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Me and My Arrow: Recruiting in the Digital Age Part 3

Here’s a truth for you: You can’t talk about a 21st-Century recruiting strategy without talking about social media. And you can’t talk about social media recruiting without talking about employer branding.

So, let’s talk about it. Social media is an effective recruitment tool not just because it can reach vast audiences, but because it highlights the values, goals, achievements and culture of your company. If we were talking about attracting customers with a strong digital strategy, we’d call this digital marketing. When we’re selling our company to prospective hires, we call it employer branding. Employer branding is a wide-ranging set of initiatives, and social media is just one component – but it’s a critical piece.

Social media is also Step 5 in my grand master ROI-focused recruiting strategy. Do you remember my arrow, an easy strategy to keep your recruitment efforts in the black? We’ve talked about working internal networks, we’ve discussed the best way to use job boards, and now we’re finally at the most talked-about step of recruitment  — social media!

I know what you’re thinking. LinkedIn! Facebook! Twitter!

Sure. Yes. Of course. But let’s start where many companies don’t realize they need to: Glassdoor.

Glassdoor

Glassdoor allows current and former employees to rate and review a company based on a host of metrics. If it sounds like Glassdoor is the Yelp of corporate culture, that’s because it is. When it comes to employer branding, Glassdoor is the first and last stop of any serious job-seeker. They’ll come for the salary info and stay for the inside dish on overtime and office space.

As with any review site, there’s some chaff to go along with the wheat. And there are some misconceptions about Glassdoor – about how employers are able to delete reviews (they can’t), if reviewers stay confidential (they do), and if employers can pay to receive the coveted Glassdoor “Best Places to Work” award (no again). (Check out these and other Glassdoor myths).

Glassdoor allows prospective employees to get a glimpse of what working for you is really like. And that’s a win for you: less wasted time, and more opportunity to focus on candidates who value the same things you do.

From an ROI perspective, Glassdoor also offers a lot of bang for your buck. You can get serious benefits for low and even no costs.

Start with a free account. By “claiming” your company, you can add branding like logos, wallpaper and photos, and information in the “about us,” section. Free memberships also include up to ten job postings. Be sure to ask employees to post reviews. I recommend periodically inviting employees to review – at time of hire and on anniversaries, for example – so that reviews stay current and accurate.

If you’re ready to invest more, Glassdoor offers employers a range of additional functionality at different price points. Companies can monitor their reputation, get a feel for the pulse of their employees, and check visitor demographics. They can add messaging to the “Why work for us?” portal and feature benefits and a transparent peak into company culture – which Glassdoor says can double the number of qualified leads a company receives.

As you embark on your social media recruitment adventures, start with Glassdoor. It is a critical, cost-effective component of your employment branding and recruitment arsenal.

Have we talked about LinkedIn lately? I’m kidding. We always talk about LinkedIn! There’s good reason for that. LinkedIn members – including 1 in 4 American adults (!) are highly-educated and have years of experience. [1] LinkedIn’s format allows you a great opportunity to deepen your employer branding efforts.

For example, check out my wallpaper, my logo, and my “About Us” highlighting TalentFront’s philosophy. LinkedIn also scrapes my website for new blogposts and job postings. The page is an extension of my website and other marketing efforts, and reads as polished to potential clients and job-seekers alike. (Be sure to keep your website, blog and other outlets current and relevant, because these are the main drivers of your employer branding, and you don’t want any of those, or your LinkedIn profile, to seem stale).

LinkedIn is the professional social media outlet, so use it to broadcast happenings within your company, including awards, conventions and new hires. Also use it to share content that reflects your values and your thumb on the pulse of your industry. Be careful though: Even if you literally wrote the book on your sector, only sparingly post your own work: It’s really easy to go overboard on self-promotion. A good rule of thumb is to post your own content once out of every four postings. Now you’re positioning yourself as an authority with a genuine curiosity about, and grasp of, what others are thinking and writing in your field. (Plus, you’re encouraging others to share your work, as you’ve shared theirs. Win/win!)

Treat your company’s Facebook profile almost exactly like you treat your personal one take flattering photos and only post the good stuff. I’m…not really kidding. Facebook is about your company’s image in the popular culture. A well-curated profile will highlight your best attributes. Broadcast corporate initiatives and awards here, but be sure to showcase the personal side of your company as well. Along with your marketing content, include employer branding: Photos of holiday parties, happy hours, softball games, and service projects beckon candidates to join your team. Moving to a new office space, upgrading your cafeteria or converting to cycle desks? Share here. Now, when you post open positions, your employees and clients can circulate it among their networks — with commentary (Looking for smart, engaged engineer to join me at my best job ever!) — and qualified applicants will have quick insight to your company’s (awesome) culture. (Yes, our Facebook example is Facebook itself. Look below, and you’ll see we’ve done the same for Twitter. It’s meta, but they know how to use their own platforms!)

Twitter is a great way to share news bursts, from the launch of new initiatives to the deadline for employees to apply for continuing-ed opportunities. It’s also a great spot to introduce positions you’re seeking to fill. Share position openings only when you first announce, with a link to the LinkedIn posting, along with a relevant hashtag. I recommend #TYPEOFJOB + jobs: #recruitingjobs #analystjobs #policyjobs

It turns out this one little step in the arrow was a lot! Here are the Cliff Notes for Social Media Recruiting:

  • Get on Glassdoor by claiming your company.
  • Use Linked In, Facebook and Twitter as cost-effective employer branding platforms.

When it comes to content, remember:

  • If it’s occurring in the business press, post to LinkedIn.
  • If it’s in mass media, or about your personnel, head to Facebook.
  • And if it’s happening now or relevant to current news, Tweet it! #socialrecruitingquicktips

I hope these tips, in context of the broader series on ROI-focused recruiting, break down an approach to recruiting in the digital age in a set of easily-digestible chunks. My arrow is a no-fail strategy for me, and I hope it will be for you, too.

PS – There’s a lot to go deeper on here, some of which I’ll do in future posts, and some of which I’ll leave to other experts. To start, employer branding is its own rich topic, and for a full master class, I can’t recommend enough my RecruitDC colleague Lars Schmidt, the founder of Amplify //. To kick off your own research, check out his invaluable employer branding checklist.

[1] Thanks to Blue Tree Digital, my go-to source for these and other stats.

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