BY JAMES BLAIN
Today’s job market is fiercely competitive, with large employers expanding the reach of whom they are targeting. As a result, you are likely competing for applicants among industries and companies you never have before. To stay competitive and keep your team staffed, you will need to increase your efforts, try new things, and adapt. With a broad demographic reach and low cost of entry, social media can be an excellent way to do that.
Understand Your Target
You aren’t just posting a position; you are marketing and selling a role at your company. To do that effectively, you need to have a clear picture of who your ideal applicant is. Start by listing out what your best employees have in common. Some of the key things to identify include age range, previous work history, education level, where they live, and interests. Think in generalized terms—try not to get too specific.
Next, give your ideal applicant a name to make it easier to put yourself in their shoes: “Is this going to get Tom’s attention?” is a much easier question than “Does this appeal to my ideal applicant?”
You may also find that you have more than one distinct set of demographics and end up with multiple ideal applicants. Try to keep it to no more than three, give each a name, and keep in mind that you may need to target each one a little differently.
If you have others on your team who will be involved in hiring, have them do this exercise individually. Then come together, discuss, and decide who you all agree is your ideal applicant.
Picking the Right Platforms
You should pick the platform you think your ideal applicant is most likely to be on. To help get you started, here is some quick information on some of the major platforms:
- Facebook has the largest user base and broadest range of demographics. If you are unsure where to reach your target applicant, it is a good place to start.
- LinkedIn is business- and employment-driven. As a result, it doesn’t tend to have as heavy a focus on video and visual appeal.
- Twitter tweets are short, consisting of only 280 characters. However, you can also share photos, videos, and links. It also has a broad age range with 42 percent of users between ages 18-29, and 27 percent between 30-49.
- Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok all predominately appeal to a younger demographic. Each is visually driven and leans toward short videos. Instagram also has a heavy focus on appealing and eye-catching images.
Also, it goes without saying that the potential employee will be looking at your social media to get an idea of your company and the people who work there, so make sure you’re keeping it professional.
Using Social Media
Your first step on most platforms will be to add your job openings to your page or profile. This allows you to share your listings and run ads to them. You can also create stand-alone posts about hiring that don’t directly attach to your job listing, but link back to your online application or careers page on your website. Focus on these three key elements:
- Awareness: If people don’t know you’re hiring, they can’t apply. In addition to posting your job openings to your page or profile, make sure the content about hiring looks like it is about hiring. It can be as simple as putting, “Now Hiring” in the title or opening text, but make sure it is clear at a glance.
- Engagement: The better you can engage potential applicants, the more opportunity you will have to pique their interest. Engagement can be having them read your post, watch your video, click “like,” or leave a comment. This can also take the form of someone tagging another person or sharing your content.
- Connection: Your ultimate goal is to connect with potential applicants. Shares, comments, and likes are great to have, but to successfully hire a candidate, you need them to take the next step toward working for you. Tell them what that next step is and make it easy for them to make that progression. This could be having them fill out an online application, call you, or physically come into your office.
Nothing beats video when it comes to converting candidates. A well-made clip can attract more viewers than static images or text—especially since it’s so easy to digest right in the news feed of most social platforms. You can quickly and easily shoot your own professional-looking video using this simple outline:
- Introduction: Start by giving a short background about your company and who you are.
- Job description: Give a brief description of the role you are hiring for.
- Testimonials: Word-of-mouth, even from a stranger, can carry a lot of weight. Have current employees in that role share what they like about their job and the company, and why they work for you. What do their day-to-day activities look like? Why is this a great job and company? What are the potential growth opportunities?
- How to apply: Close by telling them how to apply and asking them to take the next step.
The main goal of your hiring video is to generate interest and get a prospective hire to take a next step to apply. Just as you wouldn’t start a sales call with a potential customer with price before creating value, you need to create value in your job role before presenting your pay range. In most cases this means your pay range won’t be in your video but will be presented in the next step you are asking them to take, such as clicking through to your careers page on your website. However, if you decide (or are required) to include a pay range in any job posting, then you want to place it towards the end after you have made your best pitch and captured their interest about your company. Regardless of when you present your pay ranges, it should always be as just one part of your total compensation package, which also includes benefits and other perks of the job.
Although you may be tempted to just put together one video for all your job roles, you will get a better response if you create a video based on each role you are hiring for. You can use the same formula above to create each video, but ideally the video for a chauffeur should be about and feature drivers, while a video for another position, such as a CSR or dispatcher, should be specific to that role.
You also don’t need an expensive camera or special gear to make your video look great. Most smartphones record in HD and some newer models even support 4K video. The biggest factor will be how you shoot, so here are some tips to help you get started:
- Plan out what you will be shooting and stage things ahead of time.
- Unless you are shooting something that requires a portrait shot, like an Instagram reel, turn your phone on its side and shoot in landscape mode.
- For still shots like a testimonial, use a tripod to hold the camera steady.
- Avoid dimly lit areas and make sure there is plenty of light on your subject.
- It can take a while for people to get comfortable and give a good testimonial on camera. Take the pressure off by letting them do multiple takes; plus, the more natural the testimonial, the better it will be for the viewer.
After you post your video, like it and share it. Also ask employees, friends, and family to share it as well. The more initial engagement you can get the more organic reach it will have.
Putting It All Together
Social media and video can be a powerful tool to reach potential applicants. You can also use the video content you create on your website’s careers or hiring page. The more you do to reach applicants the better your chances will be of finding the right people to add to your team. Now that you have armed yourself with how to get the most out of social media for your hiring process it is time to take the next step and do it! [CD0322]
James Blain is president of PAX Training. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.