5 Social Recruiting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Social recruiting isn't as simple as creating a profile and reaching out to candidates.
5 Social Recruiting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Image credit: via Glassdoor
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This story originally appeared on Glassdoor

Social media has had a massive impact on almost every aspect of business -- and recruiting is no exception. Today’s candidates use social media to find their future employers, and as a result, recruiters have embraced platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as valuable recruiting channels. Consider these statistics:

  • 80% of employers say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates
  • 70% of hiring managers say they’ve successfully hired with social media
  • 91% of employers are using social media to hire talent today

But social recruiting isn’t as simple as creating a profile and reaching out to candidates. In fact, it’s really easy to make mistakes that ultimately take a toll on your recruiting efforts. Below, we look at five common mistakes recruiters make on social media, and strategies to avoid them altogether.

Mistake #1: You Only Use Social Media to Share Job Openings

When you’re overwhelmed with day-to-day recruiting tasks, it’s easy to put your social media presence on the backburner. A sure sign you’ve fallen into a social recruiting rut is only publishing content related to job openings.

The truth is, candidates use social media for far more than finding relevant job postings. They want to learn about employers, access useful information and engage with companies who they believe might be a good fit. If you post nothing but job descriptions, you’ll struggle to build a following on social media or grab the attention of ideal candidates.

Solution: Share valuable content.

Share a variety of content to build both your employer brand and your personal brand as a recruiter.

Use social media to tell your brand’s story. Publish content that shines a spotlight on company culture and core values. If you’re not sure where to find high-quality content, check in with your marketing team, subscribe to industry publications or create your own posts to add a personal spin to it. Remember, if you don’t find a piece of content interesting, your audience won’t either.

Related: 20 Days of Content for Recruiting Informed Candidates

Mistake #2: You fail to define your ideal candidate before taking to social media with your search.

Consider your current social recruiting strategy. Do you take a different approach depending on the job description? Or do you rely on the same set of tactics for each opening? If your answer was the latter, you’re making a common social recruiting mistake.

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to social recruiting. Think about it -- if you don’t narrow your focus and tailor your strategy based on the preferences of your ideal candidate, you’ll be wasting your efforts on a largely unqualified or uninterested talent pool.

Solution: Consult your candidate personas.

Instead of a more general approach, hone your social recruiting efforts by using candidate personas. Candidate personas are semi-fictionalized profiles of your ideal candidates. These profiles include important traits and characteristics including employment history, goals, skills and more.

For the purpose of social recruiting, candidate personas help you identify your target candidates and shape your social strategy to fit each candidate’s specific preferences. You can use them to prioritize the platforms you use, to personalize your messaging and to share content that engages your ideal candidates.

If you haven’t started creating candidate personas, make them a priority. Not only will candidate personas improve your social recruiting strategy -- they’ll improve your overall recruiting strategy too.

Mistake #3: You Don’t Prioritize Interaction

Social engagement involves a lot more than generating likes and comments on your posts -- a successful social recruiting strategy requires consistent interaction with your talent pool. But many recruiters only log in to their social media accounts to publish their own posts.

This one-way approach ignores the primary goal of social recruiting: building meaningful connections with your audience.

Solution: Interact with other users to build relationships.

In addition to posting your own content, make a consistent effort to engage with other users’ posts as well. Whether you share someone else’s content or leave a thoughtful comment, you’ll quickly begin to build relationships within your audience.

Keep in mind that consistent engagement requires a significant amount of time. But the more you engage in conversations and engage with other users, the more your audience will view you as an important member of your social community. Soon, you’ll have a network of people willing to help you out -- people who can suggest candidates, apply for jobs themselves or share your openings with their own networks.

Mistake #4: You Use a Generic Outreach Template

The last thing a candidate wants to see is another generic, scripted message from a recruiter asking to connect. This one-size-fits-all approach is the best way to get ignored. High-quality candidates know a template when they see it. And, even if the candidate is a good fit, your impersonal outreach will have them hitting the delete button before they even take the time to read it.

Solution: Personalize your messages.

If you want to engage with potential candidates and build personal connections, you must make every outreach message unique to the individual you’re contacting. And no, that doesn’t mean simply using their name at the beginning of your message. Spend time researching each candidate and find specific interests or characteristics you can reference in your introductory message.

Related: How To Seal the Deal With a Quality Candidate

Mistake #5: You Don’t Track Your Performance

Social recruiting is a strategy, and it should be treated as such. It’s important to set goals and track your performance in order to achieve better results.

We get it: Social recruiting is just one part of a recruiter’s job, so you may be inclined to slack on social media KPIs in favor of other, more important recruiting metrics.

But without clear objectives and metrics, you’ll be in the dark when it comes to optimizing and improving your social recruiting strategy. As a result, you’re likely to miss out on high-quality candidates.

Solution: Set clear social recruiting goals and KPIs.

Clearly define the metrics you plan to track to assess your social media recruiting efforts. The KPIs you select will depend on your specific objectives, but here are a few examples to consider:

  • Engagement metrics: Track your follower or subscriber count, likes, comments and shares over time. These metrics will help you understand your growth over time, and determine what posts and content generate the most interest among your audience.
  • Web traffic: Which platforms and posts generate the most traffic to your careers page or job postings.
  • Source-of-hire: It’s imperative that you understand where your top hires come from, which makes source-of-hire a crucial social recruiting metric. By tracking source-of-hire, you can determine which social channels generate the most successful candidates for your business.

Of course, these are just three examples -- there are plenty of other valuable recruiting metrics to track. Learn about these metrics here: 8 Important Recruiting Metrics for the Modern Staffer.

Key Takeaways

Recruiting will only become more dependent on social media in the coming years, so if you haven’t fine-tuned your strategy and addressed any weak points, you’ll quickly fall behind your competitors.

But if you work to assess and improve your social recruiting efforts, you’ll build stronger connections and secure more qualified candidates -- and the extra work will be more than worth it.

(By Sam Holzman)

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