How To Build a Social Recruiting Strategy

A fly by the seat of your pants approach might work for some things, but social recruiting isn’t one of them. In fact, successful social recruiting requires the complete opposite. It thrives on structure, consistency, reliability and frequency. And the foundation for it is a strategy that answers the questions of how, when, where and in what way you’ll reach potential candidates through social.  

Creating this strategy takes some time and focus up front, but it will make an enormous difference in the long run. Not only does it push your team to think through the practical tasks required for social recruiting, but it also provides a space for considering what image and message you’ll present to the world, and what success looks like.  

Follow these 7 tips for building a social recruiting strategy and you’ll have a plan to take your organization from post-and-pray to strategic-and-successful.  

1. Define Your Audience 

Who are you trying to reach and recruit on social? You need to first understand who your target audience is and where they are “hanging out” online and spending their time. That way, you’re focusing your time and resources on the social channels that will actually help you reach your target audience. 

Talk with your current employees who might fit the profiles of the types of candidates you’re recruiting for. Ask them about the channels they personally use and visit when looking for a new job or to read up on the latest industry news and trends.  

2. Create Your Channels 

Now that you know which channels you’ll want to target, it’s time to create them! You’ll want to have a consistent ‘handle’ or name for all the channels you’re creating, so it’s easy for candidates to find your brand across different channels and platforms. This also applies to the imagery you use for your social profiles, so your brand is visually consistent across all channels.  

You’ll want to work with your marketing and brand team to make sure the naming and visuals are on-brand while still maintaining a unique identity that reflects your culture in a real, authentic way.   

3. Set Objectives And Metrics 

An essential part of any successful strategy is establishing measurable, specific goals based on what you hope to accomplish with your efforts. You’ll want to identify the objectives as well as the metrics you’ll use to evaluate your success for each channel. 

Make sure you’re working with your key stakeholders, such as your senior management team and recruiting leadership, so that everyone is in agreement on how success will be measured. 

4. Build An Editorial Calendar  

The research you’ve done with Tip #1 will give you some insights into the types and topics of content your target audience is interested in when they’re job searching. From there, you’ll want to develop an editorial and social media calendar to capture your content ideas, so you can start planning out when you’ll develop these pieces, publish and promote them on social.  

Having an editorial calendar also ensures you’re incorporating your company’s recruiting priorities into your content strategy, so you’re creating and prioritizing content that will help your recruiters and hiring managers meet their needs and goals. 

5. Develop Content 

Whether you’re creating a blog, video or an Instagram post, your content should aim to give prospective candidates an “inside” look at what it’s like working at your company – everything from your employee experience to your company’s culture, mission, values and the people they’ll work with if they join your company. 

Content development doesn’t need to be as hard or time-consuming as you think it is. If your company has internal communications channels or employee communities, there may be existing content such as photos and blogs internally that you can repurpose and use.  

Also, try doing a quick search of your company’s name on social, such as Twitter or Instagram. You’d be surprised by how much existing content that’s already out there created by your employees that you can leverage. 

6. Get Your Employees Involved 

Chances are, your employees already use and have a presence on many, if not all, of the channels you’re focusing your social recruiting efforts on. Employees can help extend your brand reach beyond the followers you currently have with their personal networks. That’s why your employees are your best social media ambassadors.  

Encourage your employees to follow your channels and share your content. Provide regular trainings to help employees understand company brand guidelines so they feel confident representing your brand on social.  

Engage your employees in your content creation process by encouraging them to contribute content that tells and shares what it’s like working at your company. 

7. Monitor, Measure And Adjust Your Strategy 

Remember the metrics you’ve set earlier? You’ll want to regularly monitor and measure these metrics, so you can evaluate how well your social recruiting strategy is performing. 

Did you achieve your objectives? How effective were your tactics? Did your social content drive your target audience to take the desired action? Answering these questions will help identify what’s working and isn’t, so you can make adjustments to your strategy accordingly.  

Make this process an ongoing activity for you and your team, so you can continuously improve and maximize the impact of your social recruiting efforts in attracting and hiring the top talent your company needs. 

Join us next week as we talk about five tools that will not only jumpstart your social recruiting strategy, but take it to the next level.

Will Staney

Will is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former Head of Global Talent Acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio andGlassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAPwhere he lead strategic programs includingemployer brandingsourcing strategy, recruiting operations and systems process design.

During his over 7 years as a recruiting practitioner, after 10 years in sales and marketing, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". He would push innovation from the inside, execute on his vision, and once it was realized he would pass the torch on to those he had mentored and move on to his next challenge. He was destined to start a consultancy so he could help as many companies as possible adopt a more proactive recruiting strategy with community in mind.

In his free time, Will enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his two kids, Foster and Felicity.