To really stand out in a competitive job market, your company needs to present and cultivate your employer brand to top talent before they're even thinking about making a change. Because to them, what your company stands for and where it's going are more important than a specific job req.
Social Networks are a great place to begin an awareness campaign for your digital employer branding. You can plant the seed and generate awareness, so when it comes time to source applicants you're not starting completely from scratch.
Consider raising awareness through social media when you're:
- Moving into a new market
- Managing a merger/acquisition
- Promoting a corporate brand that is little known in comparison to your consumer or B2B brand
- Seeking to diversify your employee population
- Aware of an upcoming project/contract that will require additional staff
Of course, all the above require planning ahead, looking at your company's long-term goals and analyzing your workforce projections. So before you get started, here are some best practices to keep in mind when applying employer branding to your social recruiting strategies.
Determine the target demographics
For your social recruiting efforts to be effective, you need to determine who you are directing your recruiting efforts toward. Remember, you're not trying to hire everyone, so your employer brand shouldn't try to be all things to all people. Use the Emotional Drivers that have been defined in your employee value proposition (EVP) to help provide direction on why the right talent wants to join your company.
Key takeaway: Start social media efforts by defining who you are targeting.
Focus your efforts
Once you've established your target demographics, start cultivating messages that will resonate with your ideal candidates. Identify the channels they are most likely to use and focus your efforts there. Next, tailor messages appropriately to each social media channel, whether it's 280 characters for Twitter or something fresh and fun for Facebook. Consider using Geofencing or location-based targeting for an event. And, if a message is resonating with your audience, roll it out across other channels, measuring and adjusting it as you go.
Key takeaway: Focus on channels where your target audience spends time and tailor messages to these channels.
Social media allows you to make changes at the drop of a hat. This gives recruiters a bit of a "cushion" where mistakes can be made and quickly corrected. Put your message out, tweak it, test it Ð and tweak it again. Make sure to test different messaging and engagement approaches that take advantage of the unique nature of each channel.
Key takeaway: Use social media to experiment with messaging and continually adapt.
Create a conversation
Social recruiting doesn't just provide a chance to promote your brand; it's also an opportunity to interact with potential candidates, offer them relevant information and create a conversation.
People replying to a social post are already expressing interest in your business. They can also become leads, which warrants more interaction. They might end up visiting your career site to learn more information about your company and employer brand. Perhaps they'll even engage in a chat with a recruiter, continue a dialogue, and hopefully apply and become a candidate. Social media is the starting point, and with a strong brand, you can capture job seekers' attention almost immediately.
Key takeaway: Use social media to have conversations with leads who may turn into candidates and eventually employees!
Build advocacy and evangelism
After people are hired, they can become advocates to help spread the message of your brand story. Employee evangelists take social recruiting to another level by helping you promote the employer brand and attract an even wider audience to your content through word of mouth marketing. (There are even solutions available to help facilitate employee social media sharing.)
Key takeaway: Employees are your best brand advocates; encourage them be active on social media to extend your reach and attract more superb candidates.
By cultivating your employer brand and showcasing your reputation on social media, you're building a long-term strategy to attract candidates who will fit in with your culture, align to your goals, and contribute to your organization. It's one of the smartest investments you can make to get the best people for your team.