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The importance of branding and social media in recruitment

10 Feb 09:00 by Ieshia Thaper

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Since the introduction of platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, the importance of social media in the recruitment sphere is growing all the time.

An Adweek report suggests that 92 percent of recruiters use social media to find the best candidates for each position. Meanwhile, data from Statista shows that the share of companies which use social media for hiring purposes has grown from 82 percent in 2010 to 92 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, one Twitter poll revealed that a staggering 77 percent of users are on social media to build a brand. 

Having a strong brand is key in an age where so many businesses are vying for attention. You want to be a consistent voice that your customers can rely on and the go-to place for relevant information. According to CareerArc, jobseekers currently rank social media and professional networks as the most useful job search resource, compared to job boards, job ads, employee referrals, recruiting agencies and recruiting events.

This means that pithy sales pitches alone no longer cut the mustard when it comes to forging a fruitful career. Recruiters must also both embrace and keep up-to-date with the latest technological developments in order to thrive and build a strong reputation.

However, finding top talent is by no means always an easy task and often there may be a disparity between what companies are looking for and what the jobs market has to offer. Social media is helpful when it comes to identifying skilled professionals in the field and establishing a genuine connection. 

In this blog series, we aim to delve into the importance of both employer and personal branding within recruitment by embracing social media and technology and how this can lead to increased success.

Build your company’s online reputation

A study by the Aberdeen Group revealed that 73 per cent of Millennials (aged 18 to 34) found their last role via a social media platform. And, according to Glassdoor, a staggering 79 per cent of job hunters use their social media accounts to seek out better job opportunities.

If you want to find the best professionals among these people, you need to carve out a social media strategy to effectively represent your corporate ethos. This is because the values that your brand stands for are more important today than they ever have been.

People want to make an emotional connection and work for a company that aligns with their own ethics and beliefs. Social media is, without doubt, valuable when it comes to advertising jobs, finding top talent, communicating with potential new recruits and promoting company culture. But it can do so much more than that because it provides you with the means to leverage your business in its best possible light, in turn bolstering your brand’s reputation.

The key to effective recruitment is being active online and establishing yourself as the authority in this respective field by cementing your employer brand credentials. According to a LinkedIn survey, 75 per cent of candidates will research a company’s reputation before applying for a job opening. If they do not like what they see, 69 per cent will not apply, even if they are unemployed. Some 68 per cent of Millennials visit a company’s social media channels specifically to evaluate an employer’s brand.

Most companies keep the relationship with customers in mind when building their social media presence but these channels can be used to accomplish a host of additional goals. Allow prospective employees to envisage themselves working for a company as great as yours. You can do this by sharing compelling storytelling and dynamic visuals. Social media allows you to lift the lid on your office and working environment, employees, corporate and social activities, interesting projects, awards and any other perks, like cafeterias, and gyms. This is far more interesting than merely using social media to relentlessly post job openings.

NGO Talent Board reports that 41 per cent of candidates want to see employee testimonials when researching companies in their job search so take the time to include them in your social media posts.

There are a lot of social media platforms to choose from, but not all of them will be right for your business. The big four - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - are the usual channels to select but you do not have to use them all. The social platform of your choosing boils down to your candidate persona. If they spend a lot of time on Twitter then this is where you need to be. Do not be afraid to try different approaches to figure out which platforms achieve the highest levels of engagement.

Make the right connections

To take your social media presence to the next level, it is vital to connect with the right people. Make sure that your profiles, both corporate and for individual employees, are industry specific. Take the time to make connections with industry leaders, experts in their field and people who have a niche specialism. Do not expect to establish a trusted community by sending out generic messages.

Communicate with people in an authentic manner by appealing to their interests and tell potential connections what you have to offer and why you would like to keep in touch. This level of personalisation requires time and effort but will result in multiple opportunities to connect with and employ experienced professionals. Paying close attention to the people in your network will help you to maintain high levels of social engagement.

Improve your LinkedIn profile

Statistics from Adweek show that 87 per cent of recruiters use LinkedIn, making it the top social network to source skilled candidates. This is why it is vital for both companies and employees to work on making their LinkedIn profiles the best that they can be.

Start off by updating the first 200 characters so that people will know that the company is looking for new employees without having to click through to the dedicated corporate page. Anyone who is interested in the message will then get the chance to engage with the brand and explore any employment opportunities.

Make sure that the imagery and tone of voice of your corporate profile is consistent with your website, provide a link to said website and make sure your ‘About Us’ is concise and summarises your services and value proposition.

Participation on LinkedIn is important and the network enjoys a huge number of specialist communities which attract experts in certain fields. Being active in relevant groups will help you to identify top talent and can be invaluable for attracting the right professionals in a competitive sector.

Ask your employees for help

The use of social media is all about maximising your reach so harness the people who work for you. They, after all, are the best people to authentically share their experience of working for you via social media. Encourage your employees to honestly express what your workplace culture is really like through posts and images. 

In addition, ask them to share insights and news via their individual profiles but make sure that you compile a corporate social media policy. A set of guidelines will make it easier for workers to share the right messages without negatively impacting your brand. In fact, according to information from CareerArc, job seekers rank current employees as the most trusted source for information about a company.

A good social media policy is about working collaboratively to establish a particular style and tone and can help to ascertain how often people should post updates. Where possible, provide specific examples of posts that fall within the guidelines so that messaging is consistent but not controversial.

Consider the benefits of Instagram

This is the platform where the majority of Millennials will be active and this is where your recruitment efforts can bring some fun to the table.

The number of active monthly users on this visual network is 800 million, which is why it can help you to achieve a lot. Instagram represents a massive talent pool and a fun corporate or individual profile can help you to connect with the people within it.

Instagram also enables you to showcase the fun side of your corporate culture, by sharing images of daily activities, staff parties and networking events and how exciting it is to work for your business.

Once you build your Instagram following and connect with the right people, you can let them know you are recruiting. Combining this with using the right hashtags will help you to maximise your reach to beyond your community.

Select eye catching imagery

According to Hubspot, when people hear information, they are only likely to remember 10 per cent of it three days later. If a relevant image is paired with the same information, people retain 65 per cent of it three days later. Not only do images take up more room on news feeds, they also have a better chance of stopping the scroll, standing out and attracting a click.

Social media management software brand Buffer states that visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content. In addition, Wyzowl report that 78 per cent of marketers say video provides a good ROI.

Abide by the 80/20 rule

It can be tempting to use social media to promote agency services and job ads but your target audience does not want to be bombarded by sales messages. In terms of social output, you should aim to entertain or inform your audience 80 per cent of the time and promote your own business 20 per cent of the time. This way you can use your channels to achieve your business goals while growing an engaged audience.

Give yourself an identity

Having a character as the face of your brand provides an identity and prevents you from appearing impersonal and cold. People like to connect with other people so o giving yourself a face that they can relate to can establish your brand as friendly and approachable.

Studies about memory have shown that people tend to have an easier time recognising faces than names. A friendly face will also help your brand become more trustworthy, while allowing people to engage with your brand using real and authentic conversations.

To conclude

Social media is vital for finding  and attracting the top talent but remember that building a quality online presence and subsequent employer or personal brand will take time. Focus on your profiles and the content they contain and remember that each social media platform serves its own purpose. 

Understanding the benefits of each channel will help you to use them to your advantage during the recruitment process. Research where the talent in your field can be found and which social networks attracts certain demographics. Make sure that you tailor your content to appeal to them specifically so that you build a targeted and successful recruitment campaign.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you find and attract the top talent to support your business!