“86% of people in the first 10 years of their career are likely to use social media in their job search” – Glassdoor
As more and more people turn to online for job hunting, social media provides a new ‘in’ for agencies to find and place candidates, as well as casting the net further. As with all great tools, social media must be used effectively to work. With some case study research and careful planning, social media can be a great asset to your recruitment agency. Here’s our in-depth guide to social media for recruitment agencies – we hope it helps…
How Social Media has Changed
In the beginning, social media networks such as MySpace and Facebook were typically associated with young people who wanted little more outside of broadcasting their lives to others. It was a place for everyday chat and photo sharing. The picture is very different today. As social media moved out of the university realm, from where it started, older users and businesses became more aware of its potential. Now, businesses everywhere are using it as a way to network and connect with others. It’s an effective, affordable marketing tool.
Initially, social media for recruitment agencies was simply not a priority. However, with social media fast becoming the top choice of news for many people, it’s no wonder that more and more recruitment agencies are turning towards social to boost their businesses. With over 1.1 billion Facebook users, 500 million users on Twitter and 300 million users on LinkedIn – there’s a huge potential for recruitment agencies in this accessible market.
Attract New Clients
Though many recruitment agencies focus their social media efforts on attracting new talent and candidates for positions they are trying to fill, this isn’t the only way social media can be beneficial for recruitment agencies. Companies are getting increasingly savvy about how the recruitment process works and take time to make sure they use the right recruitment agency before giving the ‘go ahead’. In the past, this ‘due diligence’ was limited to word of mouth, reviews and a short look at the recruitment agencies website. However, for an increasing number of companies, this process now includes social media. Before agreeing to do business with you, or even getting in touch, it’s very likely that any prospective client will check out your agency on social media. They’ll take a look at your Twitter profile, look at your LinkedIn page and see if you’ve published anything on your blog recently. If they get there and see that it’s all automated, or that you haven’t posted anything for months, this will certainly have an impact on how they perceive your agency, and whether they choose to use you. However, if they see lots of interesting content, recent engagement from happy customers and candidates and a strong online brand, your chances of being hired will increase significantly!
Building a New Kind of Recruitment Agency
Moving your recruitment agency towards using social media is essentially a culture shift. It’s not something you just ‘do’. Sure, you could just start Tweeting, but in order to get real value from it, you need to give it thought and planning.
Agencies on social media must be engaging, have created a constant and lively feed and be so much more than just about posting jobs across social media networks. It sounds like a big job, and it is, but it is one that has proved successful for many recruitment agencies such as Reed, Acorn and more recently, Sir Alan Sugar’s new venture, Hyper Recruitment. There’s no doubt that it works, it’s just a case of getting it right.
Social Media for Recruitment Agencies: 101
There are many elements that you need to consider when taking your recruitment agency to social, including:
- Being a part of the community: A successful recruitment agency on social will not only focus on its own interests and gains but those of others as well. From sharing industry news to engaging in conversation and debate, being successful on social involves two-way communication and a community-driven approach.
- Creating your own community: As you would in the ‘real world’, you should always look to create a community for your candidates through social media. This includes offering support such as interview tips, developing skills, tips for job seeking as well as general information that clients may find useful.
- Reputation building: as well as providing information about open roles and roles for existing clients, social media allows you to build up your company’s reputation online. Your profile on social will set out the kind of agency that you are – from young and fun to specialist and professional, how and what you share with your online followers will affect how they see you, so it’s important to consider your agency’s overall ‘brand’ when you move into social media.
What to Avoid (and how to get it right)
With the wealth of competition which exists around recruitment agencies on social media, there are bound to be some who get it wrong. Make sure you avoid the same mistakes as these agencies:
Whilst it’s good to post available roles, constant streams of un-engaging job links can make your followers grow bored easily. It’s important to include a mixture of posts to stop them switching off and actually pay attention to what you have to say. Most recruitment agency feeds are wholly un-engaging and basically, serve as a job board:
This agency, in contrast, makes it work by posting different stories and opinion pieces, keeping relevant to the world of recruiting
Whilst posting too many job adverts can be a nuisance for followers, not posting enough can also be a source of irritation. Accounts which only post ad-hoc can soon lose the interest of their followers, and these accounts will also struggle to attract new ones.
In order to stay relevant and authoritative on their area of expertise, it’s important that recruitment agencies maintain a regular conversation and engagement on their networks. This essentially means posting most days, or at least on all weekdays, with tweets scattered throughout the day to ensure the conversation keeps flowing. Staying up to date on different calendar events, awareness weeks and other notable dates helps to facilitate forward planning, allowing for more reactive posts relevant to what else is happening in the world.
Posting the same content across all platforms: it’s no secret that social media accounts take work to maintain, and it may seem as though a simple solution is to just post the same content across all of the platforms. However, as social media targets different types of audiences, you should aim to use your platforms for different things. For example, Facebook is a great place to share job adverts as well as blog posts and news, whereas LinkedIn can be a way to share more considered opinions about industry-related topics.
Reed offers a great example of using their social media accounts in different ways. For example, their Twitter feed focuses on different aspects such as engagement through questions, images and video, as well as posting jobs – but in an entertaining way:
Their Facebook page meanwhile provides everything from articles, job seeking tips, news about the company and other posts, whilst job posts tend to refer to the site as a whole, rather than individual job adverts:
Using Social Media Effectively
Social media for recruitment agencies is all about getting away from ‘pushing’ messages to potential candidates. Social media isn’t just another way to sell. It’s far more than that. Of course, marketing is a crucial element of the process, but people who are made to feel like they are facing constant advertising are not going to be engaged with your company. Instead, social media should be used as a way to encourage conversation, build up a following as well as subtly promote your services in order to use social effectively.
Insperity offers an interesting case study of effective use of social media by a recruitment agency. With over 4,000 followers on their Twitter feed alone, they make sure to post regularly and have a separate jobs posting profile – although there are improvements which can be made to their strategy.
If you work for or run a recruitment agency and you have yet to make the jump to social media – it’s time you asked why. If you are already online, ask yourself ‘am I getting any value from this?’ – the scope for social media is huge and offers even the smallest businesses the chance to be seen and grow. Take a look at existing social accounts for inspiration and see if there are lessons which can be learned for your own social media presence. In particular, take a look at Alan Sugar’s recent venture, Hyper Recruitment and the Undercover Recruitment Blog.
We currently provide social media services and support for a number of recruitment companies across the UK. We help them make sure that their online profile is something they can be proud of, and that it attracts the right type of client, and candidate, for their company. If you’d like to know more about how our social media management and content marketing services could help your recruitment agency take the next step, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.