Social media is seen as both an opportunity and a threat for recruitment agencies. An opportunity in terms of a low-cost, efficient way of sourcing great candidates; and a threat in terms of companies utilising social professional networks to source high quality talent for themselves.
So what’s the best way for recruitment agencies to optimise the opportunity, mitigate the risk and maximise the return from social media efforts?
Well the first thing to recognise is social media is not just a way to source candidates. It’s also a great way to connect with people in a meaningful way.
So the first thing to decide is: what exactly do you want to achieve?
And finally…probably the most important question…how are you going to measure your success?
First things first
Whether you want to find new candidates, engage the passive massive or attract new clients, define and profile who you’re looking for and why. Research the best channels to connect with them, the types of content they prefer and give them a choice on how they can engage with you.
For example, to source new graduates consider posting comment on Twitter, video on Vine and photos on Instagram; for middle management, LinkedIn and Facebook are the channels of choice; and LinkedIn for senior management. And we’re not just talking about posting vacancies: building an online presence with relevant information and resources for job seekers and industry relevant comment will help build your reputation and differentiate your brand with candidates and clients alike.
At this stage it’s all about building and influencing your communities. When starting out the overall size of your online community and its growth rate is key. And the metrics to consider are number of ‘followers’ and ‘likes’ to determine the ‘reach’ of your social media efforts.
Engagement versus Reach
What’s the difference? Well, that’s simple. Reach is a measure of the range of influence of your content; so if we use Facebook as an example, the reach would be the number of people who have seen your post.
Engagement, on the other hand, measures the actions taken by users on your posts. So, sticking with the Facebook example, then, ‘engagement’ would be measured as the number of times your post has been ‘liked’, ‘shared’ or ‘commented’ on.
Why is this important? Well, engagement helps you build a strong brand around your community. You’ll be seen as ‘trusted’ and more likely to be recommended by your candidates and clients.
So, in order to engage, research and join those online groups your audience frequent and start positive discussions in the community. Key metrics at this stage would be length of discussions, and number of re-tweets to other communities. But remember, engagement isn’t always determined on how often you post, but what you post – and what interactions that leads to. Quality not quantity is the key here, folks!
Well, here’s the thing: adopting social media can significantly reduce your cost per hire, increase your referrals and number of applications and have a positive impact on the quality of hires you make. And it doesn’t stop there. You can build a great reputation and be able to differentiate your brand at a fraction of the cost of traditional PR methods. But you have to do your homework first, define a social media strategy that fits your objectives and set relevant and realistic metrics to measure and track success.