Quality of hire is said to be the most importance performance metric for recruiters this year. This was highlighted in my recent piece around 2016 recruitment trends as was social networks being a key source of these hires. So why are professionals choosing to turn to social networks, and how do you attract them?
People connecting, making referrals, introductions and recommendations isn’t a new thing. What LinkedIn in particular has done however is make it much easier, allowing the networking world to dramatically expand in size. Networking benefits everybody involved – candidates are presented to you whom you may otherwise not have heard about, and they’re ‘pre-qualified’ if in the form of a recommendation so you know that they’re credible. For them, they too get access to more people and opportunities and there’s a lot more information available for them upfront to assess before engaging. Plus it’s flattering to be referred, and given that it isn’t a ‘cold contact’ people are more likely to respond even if just with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ – and they’ll likely bear you in mind for the future.
Evaluating cultural fit
Assuming you and your clients use social media well, candidates are able to get a feel for a company’s culture and whether it’s the right fit before conversations even begin. Given how important it is that somebody is both a cultural and skillset fit for your organisation when it comes to quality of hire and employee retention, giving people this ability not only improves your statistics but also saves you time – they’ve done some of the research themselves! Thinking about social media as part of your employer branding strategy is crucial in order to achieve this.
Easy, ‘no pressure’ approach
People like social media because it’s quick and easy to get involved, non-intrusive and you don’t feel under pressure compared to when somebody is hounding you on the phone or via email. As a result they are more likely to engage with you, as long as your approach is right.
So what is it the ‘right approach’? Here are some of the basics:
Know your target audience
You aren’t (or shouldn’t be!) using social media to shout about yourselves – it’s about your target audience(s) and their wants and needs. What would they be interested in reading? What are the topical issues and trends that you could be sharing insights on? You need to be sharing as many posts of this nature as you are about yourselves, your clients and available opportunities. This doesn’t mean posting hundreds of times a day; it’s all about achieving a good balance. You also need to bear in mind where your target audiences are likely to be, as you may need to utilise a number of social networking sites in order to reach everyone. Using a social media scheduling tool can help with all of the above as it’ll integrate with all of your pages across the networks, and allow you to plan and pre-schedule your posts so that you know both the balance of content and frequency of messages is right.
Understand your clients
It’s important to portray your client’s employer value propositions and brand identity’s as well as your own. This relates back to the point raised above around how quality of hire and employee retention rates are improved when people are a good cultural fit for an organisation. Given that recruitment businesses commonly represent multiple clients, it’s impossible to do through your efforts alone – re-tweeting or sharing client content and clearly referencing/linking to them and their pages in related posts, as well as composing these with their ethos in mind should help give the right impression.
Do a bit of research into using tags; by which I primarily mean hashtags. So many organisations still use these incorrectly – think about if you were using social media to look for a job what you would be looking for. Tag the job location and the industry as well as terms like ‘jobs’ or ‘vacancy’ to get your post seen. Ask people to share your posts to further extend this reach.
Focus on building relationships
Social isn’t all about the ‘quick sell,’ nor just about candidates who are actively seeking employment. You can also build relationships with potential candidates and potential clients, ensuring in the process that when the time does come for them to recruit or seek employment you instantly spring to mind. That process in turn will then be easier, because you already have a rapport and know a bit about them, and they you. It also makes it easier to approach people who may be perfect for a role but aren’t currently looking and get a more positive response. Building relationships on social media comes from interactions and engagement so spend some time having conversations, searching for people you’d like to be speaking to and interacting with their content.
While some of the above may sound time consuming, the return well outweighs the investment in the long run. Once you’ve got to grips with the basics and they’ve become part of your normal routine, you’ll enjoy a whole host of benefits as well as enhanced quality of hire.