Social media for recruitment agencies: how to use it for brilliant candidate engagement

Mo Doolan
  • Mo Doolan
  • Social and Content Manager

We all know that using social media is an effective method of engaging with an audience. If you work in recruitment, it can be a valuable way of communicating with job candidates. The trouble is, social media can seem overwhelming. How can you make sure you pick the right channels and use them cleverly for candidate engagement?

Start with a strategy

Social media is so much part of our lives, that it’s easy to be a bit more casual in the way we approach it, compared with other marketing methods. However, thought and planning are always the foundation of social media that brings results.

When you create your social strategy think carefully about who you want to reach, and what results you’re after. Be realistic about your resources for social media:

  • How much time will you spend on it each day?
  • Whose job will it be to manage the process?

Your strategy needs to integrate your aims with the practicalities of achieving them.

Analyse your audience

Make an analysis of the audience that you and your clients want to reach. You may need to divide this into the different recruitment specialisms that your agency represents. Think about:

  • Industry interests
  • Career goals of job candidates
  • Geographical area
  • Education level
  • Stage of career e.g. entry level to senior management

Your initial analysis is a starting point, but it’s something that you need to do continually to refine your methods and maximise candidate engagement. You’ll probably find that some approaches work better than others for different job roles and employers. Analysis might well show you that the best approaches aren’t always what you expected.

Keep an eye on your analytics from the social media channels you use and tweak your approach accordingly. Scheduling regular time to do this should be part of your strategy.

Once you know more about your target audience, you’re all set to choose your channels.

Choose your channels

Think carefully about the specific characteristics of different channels. Some platforms will be more effective than others for winning the attention of the candidates that your employer clients are looking for. Take a look at our earlier blog: The 5 most loved platforms and how they will benefit your organisation to get the lowdown on what will work best for you.

LinkedIn remains the best platform for professional, business-focused activity but Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have a part to play when it comes to spreading information. They also have the ability to create visual impact.

Use these channels to link a recruitment message to a broader personal development and lifestyle story. Plus, channels like Twitter and Instagram are great for ongoing campaigns that build a message that sticks. Humour, strong imagery and catchy copywriting can all play a part.

Be flexible and remember that different sections of your target audience may need a different approach through a different channel. Your reach should be wide but specifically targeted.

Canny content

Social media content is usually concise and snappy: it’s quick to read for instant impact, but behind the scenes, you need to spend a bit of time on creating messages that promote action.

  • What makes your content creative, valuable and engaging?
  • What makes your audience want to return for more?

To get your content on target you need to think about what your employer clients want, and how you can create a compelling message that attracts the right candidates.

Your audience analytics will also help shape your content. Keep an eye on what content resonates best with your audience and use that to help shape future posts.

Don’t forget the power of social advertising, too. As we’ve pointed out before, it can be much cheaper than conventional advertising and can be very specific in targeting the candidates you want to attract.

Fast response

This last point is hugely important. Never forget that social media, unlike most other forms of marketing, is a two-way process. It’s the conversation that matters and that really builds a relationship into something lasting and productive. Your ability to respond is what builds trust and loyalty to you and your services.

Keep response times to a minimum and aim to respond to potential candidates in less than 24 hours.

The recruitment business revolves around ongoing exchanges and long-term relationships with employers and potential candidates in an ever-changing marketplace. It’s not a one-off purchase.

This means that social media is an ideal way for getting messages out that are acted on and shared between peers. Use social channels well and it should become a productive and efficient way of attracting the candidates that you’re looking for.