Very few recruitment agencies have truly embraced and leveraged the full potential that social media has to offer. Social media can be a powerful candidate sourcing tool. It can be used to run highly targeted advertisements to be seen by your ideal target demographics. It can be harnessed to build an audience of both active and passive candidates, an asset owned by your business that you can market to for years to come… and it can be used to retarget both candidates and clients who have previously shown an interest in your business. That’s a lot of potential upside for your recruitment business. Let’s look at each of these in turn.
- Social Media For Candidate Sourcing
LinkedIn has become the defacto place to hunt for your ideal candidate match, the realms of social media extend so much wider than that. Consider for just a moment that Facebook has several times as many users as LinkedIn, plus its user base is far more active and engaged. Any recruiter limiting themselves to LinkedIn is doing their clients a disservice – and ultimately eroding their competitive position in the market. Instead, research tools out there that allow you to search for candidates across multiple social sites at once. The most advanced of these, dubbed people aggregators, will return results from dozens of social profile sites simultaneously and so allow you to search the whole market productively. Alongside that, a tool that provides you with a snapshot of a candidate’s entire social media presence really speeds your research – Riffle as an example.
- Social Media For Running Highly Targeted Advertising Campaigns
One aspect of social media marketing that is currently under-utilised in the Recruitment sector is the ability to run paid advertising campaigns targeted at the exact demographics your business would like to reach. While recruiters know that they can run detailed searches on LinkedIn to find target candidates or clients, it seems not everyone realizes that they can also run advertising campaigns targeted with those exact same search criteria. What’s more, extending this approach to other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allows recruiters to reach a vastly increased proportion of the market, often at a fraction of the cost of what it costs to achieve that on LinkedIn. At a time when many recruitment businesses are wincing at the rising cost of their Google PPC advertising, this ability to produce similar results via social media at a fraction of the cost is something you don’t want to overlook.
- Social Media For Building an Audience of Active and Passive Candidates
The most common use of social media accounts to date has been to pump out an endless stream of vacancy alerts and job announcements. This is invariably met with disinterest and lamentable results, as the resulting stream of job information is completely untargeted and not in any way personalized to the recipient. By contrast, the recruitment businesses that are really generating significant results on social media are those focused on making themselves a valuable resource for their target audience. By sharing insights, report data, trends, interviews and the like, recruiters have in some instances realized they can make their social profiles a must-read within their niche markets. Doing this well results in your social media presence becoming a magnet for the exact types of candidates and clients your business would like to work with. Plus focusing on being valuable and informative encourages people in your industry to start re-sharing your posts and helping you reach a far larger audience on social media. Engaging with this audience of both passive and active candidates, together with potential clients, gives such recruitment businesses a distinct advantage in the marketplace.
- Social Media For Retargeting Prospects
Last but not least is the tactic of retargeting both client and candidate prospects cost effectively on social media. In the realms of advertising, we can target specific advertisements to be seen only by candidates on our existing database or by people who have visited certain pages of our website. Marketing best practice shows that this type of retargeting activity dramatically increases the results a business can get from any given set of prospects. Similarly, when choosing who to engage with on social media or who to try and win over as followers, efforts can be targeted at those people a business has had dealings with in the past. This ensures that your message remains front of mind and on the radar of some of the people most likely to convert into candidates and clients for your business. To date, most recruitment businesses have not appreciated that this is an approach they can adapt for their own sector and have assumed that this is something reserved for the realms of consumer goods companies and B2B technology vendors. Smarter recruitment businesses are using these approaches to build a competitive advantage that it will be increasingly costly for their competitors to ever overturn.
Each of the above approaches will strengthen your recruitment business in terms of its market presence and the candidate and client wins you’re able to secure. You’ll need some resource and some budget to fully exploit the opportunities, but nothing out of the reach of even the smallest of recruiting businesses. Alongside that you’ll want to have systems in the business that have social media integration as a key element (just as with TempWorks) – and buy-in from the team that you’re investing in social media for the long term (so that it doesn’t get hijacked by the short term desire to return to the habit of pushing out jobs again). Good luck.
Tony Restell is the Founder of social media agency Social-Hire.com and helps businesses and businesspeople figure out how to leverage social media for maximum results. Tony is a published author and a guest lecturer at business schools across Europe.