Organisations are increasingly using social media as a recruitment tool to help promote job vacancies, and it can be particularly effective at reaching up-and-coming talent. This isn’t surprising when you consider that recent research showed that 86 per cent of people in the first 10 years of their career are likely to use social media in their job search.

As recruitment consultants, we’ve adapted our approach to incorporate the powerful tools of social media. We also look to advise employers on how they can make full use of their digital presence to help to attract high calibre candidates, and those likely to be the best cultural fit.

Create engaging brand social channels

The business social channels which are likely to have the most impact on potential candidates are those which are engaging all of the time, not just when an organisation is recruiting. Just as employers are likely to have a look at any potential employee’s social media activity, they will be doing the same back. Social channels are some of the best platforms to really bring an organisation’s culture and values to life. Businesses which regularly keep their social media accounts updated are more likely to demonstrate how they are great employers and can show talented individuals how they could fit in. For organisations faced with a candidate short market, this could be the aspect which makes the company stand out from the competition.

The are many ways in which an organisation can showcase its employer brand online. These include uploading ‘behind the scenes’ photos of the team at work and having fun, sharing interesting success stories, commenting on industry news and posting about corporate social responsibility activities. It’s worth investing time to engage online with those working in your industry, in the same way businesses would with customers, as you never know when that person could the ideal new recruit or be the one to recommend a vacancy to someone they know.

Utilise your existing employees

Current employees can also act as online ambassadors. This could include working with them to create a blog post on a ‘day in the life’ of their role or through a supervised ‘social media takeover’ for the day. Having content from a range of people at different levels and roles can help to paint a better picture of an organisation’s culture to the outside world. There’s also the option of asking staff to contribute to the organisation’s LinkedIn page by writing a short paragraph about their job, how they got it and what advice they’d give to someone else looking for a similar role.

Promote your vacancies on social

When it comes to promoting vacancies, social media can help organisations reach more passive candidates, as well as active job hunters. This could potentially increase the quality and quantity of applications received, and increase the chances of finding the right fit. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter all have the potential to help employers attract more applications. To help reach the best talent in your field, it’s worth considering what social media platform is most used by people in your industry. Where are your current employees most active for example? Instagram may not seem the most obvious place to further promote a career opportunity, but it is a platform which is especially popular with people in the creative sector. As a very visual platform, organisations can think creatively about images which showcase the role and then use appropriate hashtags to help increase views. Promoting vacancies by social media can also provide the chance to show more personality, if you feel it is appropriate. For example, the ‘running man’ recruitment video by New Zealand police was an internet hit, watched over 800,000 times.

Follow, engage and add value

It’s also worth following and engaging with the social media accounts of high quality recruitment companies. It’s important to look to add value through social and digital content by providing advice on everything from CV tips through to interview skills. It’s a good idea as well to put a big focus on providing useful content for employers, sharing expert advice on HR, recruitment, talent retention and employee engagement. We aim to support local businesses, so part of this includes building an online community of best employers to help share best practice.

However well an organisation uses social media, it may not always be the best way to find top talent. Sometimes it can be better to work directly with expert recruiters. We know that employers are likely to check out our social media channels when searching for the right consultants to work with, and we want to show our culture and expertise to the best effect.

About Gill Buchanan

Gill is a founding Director of Pure Resourcing Solutions has worked in the recruitment field since 1988. Gill’s experience is broad based and includes eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company including five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia.

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