Creating a winning social media strategy to attract top talent

Pubished 15th April 2019


There is little doubt that social media has changed our world. We are living in an ever-connected universe with over 2.46 billion social profiles. Users are able to keep up-to-date with friends, family, find common interests with strangers and build on new or existing relationships. It was only a matter of time before businesses started to see the impact of social media and how this could be transferred into the workplace. Today there are over 17 million company LinkedIn pages, and 91% of employers utilise social media to fill vacancies… But how many of these social media profiles are optimised and utilised effectively to attract and retain the best talent around?

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Before attempting to harness social media more successfully, companies must first measure the strength of their existing platforms. For example, how much interaction are social media posts receiving? When do the majority of users view a post and is the audience relevant? This analysis is crucial as it allows employers to understand whether candidates are engaged with the content posted, or if they are posting on the correct platform.

Once armed with this intelligence, organisations can optimise their social messages to attract more candidates. In addition, money can be saved by focussing on channels that have a higher concentration of relevant job seekers, in turn decreasing cost per hire.

Conducting analysis to understand which social channels their competitors are targeting and whether any successes have arisen from these is also really important. There could be a large pipeline of relevant untapped talent, giving that competition an unchallenged opportunity to engage with these candidates.

A crucial part of a social media strategy should be ensuring that any content posted on social media is representative of the real company brand, as companies are often misguided to follow the crowd. For example, an organisation may post fun and colloquial content through its social channels during a particular event such as Easter, after seeing other businesses post something similar. However, the company may not necessarily embrace that holiday internally. As 88% of millennials believe that being part of the right work culture is a very important factor in considering a role, companies need to ensure their brand image is genuine to potential job seekers.

This genuine content must be combined with internal brand advocates that can champion these messages effectively. With each LinkedIn user having 400 connections on average, employees sharing content posted from the business provides a solid opportunity for an organisation to reach a network of professionals who already have a relationship with its employees.

While sharing is important, there is also a need for employees to be equipped with knowledge of their employers brand. Employees should have the confidence to post their own unique messages to their network whilst remaining on brand, preventing an over-reliance on companies creating corporate content. A company that has employees sharing their updates but also actively posting their own branded messages has a much greater chance of engaging talent.

One final (and very simple) method of utilising social media effectively is to respond to messages. Social media is a two-way communication channel. Actively communicating with your audience is crucial as 69% of candidates are more likely to apply for a role at a company which manages its employer brand. 64% of candidates also state a poor experience would put them off an employer.

Social media is now considered the most popular platform for candidates to find new roles. Businesses are beginning to realise this with leaders stating social media marketing will be the most in-demand HR skill by 2020, and social recruiting software was the highest prioritised investment of 2017. However, with three quarters of organisations still struggling to find relevant candidates and 70% of the global workforce consisting of passive candidates, it is in the best interests of businesses to optimise their social channels to engage with job seekers. In this highly competitive market, where candidates have more choice than ever, a well utilised social media strategy has never played a more important role in the attraction and retention of talent.



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