Executing a social recruitment strategy is only the start

By liamarus, 28 November, 2013

by Mark Gray

Pushing the big red ‘go-live’ button on a social recruitment strategy is not the end of the process, but rather the starting point of the engagement. There are a lot more steps you need to go through before you can go live with your social recruitment strategy.

 A social recruitment strategy takes many months of planning and preparation before launch:

  • You need to conduct skills gap audits and research which social media channels you’re going to use,
  • Your content strategy needs to be designed,
  • The HR team needs proper social media resourcing,
  • The applicant tracking system and the social media channels you choose need to be technically integrated,
  • All the content needs to be produced,
  • The foundational elements of search engine optimisation (SEO) must be put in place,
  • The marketing team has to give their input, and
  • All internal approvals have to be secured.

In the ‘going live’ stage:

  • All the social media profiles are made public,
  • You activate the automatic link between your ATS and social media channels, and
  • You start building your company’s presence with scheduled content.

But going public also means opening the floodgates of conversation. Are you ready for people’s reaction?
Social media is a two-way engagement 

This engagement is about the employer brand, company culture and career opportunities. For this to be successful you’ll need enough resources for an ongoing conversation and this engagement could also draw off comments. For example:

  • A candidate might ask: “Do you have any learnership opportunities?”, “What are you doing about social upliftment?” or even “What is your view on fair labour practices?”
  • You need to ask yourself if you can respond quickly and authoritatively to these questions. In a direct recruitment model, questions that might previously have been answered by a recruitment agency will now come directly to you, for the entire world to see. It’s important that you’re ready for anything.

You need to prepare for these tricky interactions in three ways: 

1.    Brainstorm the most common questions your company is likely to encounter and how you’re going to deal with these. If there’s a common set of queries, you could set up a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page or you could have standard responses on hand that a team member can use to deal with questions. 

2.    Decide on and agree to guidelines about what type of comments will be responded to. If a comment is not adding value or blatantly ‘flaming’ (Internet slang for insulting someone) should and could you delete it? Remember that Facebook gives you control to delete destructive comments but you can’t do this on Twitter. 

3.    Make sure you monitor the conversation so two weeks don’t go by before you spot a potential problem. This can be tough because the web is such a massive ecosystem. An idea to make this task easier is to automate the monitoring of discussions with online reputation management software. 

Once you’ve launched your social recruitment strategy, there’s no turning back without causing damage to your brand. Social media’s capability of touching the broader business with negative sentiment - even impacting the bottom line - is one reason why many companies still prefer to steer clear of this space. 

A social recruitment strategy must be carefully considered, pre-planned and can’t be done overnight. However social also has the power to transform traditional recruitment practices. With proper planning and preparation and a solid strategy on how to manage ongoing engagement, there is nothing to fear.

This article first appeared on HR Pulse.



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