In our 2010 post ‘Recruiting and Retaining Gen Y Employees’, we discussed the high turnover rates in the retail, hospitality, and restaurant industries. Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse in the past 5 years leading up to the current labor shortage. Many businesses struggle to engage and retain employees, and the hiring pool is more competitive than it has been in years. To tap into enthusiastic, hard-working talent, it remains as important as ever to improve your recruitment and retention strategies. Using social media to recruit is one way to do that.
Notably, Gen Y-ers are best approached through social media channels. According to findings in the 2021 Future of Recruiting Study, around 86% of job seekers use social media sites in their job search, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has limited traditional job application methods. If you want to recruit top talents through social media, here are some of the best practices for strong engagement:
Tip #1: Optimize your LinkedIn page
Although it’s not as dominant as Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is a popular networking website for businesses. LinkedIn is especially favored among people who are looking for job opportunities or who are researching potential employers. If you want to recruit through social media, you can’t afford to leave LinkedIn out. A feature on The Balance notes that LinkedIn had over 740 million users in March 2021. Before you begin posting hiring notices on LinkedIn, however, you first need to optimize your page.
Think of LinkedIn as your digital cover letter. You want to appear professional and attract the best talent to your company. Later’s guide to optimizing your LinkedIn page suggests including the most relevant keywords in your summary and overview, as these keywords can help the site recognize what you do. Make sure to fill out every field. Mention your industry, location, and specialties throughout the page to boost your visibility among likely job candidates.
Tip #2: Promote your culture online and in social media
Every potential candidate wants to find a job in a good working environment. Having a desirable company culture, strong reputation, and positive presence is the key to recruiting top talents through social media. You shouldn’t simply post open roles on your work accounts and job boards; rather, you should highlight and share content about the valuable parts of your company. What sets it apart? Videos and articles about your brand can help organically attract potential employees who are looking for an emotional connection with the right employer.
Of course, you shouldn’t lie or bend the truth about your company or its culture. Many Gen-Y and Gen-Z employees are sensitive to marketing messages and see right through attempts to appear relatable. If your ideal candidate is a Gen Y-er, and you’ve learned that they think your business is “stuffy”, don’t try to convince them otherwise. Instead, lean into being stuffy but upgrade yourself to sound more authoritative and polished. The best thing you can do is to be open and honest about who you are as a company.
Tip #3: Ask current employees to help with your recruiting efforts
Your employees are likely to be social media users and already connected to people who are similar to them. Leveraging your staff and their social networks can extend your reach and even improve the quality of your job applicants. Therefore, it’s important to get your team members involved. Asking them to share job openings on their profile is like a personal recommendation of your company. Remember, potential new hires want proof that people enjoy working for you — and current staff are the only ones with the power to offer that proof.
You can also feature quotes and stories from current team members in your recruitment content. This will help pique curiosity among potential new hires, as well help them envision themselves at your company. Allow your staff to post, tweet, and talk about their work experiences in a responsible manner to draw a bigger audience. If your team members convey how great it is to work for you, others will be more interested in applying.
Tip #4: Keep your application process simple
A fussy application process is the antithesis of what social media recruiting is: simple, hassle-free, and easy. Writer Sonia Weiser points out that job seekers often give up midway if an application is too long, complicated, or repetitive. Moreover, a clunky process usually signifies a company’s attitude towards its employees and its overall culture.
Even rejection can be a dispiriting, impersonal process; it’s rare for companies now to send a rejection email, which isn’t helpful for many aspiring applicants. At best, an online hiring process should take as few steps as possible, from social media page to HR interview.
In sum, social media is one of the most effective ways to recruit top talent because it expands your pool of applicants. The key to a good social media recruiting strategy? Don’t be afraid to highlight the best parts about your company.