Social Media: The Great Recruiter

Finding the right employees today requires an organized plan involving social media.

By Alexandra Walsh

In today’s labor market, many companies are doing everything they can to attract employees in an increasingly competitive landscape.

For you and your business to attract the employees you need, it’s essential you have social recruiting strategies in place. Social media should be an integral part of any campaign to recruit employees.

Appealing to All Ages

Not all young people who are looking for good jobs are necessarily candidates for college enrollment. Many young people like to be outdoors and work with their hands—and social media is one way to get more of these young people into the water well drilling industry.

People of all ages are using platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Some of these users are out of work and seeking their next opportunity, while others are currently employed but looking for a better opportunity.

When you are looking for young workers who currently are students, social media can be effective when your posts support other recruiting tactics. Social media can be used in conjunction with outreach to college co-ops, career centers, and high school STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs and to help get the word out about job fairs your company will be attending.

Social Media and Company Branding

A consistent social media presence is vital to a company’s ongoing recruitment effort. Well-designed posts help create excitement around a company, positioning it as a great place to build a career.

Social media recruiting is not only about finding good talent, it’s also the perfect opportunity to market the company brand. Companies can show off what life is like working there, highlight achievements their employees are engaged in, and give candidates a reason to apply for a role.

Companies can create shareable content that fits its brand. Eye-catching content such as videos showing off office spaces and examples of a company’s culture always get a lot of likes and shares on social media and many people will tag their friends in the comments. Blogs, news articles, and fitting memes can make great shareable content too.

Candidates today want to work at places with a company culture that aligns with their own. Hiring for a cultural fit benefits both the employee and the employer because it results in better job performance and satisfaction, which leads to higher retention.

A social media post could shine light on a company’s commitment to philanthropy or volunteerism. Posts could also call attention to the achievements of individual teams or employees, which in turn helps showcase the ways a company appreciates, recognizes, and rewards hard work.

Other posts promoting company culture could be employees eating a catered lunch together, full attendance at safety meetings, or the company giving back to the local community with a fundraiser or food drive. Remember to use images that will engage the viewing audience.

Employees and their families love seeing these posts, too, and are motivated and likely to share them, helping you spread the word. After all, word of mouth is the best recruiter. Social media is just word of mouth amplified.

Social media allows companies to reach people from all kinds of backgrounds. Water well drilling companies with a social media presence will likely receive likes and comments on posts from people who have no background in drilling or heavy equipment. This means the company is bringing more people to the water well drilling community than it otherwise would have.

Choosing Networks

While posting is basically the same on all networks, finding and engaging with the ideal audience is slightly different on each one.

LinkedIn

For most employers, using LinkedIn to find and connect with potential job candidates is an obvious choice. Posting job opportunities here is one way to use this particular social network, but LinkedIn is also a powerful tool for finding qualified job candidates.

It can be used to easily find a large number of employees at a particular company—a competitor, for example. It could also be used to identify potential candidates working in certain industries or those with specific job titles.

Because of the algorithm that determines whether users see a post or not, success on LinkedIn requires engagement from users. If they comment on and share a post, or the longer they watch a video, the more users LinkedIn will show that post to. This means it is essential to encourage and nurture engagement.

LinkedIn is great for sourcing because users share their career history and interests with their network, affording recruiters a real sense of who they are. Usually, LinkedIn users are open to new opportunities, so it’s a great social media site to source candidates.

Facebook

Facebook can showcase a positive working environment at a company, and the level of precision targeting available through paid advertising makes it easy and cost effective to put that message in front of the perfect audience.

A few ways that Facebook’s targeting can be used to reach the right audience include targeting:

  • Employees of competitors
  • Recent high school graduates
  • Students in trade schools
  • Recently released military veterans
  • Employees in other fields.

As with LinkedIn, success on Facebook depends on engagement with users. This applies to paid and organic posts.

If you can’t find the candidate you’re looking for on LinkedIn, you may find the perfect candidate on Facebook by using paid targeted advertising or getting involved in Facebook groups.

Twitter

Twitter, like Facebook, is great for finding candidates. But unlike Facebook, users sometimes have professional Twitter accounts where they can share their thoughts and grow a following.

This social network is fast paced and an effective platform to show prospective job candidates that they might want to work at a particular company.

Success on Twitter depends on engaging with other established users to leverage their following—especially in the beginning. This helps you reach and build an exponentially larger audience more quickly. Following the proper process makes it easier while improving efficiency and effectiveness.

Some types of accounts to engage with include:

  • Local high schools
  • Trade schools
  • Employment services
  • Veteran transition organizations
  • Local media.

Due to Twitter’s fast pace, the key here is to post frequently. You may come across potential candidates by using hashtags. These increase the visibility of your posts, so be sure to use hashtags at the end of each tweet!

Free Posting

Facebook, Indeed, and many other job boards have free job posting options. It’s a good idea to diversify where the company posts online to find where its target applicants are. All the same, anything posted on one platform is likely to end up on other platforms for free.

Remember to boost posts to fill more urgent vacancies and keep data on how well your posts perform on different sites. That way, you can measure what kind of return on investment your ads and posts give you.

Target Audience

Casting the biggest net isn’t always the best way to find employees. For a few extra dollars, social media and job posting sites allow employers to boost posts to target people of specific demographics.

With Facebook, for example, you can choose who sees your post based on what industry they work in or what their hobbies are. Just keep in mind that the narrower your targeting is, the more the ad will cost you. Boosting can drastically increase your Facebook post’s reach, engagement, and clicks.

Employee Engagement

Employees should be encouraged to get involved with the company’s social media marketing strategy. Employees will have a network of like-minded people who could be perfectly suited to a position. They can share the content the company creates and any new job postings. They can also share their thoughts on working for the company and be its brand ambassadors.

No Downside

Social media gives a recruiter the power to see how candidates present themselves. You can get to know them, their background, what they find interesting, ideas or projects they’re working on, and more importantly, what they see themselves doing in the future.

If the company’s recruiter is building connections with the right people and the employees are sharing content with their network, the company is sure to reach candidates whose skills and personality will be a great fit for its workplace culture.

If the company is people-focused on its social media and uses all the social media tools at its disposal, it won’t need to find the good hires. The good hires will find the company.


Alexandra Walsh is the vice president of Association Vision, a Washington, D.C.–area communications company. She has extensive experience in management positions with a range of organizations.