Pretty much every company that is present on social media uses their presence there to achieve a few things. First and foremost, they use it to share news on their company and products/services, treating social media as another marketing channel. There are also those who provide some customer support via social media or who simply build stronger connections with their customers.
One thing that not that many companies do, and they should, is doing employer marketing online; or, in other words, attracting top talent through social media.
The Growing Importance of Employer Branding
Employer branding, in the formal sense, has been around for not that long. While companies have been looking for ways to attract the top talent in their fields since forever, it wasn’t until the 1990s that it was introduced as a concept as such – promoting a company from a standpoint of an attractive employer.
In the last ten years, it has truly become a big thing in HR and business in general, for a number of reasons. First of all, there are certain fields where there is a definite shortage of talent, especially top talent. These include app development, data science and cloud computing, just to name a few. Too many companies are struggling for experts in these fields.
Also, the employees’ loyalties have undergone a dramatic shift over the last 10 years, as is discussed very comprehensively in this article from Wharton’s website. The true cost of employee turnover has also become better appreciated by the decision-makers and all together, this has led to a certain growing importance of employer branding.
Which, as we have mentioned, can also be done on social media these days.
Where To Start?
Like always, it is best to start from the top. What this means when it comes to employer branding and social media is to sit back, take a deep breath and honestly and subjectively survey the company.
There are no two companies or business that are alike. There are no two local burger joints that are the same. There are no two B2B business software development companies that are the same. Every company has its quirks, its insecurities, its good sides and its bad sides.
This will give you an insight into what kind of an image you will be sending out to your prospective new hires. For example, if your company is not exactly the pinnacle of innovation, you will probably not be comparing it to Apple. Or, if you know that your salaries could be bigger, you will probably not advertise lavish signing bonuses and salaries that make people’s eyes water.
The next step is to come up with a strategy that you will stick to, a strategy with very clearly determined goals, avenues of pursuing those goals, fail-safes in case avenues are not working out, as well as everything team-related (someone will be working on it).
Put A Friendly Face Forward
The basis of all employer marketing is that you put a friendly face forward. No one wants to work for a gloomy, ominous company with dark offices and buttoned-up bosses, even though it might actually be the best place in the world to work.
People want bright now. They want every office to look like Google’s offices. It all has to be airy, breezy, friendly. And people should wear plaid shirts. Preferably with yellow and orange colors featuring prominently.
But all joking aside, your social media presence has to be candidate-friendly. This means only jokey Tweets, cheerful photos from the breakroom and the coolest Instagram videos you can imagine. Also, don’t forget about hashtags that show off your company knows what is going on in the world.
One word of warning, and this applies to HR in general, not just employer branding, please do not overdo the fun.
Feature Your Employees. Heavily.
Perhaps even more importantly, make sure that your present employees get every chance to shine on social media.
Whenever someone does something great, make sure all of your followers know about it. If there has been a major breakthrough, create a short video that you will post on your YouTube channel. Let your employees do a separate part of your company blog where they write about their experience with the company.
The best thing is that your employees will not mind it. People like to brag about where they work and they will be happy to show they are better off than their friends. Even if you make it part of the regular employee scheduling, they will not mind saying a good thing or two about their work and their company.
This will also increase the chances of your company story reaching new people as your employees will naturally share stuff like this. Their friends and family too.
Another way to feature your employees is to ask them to share new job ads and openings on their private social media profiles. You might even encourage them to do it with some tokens of appreciation such as a day off for the person who gets in the most candidates.
Be Proud of Your Expertise
One of the things that most attracts employees today is a company where they will be able to learn and improve their own skills. In order to do so, your company will also want to paint itself as an employer where interesting things always happen and where no day is like another.
Make sure to publish interesting and expert content from time to time and also make sure to promote this on the social media. If one of your employees gets a new degree or comes up with something on their own, promote this on social media.
There is nothing that puts people off nowadays more than the prospect of working for a company where they will only be punching the clock. Make sure that your company is as far from that as possible.
Instead of a Closing Word
To wrap things up and to provide you with a few ideas from companies that have started using social media to recruit new great talent, check out this story from Cisco or this one from Microsoft. Sure, these are some really big players with insanely well-financed HR and marketing departments, but there is plenty there that any company can apply.
AUTHOR: James D. Burbank is the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog, a business-oriented blog. He is also a huge NBA fan.