Recruiters Get Only Half Of Social Media Right

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, July 13, 2016

If, as a recruiter, you don’t understand the value in reaching prospects on social sites beyond LinkedIn, you’re leaving qualified talent on the table. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 66% of HR professionals are using Facebook for recruiting, 53% are using Twitter and 7% are using Instagram. 

But posting a job listing on your personal social handle solves only half of the social recruiting equation. There is an entirely other side of social that most companies either don’t yet know about or don’t fully understand: there is value in your current workforce.

In my experience as a talent director, I have found it extremely important to bring my colleagues into the fold. Their networks extend far beyond my own. I know they have a larger reach than just one recruiter or even a team of talent agents.

In my mind, employee advocacy is the driving force behind this effort. Employee advocacy is a coordinated social effort that brings your entire organization into the sharing fold. First, you find a platform that enables your team to curate company-approved content. Then, you invite your entire workforce to connect their personal social profiles to that platform so that they can read and share updates with your individual networks.



We know that word-of-mouth marketing remains the most effective means of advertising. Yet, for whatever reason, many organizations aren’t set up for success.

The problem appears to be the result of a serious lack of education on most companies’ part. In fact, only 9.4% of employees say they use social media to help their company with recruitment. That’s a real missed opportunity.

According to a study from earlier this year, most employees (77.3%) don’t feel encouraged to share company news on their social profiles. Even worse, 15.6% say they actually fear getting something wrong when sharing company information through platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn.

So what can be done?

To start, I believe companies need to make social media a priority throughout their entire organization. They need to bring everyone into the fold—from marketing and sales to customer success and HR. And they need to make it abundantly clear that not only is it OK to share on social, but it is actually encouraged and even rewarded.

In support of that, companies should offer ongoing social training for their workforce. I think it’s imperative that people understand that there are certain brand guidelines and various best practices for how to behave and interact on different platforms.

But companies need to be educated too. Gone are the days when social was controlled solely by the marketing department. Employees need to be trusted to take over some of the reins in order to put a more authentic face forward.

The results could be staggering. Consider this: 44.5% of job seekers say they are more likely to apply for an open position if they come across it on the profile of someone they know rather than through the feed of a company—or even a recruiter.

Meanwhile, this makes the recruiting process much more efficient and effective - something that hits home for me. In fact, according to Jobvite, employee referrals have a 40% conversion rate—and social is the best way to make this process scalable.

Your employees are just waiting for the green light to get more active. In fact, 3 in 4 say they want more company information through something like an employee advocacy program. Why? Because many (42%) believe it will make them more successful at their job and more likely to share that information to their individual networks (17.8%).

Recruiters have long been social butterflies. That’s what drove many of us to the field in the first place. Today, we are making significant strides in using new technology to make this process a whole lot easier. Our own handles are a great start. But our employees’ handles can help us reach the finish line a whole lot faster.

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