This is a guest post by Zack Gallinger, President of Talent Hero Media, which focuses on generating leads for recruiters.
A 2015 survey found that 92 percent of recruiters use social media to find candidates. As of 2018, that number is likely nearing 100 percent.
On the flip side, a recent survey found that 59 percent of candidates said they use social media to research companies they are interested in, and 48 percent used platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn in their most recent job search.
The bottom line:
Both recruiters and candidates find social media to be a critical part of the recruiting process.
So, what’s the best way to use social media as a recruiter and actually engage candidates?
Will LinkedIn work for you?
For most recruiters, the most straightforward approach is to network with people on LinkedIn. Many recruiters will post jobs to their personal newsfeeds and rely on their network to help with distribution.
This approach can certainly work if you have a) a large number of connections (5000+ is a good start) and b) an engaged following (you’ll need to get at least 10 shares per job posting to gain a large audience). However, if you aren’t quite at that point, you may need to try a different route.
Using InMail to connect directly with clients is a viable option but it comes with a steep price tag. In fact, you’ll need a budget of thousands per year to afford the expensive LinkedIn Recruiter packages that allow you send messages to people you haven’t connected with. Plus, with 75 percent of Americans not using LinkedIn and 35 percent of LinkedIn members logging in only once per month, this approach is sure to overlook a large percentage of high-quality passive candidates.
Instead, you can get creative to take advantage of LinkedIn’s vast database of potential candidates. E-mail finding plugins like ContactOut and Snovio allow you to quickly locate the work email of virtually anyone you’d like, permitting you to contact them through traditional means rather than InMail.
Is Facebook an option?
If we turn our attention to Facebook, we see a different challenge for recruiters. While you can post jobs to your regular newsfeed, most of your friends and family will not be interested and Facebook’s algorithm will quickly decide to stop showing them.
If you are the rare recruiter with thousands of likes on your Facebook page, you’re still going to struggle because Facebook has decimated organic reach over the past few years, with only 2 percent of fans seeing the average post as of June 2016.
These numbers are a bit gloomy and you might be left scratching your head as to why recruiters even bother with social media.
Fear not - you still have options.
Create a second account
This practice is quite common, and it’s worth a try. By creating a second work-only account, you can friend only people in your target audience. When you post a new job, Facebook’s algorithms will notice that your posts are being interacted with by a large percentage of your audience and will give them the reach typically associated with news that you are engaged or the first photos of your baby.
When to try social media advertising
If you have a moderate budget, social media advertising is probably your best bet. Facebook and LinkedIn’s algorithms allow for precise targeting based on either demographic criteria (Facebook) or job profiles (LinkedIn).
For example, if you’re a recruiter looking for an HR manager in Texas, simply restrict your job posting ad to that specific profile and you’ll quickly discover that there are 20,000+ LinkedIn members that meet those exact criteria.
With an optimized campaign, you can get your job posting in front of thousands of people in your target market for under 25 cents per click.
Why Facebook Groups may be your best bet
Finally, what should you do if you have no budget and no social media following? Facebook Groups are an underappreciated yet thriving set of communities organized around every topic under the sun, and many of them allow recruiters to share jobs with their members.
They are so popular that as of January 2016, Facebook reported that over 1 billion people used Groups in a single month.
To take advantage, just search for what you’re looking for.
Do you want to locate a chemical engineer? Chemical Engineering Jobs has over 13,000 people that might be interested. Are you finding it difficult to place your position in the fashion industry? Fashion Design Jobs and its nearly 5,000 members is a good place to start.
The point is simple - if you have a job to fill, Facebook Groups is a great way to get your precise job in front of your target audience.
What the data shows
The data is clear. Social media is a top option for recruiters because it’s where candidates live. If you make the right decision about which platform to use and how to use it, you are certain to boost your recruiting game.
Zack is the President of Talent Hero Media, a web design and online marketing company focused on creating high-quality recruiter websites that generate new leads.