why use social media for recruitment

Selecting the Social Recruiting Channels for your business

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Being everywhere and doing everything is not always the best strategy.  If I’m honest it’s probably not a great strategy for anything these days! With recruitment resources stretched to their limits for most organisations, it can be difficult to try to keep up with the number of channels to market you could be using.

CPA sourcing channels

One of my recent posts, Mapping your way to sourcing success, outlined the fact that you really need to know your target audience.  By knowing your target audience you can make informed and effective decisions on which channels are right for you. Some of the key steps that I take when recommending social channels to clients for recruitment purposes include……

1) Assessment of the Employer Brand

You should have a fairly good idea through engagement, pulse or EVP survey’s what you internal audience thinks of the organisation.  To gain an understanding of what the external market’s view is, you can check out sites such as Glassdoor.com or the new Australian version jobadvisor.com or do your own primary research by adding a question to all of your screening forms or conversation asking the question – “what is your perception of what it’s like to work at company X?”.    If you do this over a few weeks you’ll soon get a feel for what the perception in the market is of your organisation as an employer.    By understanding this first, it will allow you to know what messages you either need to reinforce if positive or counteract if the perception is negative or untrue.

2) Develop a sourcing Channel map

Segmenting your target candidate audience and building your sourcing channel maps will allow you to speak directly to the candidates you need to, with the message you want to push out there as to why your organisation is the best place for them to be working at!  To read how to build your sourcing channel map check out this post.

3) Know your objective

Before you do anything in the social space, you need to understand what your objective is specifically.  Are you trying to attract candidates, show them what your organisation is about, share jobs, share information?  Be specific as it will make content curation much easier if you can answer a simple Yes or No to if the activity you are doing will help you meet your objective.  When defining your objective don’t use broad brush statements like – We want to seen as a good employer.  Objectives can be:

  • Communicate our EVP
  • Show our culture (events, corporate & social responsibility, learning & development)  through photos and videos
  • Share informative and helpful content to potential employees
  • Share market information
  • Show our personality by not taking ourselves too seriously

4) Select your channels and platforms

Once you know which channels are right for your target audience (sourcing channel map) and you understand what your objective is, then you can start planning which channels are right for you.

Knowing which social channels your company is currently using will make your life a little easier as you may not need to build a new business case to use a platform you’re already using as a business.   So do a search across the usual suspects such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc as you may not be aware that your organisation has a presence on a specific platform.

I’ve found that the majority of corporate organisations have YouTube and Facebook from a consumer perspective.  Some may have a Twitter careers page and then there is usually a blank Google+ page that has been registered but not used as yet.   More advanced organisation have utilised Pinterest for employer and consumer Branding and then there are a few that use Instagram, once again from an employer brand perspective.

5) Metrics

Before you start any activity, write down where you are right now.  Things like what your employer brand is internally and externally – this may be through your engagement scores and sentiment in the market.  It may be looking at the number of application you receive now.  Knowing where your starting point is, will make it much easier to measure in 3-6-12 months time the impact your activity is having on your attraction strategy as well as which channels are helping you meet your objectives.  There is no point putting resources, time and money into something if you’re not getting the return on investment.

Tuesday Quick Tips: How to recruit through social when you’re not on social

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I get so many people say to me… we’re not on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc because our organisation is too risk averse or we don’t have the capacity to maintain the pages and content and feed etc; to which I reply that’s fine, you don’t have to be on social to source through social.

I talk about the Curious, Capable and Committed recruiter a lot.  It’s about having the right sourcers or recruiters in your business to find the people that you need – period.  And wherever those people/candidates are, then that is where we need to go.  Therefore having the mental block that “we don’t recruit on platform X” could be a big barrier to your team using all channels available to seek out and find the right people for your business.

In an ideal world your Source of Hire mix will include everything and anything until proven useless.

That means that your recruiters will be scouring Facebook through Graph search,
facebook graph search

They’ll be checking out Meetup.com groups – it’s all about community, tribes and connecting with like minded (and skilled) individuals

meetup group

LinkedIn either through Recruiter or through the free platform using boolean search strings,


they’ll be using FollowerWonk to search Twitter bios,

follower wonk

they will also be searching corporate websites for names and titles of those who aren’t on LinkedIn – shock horror…yes there are many people who are not on LinkedIn in the professional world.  I did a quick look for mobile lenders from one of the big 4 banks and got a quick list as well as what languages they speak! love a bit of old school searching!

commonwealth bank mobile lender search

They’ll also be looking at things like YouTube to hunt down technical and visual professionals who names are on video credits.

youtube sourcing

So whether you’re in Government departments, risk averse industries like pharmaceutical or investment banking, or just if you’re business isn’t interested in building their online or social presence, don’t let other people’s concerns stop you from getting out and looking for everyone, everywhere! Once you start down the rabbit hole you’ll be amazed what you will find….. and I haven’t even touched on Google+, blogs, forums and so many more places you can connect, engage and find what and who you’re looking for!

Let Social Recruiting work for your business 24/7

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Last week I wrote a post entitled; Social Recruitment; if you’re not using it already it’s time.  As with many things today, there is a plethora of information available when it comes to Social recruitment, and it can be hard to know where to start and what to focus on.

Social Recruiting

There are a number of key areas that I discuss with clients prior to them starting their social journey.

Here are the top 3:

1) Trust and Empower

I was recently at the ATC Social and Mobile conference in Sydney and Tanyth Lloyd Brown, National Talent Acquisition & Mobility Director for Deloitte was talking about their Social Media policy which in a nutshell is ‘Trust & Empower’.  Now I’m aware that Deloitte are in a league of their own when it comes to social, but this policy, for an organisation of their size is pretty impressive.

How can they do this?  Firstly permission to engage in social has come from the top, secondly there is an education piece in place to help employees understand the expectation of the organisation and thirdly, they believe they employ intelligent individuals who have the ability to use sound judgement with the first two things in place.

One of the reasons that many organisations can’t take this approach is because there is little to no education, communication or recognition that their people are already social.   Euan Semple, who was the head of Knowledge Management and Social at the BBC for almost 20 years,  at a talk in Melbourne last year said “your employees already have a social media policy, you may be lucky enough that they let you in on it”.  Now while this statement is funny, the truth is that businesses that don’t engage their own people when it comes to social, miss out on huge benefits.

Imagine if you took all of your employees who had a social media presence, who were active and passionate about your brand and you let them go…… let them go nuts about the great things that your organisation does, without sanitizing the message, without forcing review after review of content but just allowed them to say what they thought.  Imagine that they get it wrong 2 times out of 10.  Does that make them human? does it make your brand human?  does it look and feel authentic and attract people who know that perfection is unattainable?  Imagine the power of the message, the reach of the audience and potential.

By taking the time to educate, communicate and engage your employees, you may have 1/2 your work already done for you.  This is a huge part of the puzzle than many organisations just miss.

2) Engage with your candidates

Image Source

I have to be honest I’ve worked with ATS systems now for over 7 years and at no point in time has it allowed me to have a conversation with a candidate.  I’ve never received a message from a candidate saying,

“Hi, I’m really interested in your business, can I ask a question?”

What I have had, is candidates complaining about the candidate experience online, telling me that they were going to apply but there were so many hurdles that they didn’t bother (brilliant!!).

More recently at a social event I was speaking with a person who specialises  in engineering the Oil & Gas industry who said he would never apply to an organisation and neither would any of his team.  They have their connection and networks, they see jobs through social channels that they keep up with.  His exact quote me was, “why would anyone put themselves through something so impersonal when looking for a job that is going to basically change your life… as all jobs do!”

Now don’t worry, I’m not a radical recruiter (well, sometimes I am), who thinks that we can manage at this point in time without ATS systems.  I’m aware of the volume of applicants that organisations receive and that there needs to be a way to manage that.  What I am saying, is that social now allows us to engage with candidates and therefore the ATS just becomes the administrator of the process and no the first introduction that candidates have to our businesses, because frankly isn’t just not good enough any more.  Candidates want more, they expect more and if you don’t give them more, then there are plenty of organisations that will!

Imagine if you walked into a party and someone came up to you and said just fill in this 4 page form and then I’ll look at it and decide if I’ll speak to you…. uuuummmm seeya would be most people’s response, yet this basic social etiquette escapes us when it comes to recruitment.

The key is balance.

Communicate, engage, discuss and attract.

Now imagine you walk into the same party, there are people hanging out chatting, there are some movies playing that show you cool information about a specific product or business, you get to chat with different people who work there and find out why it’s such a great place to work.  After a couple of these interactions you’ve had a chance to learn more about these people and what they do, you’re now actually asking them how do I go about getting into this business.  Now you’re willing to fill out the 4 page form because you’re already there, you know what it’s all about and it looks right for you.

3) Let Social work for you 24/7

By engaging your employees and then opening the conversation with the candidates market {whether they be passive or active} and by taking the time to build your online employment brand through videos, blogs, Facebook pages and/or Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, you allow potential candidates to search, find and engage with you on a regular basis.

Gone are the days of being reactive.  Companies who play that game finish last I find.  Yes they get candidates, but do they get the best candidates? do they get candidates that are outside their immediate referral scheme or candidate’s who aren’t looking on the job boards? Most of the time the answer is no.  Whilst LinkedIn is great for searching for candidates, there are few companies that engage in the conversation with either audience / customer / candidates / client very well.   Be proactive in your approach.  Show candidates what’s it’s like to work at your organisation, show them the CEO talking about WHY (thanks Mr Simon Sinek) your business does what it does, show them the desk and the team that they would be sitting with!   These are easy things that organisations can do to provide that fly on the wall experience for potential candidates.   By doing this you allow them to see if this is the right organisation for them, if it’s somewhere that they can see themselves working.

So those are my 3 key focus areas for businesses:

Engage your employees

Connect with your candidates

Share the information you want them to know and watch the conversation grow.

This is how you’ll see your brand work for you 24/7 !

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Social Recruitment ~ if you’re not using it already, it’s time!

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Now that we’re into 2013, it seems like we should already be heading into the next stage of social recruiting , but I can’t help but feel the resistance from so many organisations as they ask me ….  WHY do we need to use Social Media for recruitment?


The simple answer is; Social Media is where your candidates are and it’s where they expect you to be.

They want to see you, they want to ask you questions, they want you to respond and they want to know as much about you before even considering applying for your job vacancy!

The Benefits of doing Social well

Organisations that are successfully engaging candidates through social media, find that candidate’s buy into the brand, culture, work environment and values of the organisation in a much stronger way, because the candidate has a clearer understanding of what the organisation is like before they join.

  • Building Employer Brand

Employers can not only use social media platforms as a valuable tool for sourcing, attracting, engaging and recruiting prospective candidates, but it allows the organisation to build its employer brand.   Showing candidates what your organisation is about, where they could be working on a day-to-day basis, as well as who they would be working for can be your pulling power to finding top talent in the market.

  • Connecting with potential future employees

Social media is not the answer to all your recruitment woes but it’s a tool that can set you apart from your competitors and allow you to engage and communicate with candidates in a way that you have never been able to before.  Gone are the days of businesses sitting back and waiting for the best talent to come their way, candidates are now looking to build on their personal networks and speak with businesses first.

  • Increase the engagement & job satisfaction of candidates

A study conducted by the A-list showed a number of interesting statistics directly related to how candidates are finding their new jobs and turnover based on source of hire.   Candidates that were hired through connections and referral (including social media) had a turnover of 12.8% whilst candidates that were hired through tradition means such as job board had a turnover of 19.3%.

As the report also showed, people who find jobs through connections and referrals are more satisfied with their decisions, than those who found their jobs through other channels. Over 60% of respondents that found their jobs through connections reported being extremely or very satisfied with the jobs they accepted, compared with about 42% who did so through other channels, with over 45% of those reporting that they were not very satisfied or extremely dissatisfied with the new job.

As we know, a candidate who comes through a referral, whether it be an existing employee in the organisation or external contacts that are involved in your business, are more engaged in the process and the business because someone who they know and trust has recommended them for the position.

  • Communicate a clear picture of your organisation

Now let’s say that you build up a crystal clear picture of your organisation’s brand online.  You provide videos that show the managers talking about what they are looking for, why they love working in the organisation, you share information on projects that you’re working on, talk about ‘Why’ your business does what it does and not just about the job that they may be interested in.  This allows for candidates to self-select out if it’s not right for them, therefore giving much better quality of candidates that are

1) Bought into your business

2) Have a clear understanding of what it’s all about

3) Are already engaging with you and your brand before they’ve even joined.

So now that you know  the benefits of Social recruiting, what is your next step?

It’s time to get on-board.

Start talking to the people you’re trying to attract.  It’s no longer a one way street out there.  If you want them, you have to show them what your business has to offer.

If you’re not networking in the right circles and with the right people and putting your best foot forward, the candidate’s your seeking will head to the organisations that are a head of the curve and understand that it’s all about connection and engagement.