Ever found yourself at the end of a months-long candidate search with nothing to show for it?
Lengthy hiring cycles, prolonged vacancies, and unsuccessful candidate searches not only disrupt productivity. They also cost you money and lower the value of your employer brand. What can you do about it?
You need to upgrade your recruitment strategy to grow your workforce in an increasingly competitive landscape—and that means finding creative ways to attract qualified candidates. As a generation of digital natives enters the workforce, social media is dominating the recruitment process. If you want to attract top talent and cut through the digital noise, you can’t afford to ignore the power of social selling.
Even though social media is so ingrained in our personal and professional lives, countless recruiters still depend on cold calls to attract qualified candidates. In reality, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for recruiters—and a well-crafted social selling strategy should be a top priority for all organizations.
But what exactly is social selling? And how can you craft a strategy to combat the talent shortage and reach your ideal candidates? Here’s everything you need to know about social selling to level up your recruitment game.
What Is Social Selling?
If you’re in the digital marketing space, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of social selling. At its core, social selling is a marketing strategy where marketers use social media channels to find, connect with, understand, and nurture their prospects.
Your target candidates are busy.
They’re sacrificing blood, sweat, and tears to take care of their families and build a lifestyle they can be proud of. Instead of interrupting busy leads with a phone call or email, social selling meets them where they already are: online. By tapping into the power of social media, you can build relationships with qualified candidates until they’re primed to convert.
Unlike your average cold call, social selling isn’t about a hard sales pitch. It’s subtle, it takes time, and it requires a fair amount of patience. Marketing pros use social media to provide value to their target audience by posting relevant, engaging, informative content that guides candidates down the talent pipeline.
If your organization is active on social media, you already have a pre-existing audience of followers. Your audience is an active resource, providing new information, creating new content, and experiencing new problems. It’s your goal to tap into these problems, offer actionable solutions, and show qualified candidates why they should choose your organization.
Does Social Selling Work?
Yes, social selling works. If you’ve been relying on traditional recruiting methods to reach top talent, social selling is the tool you need to upgrade your recruitment strategy. Over the past few years, social recruitment has overtaken traditional recruiting as the norm—and for good reason.
Social media helps recruiters narrow the candidate pool more quickly and effectively. Instead of sorting through countless unqualified candidates, you can focus your recruitment efforts on qualified candidates that check all the boxes. This way, you’re saving time, money, and resources by hyper-focusing your recruitment strategy on your ideal candidates.
With the right social strategy, recruiters can convey their brand message across multiple social platforms—all while showcasing their employer brand to potential candidates. And when you consider that 96 percent of job seekers use social media when conducting a search, there’s no denying the unrivaled potential that social media has to offer.
How to Craft a Powerful Social Selling Strategy
Some recruiters spend all their time in reactive mode. Instead of backfilling for unanticipated vacancies or new talent needs, it’s time to stop putting out the fire. Here’s how to take a proactive approach to recruitment with a comprehensive, long-term social recruitment strategy.
1. Conduct a Social Media Audit
Before you start brainstorming your social media action plan, audit your company’s current social presence. How does your organization shape up across each platform? What does your employer brand look like? Take a look at your posts, the content you create, and the level of engagement you receive for each post.
Once you’ve reviewed your organization’s social media presence, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my content add value to my followers?
- Are posts valuable and insightful, or are they mostly promoting the organization?
- Do I share content created by employees and other businesses, or just my own organization?
- Do I have a distinct brand on social media?
- What kind of content does my audience find most engaging? What turns them off?
Answering these questions will give you a baseline to troubleshoot your social media presence. After you’ve gained a general idea of your employer brand and following, it’s time to leverage your social data to build a knockout social selling strategy.
2. Consider Your Recruitment Goals
The path to marketing success always starts with a solid foundation. Sure, it’s easy to get caught up when you’re connecting with candidates across every platform, but you need a targeted strategy to win at social selling.
If you start dividing your attention between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn without any clear goals, you’re only going to set yourself up for failure. Instead, start with a detailed plan. Figure out which social media platforms your ideal candidates are using, and funnel your prospects through a single communication channel.
Today, a whopping 92 percent of employers use social media to hire talent—but no two social strategies are created equal. Depending on your goals, you might use social media to inform your recruitment strategy in different ways, such as:
- Engaging candidates on Twitter to learn more about their interests, values, and pain points
- Researching candidates on Facebook to find out how they present themselves to friends, family, and strangers
- Creating YouTube videos to showcase your company culture and values
3. Tap Into the Right Social Platforms
Even though LinkedIn might seem like the obvious platform to start your social selling strategy, it’s important to research your ideal candidates to find out where they’re spending time online. After conducting your social audit, identify which audience segments to target with your social recruitment efforts.
Remember: Different candidates spend their time on different platforms.
For example, a contractor might spend more time on visual platforms like Instagram, while technicians might spend more time on Facebook or YouTube. If you’re not sure where to start, Facebook tops the list as the go-to site to research employer brand and reputation, according to CareerArc’s 2021 Future of Recruiting study.
Every social media platform will require a slightly different social selling strategy. On Instagram, you’ll want to post curiosity-provoking Stories to entice your ideal candidates and give them an inside glimpse of your company culture. Meanwhile, on Twitter, you’ll want to use hashtags to join the right conversations and connect with qualified candidates.
4. Engage Your Ideal Candidates With Captivating Content
Now that you’ve identified the who, why, and where, it’s time to work on the how. Here, your goal is to listen to your audience and pinpoint opportunities to connect with them. This is where your strategy takes hold. Start thinking like your ideal candidates—what can you do for them to increase your visibility and add value to their lives?
Your conversations should always be a two-way street, and you should be prepared to respond to comments and questions. Take the time to spark conversations, engage your target audience, and share helpful resources. Think about your employer brand, and brainstorm ways to highlight your people, values, and other differentiators.
To set yourself apart from the competition, create content that features your current employees. After all, if you have a great company culture, your people will be your most valuable asset. By telling employee stories, showcasing team events, and highlighting your company culture through social media content, you’ll give prospects a clear picture of what it’s like to work for your organization.
5. Track Your Performance and Measure Your Results
Just like any other marketing strategy, it’s essential to establish KPIs to measure the success of your social selling strategy. This way, you’ll be able to track your performance, measure your ROI, and tweak your strategy to attract more candidates.
Some key metrics to measure include:
- Traffic: How many people landing on your applications page were referred from social media? Ask applicants where they heard about your business to identify which platforms drive the most traffic. This way, you can focus your social media marketing efforts on the platforms that drive the best results.
- Conversions: How many applications were submitted from social referrals? By calculating how many applications were submitted from each platform, you’ll be able to calculate the ROI for your social media recruiting efforts. If you’re not meeting your KPIs, see if there’s any room for improvement in your application process.
- Engagement: Take a look at your comments, likes, and shares. Then, try A/B testing different types of posts to see which content drives the best engagement.
Meet Your Ideal Candidates Where They Already Are
Tired of wasting valuable time, money, and resources on your candidate search? You aren’t powerless to spearhead meaningful change—but you’ll need a powerful social selling strategy in place to recruit top talent and build a network of qualified candidates.
Whether you’re just getting started with social media or looking to ignite your social media strategy, we’re here to help. Schedule a discovery call to take a proactive approach to recruitment with social selling.