9 reasons your social recruiting strategy sucks

By Tracey Parsons

Author’s note: I am cold and tired of winter. This post is particularly cranky

Social recruiting has been around for quite some time. In fact, I remember developing my first social recruiting strategy about 9 years ago and it involved MySpace (hello, dating myself!). And sadly, not much has changed in this time. Social media is such a huge missed opportunity for recruiting. With over a billion people using social tools, the chances are really solid that your purple squirrel is out there and they are using one of the many social channels.

You continue to post and pray

The number of times I see a major corporation regurgitating job postings and links makes me want to run screaming from the room. I will repeat myself for the billionth time: Social media is NOT a job board. It is NOT a broadcast tool. You have a gajillion job boards in the world. And mostly people are going to use Google or Indeed to search for jobs. That is where job postings go. Not on your Twitter feed. No. No. No.

You’re not providing value

Like most consumer brands out there, you are only promoting you. You are not thinking about what value you can bring to the job seeker who may choose to follow you. Curating smart content to help job seekers stands out. Being valuable to a job seeker makes your employer brand mean something when it comes to making decisions.

There’s more to life than LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not the only place in the world. It is a great tool for sourcers and recruiters. But it isn’t the only place in the world. Your candidates are using a bunch of different social tools. They’re pinning and using Instagram. They are on Twitter and Facebook. They read blogs. You need to think about how your brand can fit into any of those channels and then produce and curate amazing content to support the channel.

You aren’t paying any attention to your followers

I am guessing you have no idea who follows you. This is a mistake. These people are really interested in your employer brand. These people are your advocates. But most employers are doing nothing to engage their followers into becoming advocates. Heck, I am guessing you’ve never looked at your followers against your applicants. And you should.

You aren’t doing any listening at all

Listening is big for brands, but the recruiting teams are missing out on this intel. There are tools out there that will tell you where your job seekers are using social media, what they are saying about you (important), and what they are saying about the job search in general (more important and even game changing). Listening can inform the channels you use in social and the content that is most valuable to people. It can also lead to you creating and curating more relevant content for your ideal candidates. If you want to know more about listening, hit me up on LinkedIn, Twitter or in the comments below; I can absolutely help you figure this out.

You fail to tell stories

Storytelling has been around forever. In fact, there was once a position in big manufacturing plants for someone to read to the workers as they worked. Storytelling is important to any brand and even more critical to the employer brand. The decision to change jobs is not like buying laundry soap. This is an emotional decision. People want to know what it’s really like to work somewhere. Without storytelling, you fail to deliver that need to people, and in some cases, they make the wrong choice and end up leaving. When you tell authentic stories, there’s an opportunity to decrease turnover because there is less buyer’s remorse.

You aren’t measuring

Do you know how many candidates came from social media last year? How many are still with you? Were they quality candidates? You should be well-versed in these metrics, but many recruiting functions have no idea where their candidates came from. This has to change. And it isn’t a social recruiting problem. It is a recruiting problem.

You aren’t responding

Along with post and pray, this is the easiest thing in the world to do, and it does not have to take much time. You need to be responding to people on your social channels, and you need to be doing it regularly and in a consistent voice, tone, and approach.

You’re keeping your current employees off social

Employee referral is the #1 source of hire for most companies. And in many, many companies, employees are banned from social media. This is straight up insane. Your people are your best storytellers. They are living the brand. Let them tell your story. It is more authentic and believable when it comes from your people.

Social recruiting continues to be such a missed opportunity. I would welcome a conversation with anyone on how we can right this ship. And if you think your brand has a GREAT social recruiting strategy, hit up the comments with your story; I would love to talk about your successes and challenges. There is so much that can be done to make social recruiting all that it can be, and to be very honest, the benefits of a good social recruiting strategy actually have a positive ROI, something that all businesses could use.

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