Why it's more important than ever to have a social attraction plan

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This is a guest post from Lucy McKerron - account director & social media lead at Synergy Creative - explaining the benefits of using social media for attraction and recruitment. This is the third in a series of articles where we explore how HR can use social media to improve their processes; something Synergy Creative will also be discussing during their sessions at Social Media Week Bristol.

Firstly - what is social attraction? It's using the power of social media to source, attract and recruit talent for your organisation. It can have two meanings:

  • Using social media to enhance the online reach and authenticity of your employer brand and attract the talent your organisation needs
  • Using social media to proactively search for candidates and then engaging with them via these channels  

Why is it important?

On average, people have four or five social media profiles each and spend 1 hour and 40 minutes each day browsing them. It’s no wonder that 70% of 18-34-year-olds report finding their current job on social media.

People expect to find out about prospective employers online and active social attraction channels give the right impression to candidates. If people already have an affinity with your brand, and your careers content is compelling enough, they’re likely to engage even if they’re not job hunting right now.

If people already have an affinity with your brand they’re likely to engage even if they’re not job hunting right now.

But, done right, social attraction can change the dynamic completely. Instead of waiting for candidates to come across your vacancies through search, you can be engaging with a potential pipeline of talent through valuable and engaging content on the social channels they use already.

As well as opening up this potentially untapped talent pool, half of recruiters say that their highest quality recruits come from social media. What’s not to love?

What’s the biggest challenge?

As long as you do your research, choosing and establishing channels is the easy part. It’s keeping the momentum once they’re live which is the most difficult thing.

Too many companies’ social attraction channels are ‘me, me, me’, and simply broadcast the latest vacancies with a couple of industry hashtags. That’s not going to cut it!

To be truly successful you need to have the mindset and skills of a marketer. Take a long-term view, plan your content and ensure that your social channels remain a core part of your strategy. Not just updated once in a while when a new vacancy comes up, but maintained and monitored, positioning you as thought leaders in key areas.

How can you introduce social attraction into your organisation?

  1. Vision and goals: This sounds obvious, but too many times companies jump into social media without a clear thought of what they’re looking to achieve. Think about the top line vision and then set achievable metrics to help you get there. Take time to do this right, as all of your other decisions – what platforms you choose and the content you create – will come back to this important step
  2. Audiences: Who exactly is it that you’re looking to attract? Segment your audience so that you have a clear outline of your ideal candidates. Use demographic and psychographic profiling
  3. Choose your platforms: There are dozens of social media platforms to consider, although the ‘go-to’ platforms tend to be Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But that doesn’t mean they’re right. Think carefully about where your target audience ‘hangs out’ and don’t waste time with irrelevant platforms. Why not ask your employees what they think?
  4. Define your voice: The tone, language and feel of your social attraction channels should represent what it’s like to work at your organisation. While they shouldn’t be too far removed from your commercial channels, sometimes you can have a little more fun! Be clear about your tone from the outset. This is especially important if your account is being managed by multiple people or teams
  5. Create a content strategy and calendar: Your content strategy should be two pronged. 1). The creation of your own content. 2). The curation of third-party content. Keep it varied and relevant and use text, video, blogs, memes, photos etc. Research and write a 12-month editorial calendar of ideas so that you can plan in advance for things like Christmas/Summer/industry and company events. Then work month-to-month on day-to-day content to ensure its relevancy. And remember to work social advocacy into your strategy (link to first article)  
  6. Measure and monitor: Constantly measure your results and how they perform against your objectives. Many scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer have integrated metric dashboards so you can see which pieces of content are resonating. If something is not getting traction, ditch it and focus on what works. Keep an eye on social trends and current topics and be ready to jump when something relevant comes up

Who’s doing it right?

ASOS’s recruitment channels are definitely worth checking out with a great mixture of day-to-day life at ASOS, fun stuff and staff stories. Deloitte is another great example; the company has focussed on social in attraction for a long time now. Back in 2010/11 in the Netherlands, Deloitte’s focus on social increased traffic to its careers site by over 200%.

Hootsuite is another strong example, this time of a start-up that has used social to attract highly skilled people in a very competitive and complex environment.

Key takeaways:

  • Choose your platforms carefully: People have assumptions about what channels people use, but these are often wrong. Do your research!
  • Keep up with the content: Write a content schedule…and stick to it.
  • Share the load: Why not create a team of social champions from across the business to help you run your channels?

About Gemma McGrattan

Gemma McGrattan Synergy Creative

19 years' experience in marketing, internal communications, employee engagement and business planning. Founding director of Synergy Creative - a creative communications agency focusing on brand engagement, from the inside - out.

Synergy Creative is a fast growing, ambitious creative communications, brand engagement agency employing 16 people. Working with global brands, Synergy improves business performance by planning and delivering creative communications that work for customers, for employees and stakeholders.

Synergy is an award winning company that plans, designs and implements creative marketing and employee communication campaigns for global companies. Working across a variety of industry sectors we offer a full agency service.

Specialties: Branding and brand engagement, creative communication campaigns, marketing, internal communications and employer value proposition, employee engagement and corporate communications. Includes strategic planning, branding and brand engagement, integrated marketing campaigns, employee engagement and internal communications.

Change/Transformation programme communications:
Planned and led creative change transformation programmes for global clients and the NHS. This has included manager and employee workgroups, development of creative campaigns to communicate and involve employees in change and implementation of phased communications plans and activities throughout transition.

Regular speaker on employee engagement, internal communications, engaging communications and committee member on the Chartered Institute of Marketing South West branch.

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