Social media is great for hiring...but only if you do it right
When I look at the latest stats on jobs in the U.S. I’m happy for my friends that are in the job market. But the same stats make me feel really bad for people who are hiring. The number of unfilled job openings has stayed stubbornly high, while the unemployment rate has stayed at its lowest point in 10 years.
Interestingly, for more people than ever, your interpretation of these numbers depends on your political views. But if hiring is part of your job, they likely mean one thing for sure. It’s really dang hard to hire qualified people right now.
Almost every day I work with clients to help them hire better in these times. One of the more interesting areas I’ve looked at for filling jobs now is social recruiting.
Social Media to the Rescue? Maybe
Ok, so if you’ve been desperate to hire lately, you’ve probably spent a lot of time posting to job boards. And don’t get me wrong, these can be a great source of candidates if used correctly. But here’s the thing: When unemployment is this low, and there are so many jobs going unfilled, it’s likely that the best candidates are already employed. So they’re probably not actively searching job boards right now.
But while they may not be on job boards, there’s a good chance they spend some of their day on social media. More than 2.1 billion people are active on social media now! If you want to get your jobs in front of great candidates, it’s a good place to look. But there are a few potential pitfalls. For one, these are passive candidates, meaning they aren’t actually looking for a job, but may be interested. Passive candidates are considered to be a bit less motivated than people who are actively job hunting.
On top of that, I’m about to show you why you want to make your jobs as attractive as possible to applicants, and explain why you should make applying super easy. While that combination will bring you a lot more candidates, it makes it likely that you’ll get a lot more unmotivated, unqualified candidates as well.
But don’t worry, I’m going to show you exactly how to handle that issue.
How to Make your Job Post More Interesting than Cats and Babies
There are a couple of good reasons you need to make your social media job posts as attractive as possible. Two of those reasons are cats and babies. There’s a constant battle to appear in people’s social media feeds. The post about your latest job is going to be fighting for attention with cat videos and cute baby pictures, and there’s a good chance it’s going to lose.
Unless you create a post that specifically gets their attention. Here are some specific things you can do to make your job posting more interesting than cats and babies.
1. Talk to your employees and ask what the best things are about working at your company. Ask them to be specific: What do they love about their co-workers, the region, the office space, or the equipment they use?
2. Go to Glassdoor and search for the position you’re hiring for. In the left sidebar you’ll see other companies hiring for the same job. Click on them one at a time and read their employee reviews. Take note of the “cons.” After reading some reviews, you should see some common complaints, like lack of vacation time, not enough benefits, etc.
Can you counter these complaints? For example, do you offer better than average benefits or more vacation time than your competitors?
3. Take everything you learned from Glassdoor and your employees, and put as much as you can into your social posts. Think of your social media posts as an advertisement, selling the job to potential applicants. What, from your research will get the most attention? Put everything else into your job descriptions, with just the most essential qualifications listed.
So a Twitter post might look like: “#Hiring delivery drivers. Lots of paid vacation, competitive benefits, and top notch trucks. Apply here:” ending with a link to where they can apply for your job. Change this as necessary for posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., and use images whenever possible. Also, try various different messages based on what you learn from your research to see which gets the most attention.
How to Screen the Unqualified Time-Wasters and Focus on Top Candidates
If you think that this strategy could bring you a lot of unqualified applicants, or the type of people who no-show for job interviews, you’re right. But don’t worry.
I’m going to show you a simple way to quickly weed out the time wasters and unqualified applicants so you can focus on the truly great candidates.
Start by writing five questions about the job for applicants to answer. These questions should be hard to answer for people who don't have the experience you require, should take some thought, and at least 20 minutes to answer.
Send these to every applicant before you even look at their resumes. The unqualified and unmotivated candidates won’t even respond to your questions. And if some of them do, their low-quality answers will stick out.
The great candidates will also stick out. Just glancing at the questions, you’ll know who actually put time and thought into them. When you’ve found a few of these, take the time to look at their resumes and start scheduling interviews. I hope this helps you with your hiring. It's a difficult time for finding great employees, but with a little research and creativity, we can make it happen.