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Social Recruiting: Three Benefits of Engaging Employees in Your Social Media Plan

As most of you have heard, social recruitment is on the rise. It seems that leveraging social media as a tool for acquiring talented individuals appears all over our news feeds these days. Each publication puts a different spin on the same subject, yet for the most part, they all agree on the following: you need to create a social media plan prior to engaging in any social media recruitment campaigns. If not, your organization runs the risk of social media chaos, including missing your target audience, misfiring with multiple recruitment tactics, and wasting time for your organization and future job applicants, thus creating a networking nightmare.

While initially it may seem overwhelming to define something like a recruitment tweeting strategy, there’s “help” nearby. This help is well-versed in social media, well-connected to highly skilled job candidates, and well-informed on the needs of your company. So, who is this help at your fingertips? Your employees. It’s a simple extension of the old adage, “It’s not what you know, but rather who you know.” Luckily for your company, you know all of your employees. They’re easily accessible, and who better to work into your social media plan than the very people you’re already doing business with…those you know and trust?

Below are three steps to increasing your employees’ engagement in your social recruitment strategy, yielding a stronger source of candidates and ultimately a more robust talent acquisition program.

1.    Increase social media aptitude within your organization (internal focus)

In years past, the “face of the company” was traditionally seen as either the CEO or the sales staff; however, in today’s world, your company’s face is represented by your workforce via social media networks. Take the time to share your social media plan and recruitment objectives with your employees.

Employees who combine passion for their company with a firm understanding of the company’s social media plan will be better able to utilize their personal networks, publicize recruitment efforts via multiple sources, and drum up interest in your company’s job opportunities and overall goals. Empower your employees to advertise open positions via social media by providing them with posting tips and talking points.

Investing effort in transparency and social media education for your workforce will result in a better impression among job candidates as well as potential clients.

2.    Strengthen your social media brand (external focus)

Leverage your greatest assets—those employees within your organization that you know and respect—to better understand what elements of your organization are attractive to the potential talent pool. You may start with questions such as these to gain valuable insights:

  • Why do you like working for our company?
  • What enticed you to explore opportunities within our company?
  • What makes our organization different from its competitors?
  • What skills and competencies do you appreciate that we should be looking for among potential future employees?

Collect information and create a targeted, online marketing campaign, using descriptive words and phrases that entice interest and differentiate you from the competition. Publicizing job opportunities on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other external social media outlets is a great way to increase your talent pool and build customer awareness of your company. Tell the online world why working for your organization is so fantastic. And don’t forget the role your current employees can play. Solicit them to “DM” (Direct Message) their contacts who may be interested in a job, reaching out to both active and passive (those not actively searching for a job) candidates.

3.    Increase your employee referrals by leveraging social media (external and internal focus)

Move beyond traditional employee referral programs and begin leveraging your employees’ social media networks for strong referral candidates. By doing so, you are more likely to find qualified applicants that also fit well with your company’s culture. Studies indicate that compared to other recruiting tactics, an employee referral takes less time to hire and onboard, meaning your new, highly recommended staff member can join the company and begin contributing faster. According to, candidates recommended by current staff are hired 55% faster than those discovered via career sites and 34% faster than those discovered via job boards.

In addition, as one might expect, those employees hired through an employee referral program tend to stay with the company longer than those discovered through alternative sources. For example, as illustrated in the figure below, on average 47% of employees hired through referrals remain on board after three years, which is 8% greater than career site candidates and 33% greater than those sourced from job boards.

By decreasing employee turnover, your company saves time and money associated with posting, recruiting, hiring, and training new employees to fill vacant positions. Equally as important, the company will build upon its cultural foundation and create a more cohesive, experienced base of knowledge within the organization.

Benefits to Engaging Your Workforce in Your Social Media Plan

Invest the time to educate your employees about your overall social media plan, build up your social media brand through a thoughtful, targeted campaign, and enhance your employee referral program using social media tactics. The results of your efforts will yield multiple benefits, including:

  • Greater engagement and buy-in among current employees in your organization’s social media mission and objectives
  • Targeted social media recruiting campaign leading to increased company interest and awareness
  • Better-fit candidate pool from which to source employees
  • Robust employee referral program, leading to faster time to hire and longer length of employment
  • Knowledgeable, experienced, and engaged employee base
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