There are hundreds of articles out there sighting how many companies are using social media these days for recruiting and that this rise in numbers somehow imparts some sort of importance to its usage. Well I’m here to tell you it doesn’t.
This kind of messaging falls along the lines of “All your friends are jumping off that bridge, why aren’t you?”
I’m of the opinion that it’s simply not as important as putting your effort into your own digital properties first.
Having a recruiting strategy that promotes digital properties you own – a talent community, your employee referral program, a career site, job search and apply – and encompasses a full candidate experience from initial contact with your career site to apply, you don’t need to rely on social media as a primary recruiting tool.
When you think of it in recruiting dollars, take a platform like Facebook, which recently drastically lowered post reach for business pages to about three percent. We’re talking reach here, not interaction. Just how many people your posts are reaching when you publish content. Three percent. Probably less. Twitter has done the same thing.
Go to your Facebook page right now and look at the number of likes your page has. Now multiply that number by .03. That’s about the number of people who actually get your content in their news feed. Never mind if they actually click through or even see it with its limited lifespan; that’s just the number of people your content reaches.
How many responses are you getting out of that three percent reach? What’s the interaction like? How many hires are you getting out of that three percent reach? How are you tracking your passive candidates on Facebook anyway? What’s your ROI from your social media recruiting efforts?
It might make sense for companies like Coca-Cola who spends millions on building their business brand there, something like 20 percent of their media spend. But business branding is different from employer branding. And I’m not convinced social media is the best platform for attracting candidates.
The fact is, the majority of job seekers, active and passive, start their search with your corporate site. If you have a social media page, that’s great. You should. Everybody likes to feel like they are part of something and it’s a great way to explore company culture.
But it shouldn’t be a main priority for building your employer brand and attracting new hires.
Most active job seekers know where they want to work. Most of them know what kind of job they want with your company. That leads one to believe that most of them know where to go to find these things and it starts at the source – your company website.
If you’re jobs are available from your site, which they should be, visitors don’t have to expend extra effort looking elsewhere. They come right to you. And that’s what you want. You want a job seeker to find your jobs in as few clicks as possible. Three at the most. Search from your site, find a job from your site, hit apply from your site. Boom. Done.
The thing about social media is you have an account to use most platforms. That means signing up to create an account on someone else’s property when you could have them sign up to your talent community and actually get a visible footprint on each candidate.
Why bother sending them to social media? Because LinkedIn says so? Because a few recruiters on LinkedIn say so? Because social media experts say so? These guys make their bread and butter by getting you on their platform. By saying their platform is the place to be. They show you some numbers that says, “Look at all these people on here. We have more this year than last year. It must mean something.”
In the end, though, it’s just an extra step or several more steps in the way of good candidates finding your jobs quickly. And that’s the real name of the game.
It’s better to focus on delivering a full experience to candidates from properties you own than rely on properties you don’t.
Here’s another thought. What if LinkedIn or Facebook suddenly tanked? It’s not uncommon for social networks to fail to a better service that comes along. All that effort gone kaput and then you have to spend even more to start over.
The investment you put into a strategy on social media is not guaranteed a return. A campaign run on your own digital properties is.
I’m not saying to not use social media. It has its purpose in employer branding. I’m saying to not rely on it as your primary recruiting source. Social media might prove effective for some. But for reasons I’ve already stated, putting it above your own properties shows poor decision making.