Home Articles Ten steps to becoming a killer in-house social recruitment ninja

Ten steps to becoming a killer in-house social recruitment ninja


When you are recruiting to fill a position, your first and biggest concern is attracting the right candidates in the first place, right? It’s also the most expensive.

So how do you attract the crème-de-la-crème without breaking the bank, while building a strong employer brand at the same time?

Social media.

That, right there, is your answer.

Despite social media being commonplace nowadays, we are yet to fully harness its potential when it comes to recruitment. Here are my ten tips to help your organisation become a social media recruiting ninja.

1. Start by fully understanding the context of social media

Social networking has always been about building communities of like-minded people, people who share common ambitions.

For recruiters, this means building relationships with talented people who may be the perfect candidates for the right jobs. The days of the head hunter focused on acquisitions and competition are now numbered. This is a transactional, expensive approach that does little to build the value of the employer.

The ‘global war’ for talent is fought out among 10% of active job seekers using recruitment agencies, job boards and CV searching. This leaves 90% of potentially the best people for the job being overlooked. Social recruitment targets both segments, ensuring your organisation is front of mind when people are ready to make a move.

2. Develop value beyond the job

What drives a potential employee to consider your organisation? The job is important but that’s not all.

Find out all those little things that make your target audience tick. Where do you start? Your current staff, of course! Talk to them. Ask them about how they found out about their role, how they network – both on and offline, what they enjoy about working for your organisation. You will be surprised how far something as simple as an office coffee machine goes!

3. Get your numbers right

Find out the ‘cost per hire’ of your target employees. This includes the cost of advertising new positions, cost of HR staff, and the cost to fill roles with temporary agency staff whilst you look for new talent. Time is money, and the monitoring of social networking sites and interviewing of candidates must be considered. Let realistic assessments dictate what you do as an organisation online.

4. Educate employees

Social media has blurred the boundaries of our personal and professional lives. As your employees slowly become your brand advocates, make sure they know exactly what your social media policy means in real life.

Many employees are unaware that their “innocent” conversations may be in conflict with their employee code of conduct. It takes time to develop a reputation online, employee social media profiles contribute to this image. Social recruiting is based on relationships; don’t run the risk of losing them overnight.

5. Map your social network

Where do your current and potential employees go online? What professional or academic communities do they frequent? Who influences them?

By researching how your target audience use social media and listing the websites that they visit, your team have the best possible chance of speaking directly to the type of employees that you value. This research must begin before you engage with potential staff online and be regularly revised to ensure efficacy.

6. Story telling is key, spin is over

Now that you have worked on your employee value proposition, it’s time to tell the story. There is no need for a script. In fact, it carries more impact when it’s entirely authentic and natural.

How do potential employees know what your business stands for? Again, talk to your current staff! Encourage employees from all sections to share their stories online. This content can engage a wider field of potential employees, appealing to different people and different skills.

Remember, the stories need not be perfectly scripted. They need to be real.

7. Build a community

Build a platform that allows you maintain a consistent presence while linking to other social networks. Use it to both attract the ideal candidates and to assist them throughout the recruitment process.

In time, this can help make the recruitment process more effective by providing information around the frequently asked questions you hear from prospective employees.

8. Refer traffic

Make references to your program both online and offline. Those people and organisations – whether industry or academic, that have a role to play in your traditional sourcing, should be introduced to your social media initiatives.

Search engine optimisation will help cast a wider net. Ensure that analytics are used on your website and social media channels so that you can track referrals and look for trends.

9. Measure success

Define goals from the very start. These will help you gauge both the effectiveness of your strategy and where you can reduce spend in traditional channels over time.

Social media goals should be both short-term and long-term. They should allow you to track your progress over time. Most importantly, they should not distract you from building genuine relationships with your future employees.

A goal to reach a certain number of followers or likes by a specific date should not be the focus, merely a forecast of influence. Ultimately, you are looking at how these activities improve your recruiting speed and the quality of candidates while cutting recruitment costs.

10. Encourage user content

Social media delivers the best results when it encourages two-way communication, refraining from using the platforms as a broadcasting tool for company announcements. Ensure that the content is a mix of employee and company stories, job opportunities as well as industry related content.

By engaging potential employees online, you are beginning a relationship with candidates before they walk out the door of their old employer and through yours.

Kate Crawshaw is Director Engagement at Ellis Jones. Developing multi-channel methodologies that integrate simple communication and conversation practices into the everyday; designing programs to support community engagement, knowledge sharing, and employee engagement initiatives.