals. You’d expect them to have mastered communicating with a more sophisticated audience. Not only does this not result in quality applications, it could also cost them business as it doesn’t inspire confidence from a client perspective either.
There’s really no one simple answer here – it will depend on what the audience would see as the selling point of the roles you offer. Unless you actually know this, you risk sounding like every other recruiter out there. You know the “dynamically growing, innovative” companies who all hire “top talent” to work for them because of their “industry leader” status? While this may seem interesting to a candidate who needs a job, it’s hardly enough to convince anyone to leave the job they’re currently enjoying. As mentioned before, if you really want to know what grabs the attention of someone you’d want to hire, just talk to the existing team about what got them interested in your job during their search.
There are some interesting examples out there of updates from recruiters who understand what makes their role stand out. Perhaps it’s the team that the candidate will be joining? If so, you can use a picture of the team or tag the members of the team in the post. Maybe it’s the work they would do? Why not share an example of what the team has already accomplished. Is the work especially challenging? Explain what the challenge is and what you think it could take to solve it.
Whatever you do, make sure it reflects the interests of your audience rather than copies what your competitors mention in their updates. You could also create different versions of an update and test them to see which one gets you the best results. Just bear in mind that by results, I mean the number of relevant applications and not the number of likes your update receives
Unless you put in the time and effort into sharing your updates online, you really can’t expect them to have a significant impact on the applications you receive. In fact, sharing lazy updates can reduce your reach as your connections can easily unfollow you with just two clicks. Why risk that when you’ve worked so hard on growing your network?
So if you’re looking to save time, just skip writing the ad and move straight to sourcing. Spend more time researching the few candidates you’d like to hear from. You’ll be surprised with how effective social recruiting can actually be