Talent Acquisition

How Staffing Agencies Can Maximize LinkedIn

There’s no shortage of staffing agencies out there, but few maximise the use of LinkedIn for business building and and general branding.  Trying to keep a network of candidates and clients who will really only need you sporadically can be difficult. That’s when it becomes imperative to stay interesting and relevant, making yourself a must-follow organisation.

Global recruiting giant Hays is pretty much hitting this nail head-on right now. The group was recently recognised as the most socially engaged staffing agency on LinkedIn globally! Hays has over 9,000 staff and operates from 252 offices in 33 countries across 20 industries. Last year 67,000 candidate were placed in permanent jobs through Hays, and around 220,000 people into temporary assignments. It’s safe to say

Let me introduce you to Catherine Gutsell. She heads up Hays’ social media and content strategy at group level and was more than happy to share the success story with me. Keep reading for her take on how Hays scored no. 1 spot on LinkedIn’s social staffing agencies list, as well as a bunch of takeaways, too. You can also listen to the interview on iTunes, SoundCloud or keep reading for a summary. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

Catherine tells us how Hays does it:

We, like all brands, have seen the way that our customers communicate has evolved; hence social media is a key strategic priority for our business, across all countries and regions. Our social media presence is large, and has historically been focused on LinkedIn, but we are seeing some fantastic growth across our other social channels – this large reach helps widen our talent pool, making it easier and quicker for us to find the right candidates for our clients.

Social media numbers:

The focus of my role is to implement and refine our global social and content strategy with the aim attracting clients and candidates to Hays, and ensuring that Hays is front of mind for anyone looking for a new role, or building a team.

As such, a big part of my role is focused on content – from idea conception, to creation, to promotion, to repurposing to measurement – I’m involved in the entire process at a global level. My obsession over the past few years has been on creating high quality content which helps our audience tackle a challenge they are facing, or helps them solve a problem – we use social media to provide our audience with something of value, every day without fail. We also ensure that each piece of content works as hard for us as possible – for instance, once we publish a new blog post, we will also repurpose this onto Slideshare, into visual social graphics and into a LinkedIn Publisher blog – this ensures the reach of our content is maximised, with little effort.

We operate a ‘Hum, Sing and Shout’ content marketing model across social media. Hum, being our everyday content which we share daily, Sing, being our bigger content assets such as salary guides, and Shout, being our bigger brand-led pieces such as the Hays Global Skills Index.

What are your overall business objectives and challenges?

  1. To develop long-lasting relationships with our audience, so that we are seen as their trusted advisor throughout their careers. The challenge here is that in some cases, a candidate can become a client, so we need to take this journey into account. Using social media to nurture talent pools.
  2. Increase consultant productivity – to ultimately enable our consultants get the best candidates to clients faster than anyone else. Clients and candidates interact with us in multiple evolving ways, using various channels and it is part of our philosophy to recognise and quickly respond to these trends. One of these trends has been social media, especially LinkedIn. Therefore, we actively educate and empower our consultants to actively share jobs they are recruiting for and content with their networks every day. By encouraging our employees to share Hays content with their LinkedIn networks, we are reaching a wider audience, as our employees. This has been a challenge as social media activity is not always front of mind for our recruitment consultants.
  3. Maintaining our leading position in mature markets such as the UK and Australia, and increasing exposure to less mature markets. One of the key challenges we face from a content marketing point of view is addressing the issue of languages, and striking the right balance between regional and globally relevant content

How did Hays become the most socially engaged staffing agency on LinkedIn?

  1. Our content – we have the highest LinkedIn content marketing score in our industry. The Content Marketing Score – is a measurement of how our audience engages with our content across the different facets of LinkedIn, including our LinkedIn company page, employee shares, employee blog posts and in LinkedIn groups. Every day, across each of these facets of LinkedIn, we share high quality content, which helps our audience tackle a challenge they are facing, or helps them solve a problem – we use social media to provide our audience with something of value. We make sure our social sharing copy speaks directly to our audience which grabs attention in busy newsfeeds. We publish content that is varied in formats – blog posts, Slideshares, reports, video, graphics as well as mobile and tablet optimised. We actively ask our audience what they want us to write about, and take their comments on board. Moreover, we’re constantly measuring, refining and improving content. We do all of this consistently, and it is what our audience has come to expect of us.
  2. Buy-in from senior stakeholders across the business – starting with Alistair Cox, our CEO. Our managing directors understand the value of LinkedIn, they advocate its use, are personally active, which sets a great example to our consultant population, which leads me on to my third point.
  3. Our recruiters actively use LinkedIn – we educate and empower our consultants to use LinkedIn every day to engage with clients and candidates. We have a very strong training team at Hays – and that starts with new joiners – new starters are training on how to set up an effective LinkedIn profile, and provided with top tips on how to maximise LinkedIn as a candidate generation and business development tool. This training is delivered through a variety of factsheets, face-to-face training and webinars. We also train our consultants on how to create an effective online personal brand by connecting with relevant people, joining relevant groups and sharing interesting and relevant content.
  4. Employee advocacy on social – we provide our consultants with the tools to share relevant content consistently on social media, in a time efficient way and in a way that demonstrates the results of social sharing to them. Why? Employees who are socially engaged are 57% more likely to generate more leads and content shared by employees drives 8x higher engagement than company content.
  5. Finally, we also have nearly 100 employees actively using LinkedIn Publisher to post blogs – in October alone, this generated 173k page views and 18.9k interactions.

What’s the ROI on being socially engaged and how do you measure it?

Some of the stats shared by LinkedIn include:

  • Hays LinkedIn followers are 3x more likely to apply for a Hays job after viewing it than non-Hays followers
  • Hays followers are 75% more likely to respond to an InMail sent by Hays than if they were not a follower of Hays
  • 12.2% of Hays followers applied to a Hays job in 2015
  • 43.6% of Hays followers viewed a Hays job in 2015
  • 2.5m Job views from followers

For every 6 pieces of content one of our consultants share on LinkedIn, they will generate:

  • 6 views of their LinkedIn profile
  • 3 LinkedIn company page views
  • 1 Hays LinkedIn company page follower
  • 2 new LinkedIn connections
  • 6 views of Hays jobs on LinkedIn

Follow Catherine on Twitter @CatGutsell and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.