CONNECTIONS

An Edelman perspective on making meaningful
employee connections that deepen engagement,
build trust and accelerate business performance.

NOVEMBER 2014

RECRUITING GOES SOCIAL:
SIX STEPS FOR ATTRACTING TOP TALENT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
B Y A M Y K O T, V I CE P RE SI DE N T, E M PL O YE E E N GA GE ME N T

Forbes predicted 2014 would be the “Year of the Employee”, with sourcing and recruiting
talent becoming a top priority for organizations worldwide for the first time in a decade.
This turned out to be an accurate forecast: As the year comes to an end, employers are once
again competing for qualified candidates—but the playing field in the war for talent looks a
lot different than it did 10 years ago.
94% of recruiters use or plan to
Gone are the days of generic postings on job
use social media in their recruitment
boards. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn
efforts1 and nearly 80% have made a
and Twitter are now the second greatest source
hire using it2
of hires for companies (just behind employee
Aberdeen Group
referrals), ranking for the first time above
Jobvite Social Media Recruiting Survey
company career pages and job boards.
Inside information on salary structures, work-life
balance, promotion processes and workplace culture are now readily available online.
1
2

Savvy recruiters are increasingly taking a page from their marketing counterparts to attract
candidates by building their own online talent pools and taking a personalized, microtargeted approach to identify, screen and evaluate potential hires via social channels.
While operating in today’s highly transparent and dynamic online environment poses
challenges and risks, here are six key steps to maximizing your social recruiting presence.
1.) DEFINE YOUR SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT APPROACH
Start by understanding your organization’s philosophy on social media. How will you address
negative comments? What level of monitoring and engagement can you commit to? Will you
take proactive steps to encourage positive advocacy? While operating in the social sphere
means giving up control, you can influence and improve your social presence by creating
reasons, opportunities and “key moments” for your employees to provide positive comments
and feedback, such as:



Inviting new hires to rate and comment on your interview and onboarding process.
Encouraging newly promoted employees to share the news via their social networks.
Congratulating employees celebrating work anniversaries and inviting them to share
their experiences.

2.) MEET YOUR AUDIENCES WHERE THEY ARE
Are you trying to attract recent college graduates or
experienced executives? Marketers or project
managers? It’s critical to think about the types of
positions you’re looking to fill, and tailor your social
media recruiting strategy accordingly. Focus on
forums where your candidates already engage and give them a reason to interact with you.
Participate in relevant LinkedIn group discussions and share practical, industry-specific
thought leadership and content that appeals to your audience’s professional interests.
3.) PROMOTE YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND
As employees’ experiences with your organization become increasingly more transparent to
the outside world, your employer brand is more important than ever before. Consistently and
proactively highlight your employee value proposition—the experience your employees can
expect in return for their contributions and commitment—and what makes your company a
great place to work. This could include a unique culture and values, inspirational or
prominent leaders, a strong commitment to social causes, interesting office space or other
memorable perks. If you haven’t yet formalized what makes your company special as an
employer, now is the time to do so, in partnership with HR, communications, marketing and
business leadership.
4.) KEEP IT FRESH
Staying engaged (and engaging) is key to effective social recruiting. This means regularly
refreshing your content, calls to action and creative elements, just as consumer marketers
do. Think about making your recruiting materials snackable and visual, perhaps replacing
detailed job descriptions with infographics, or conveying the benefits of working for your
organization with lists (“top 10 reasons to work here”) or short-form videos. Don’t just post
or tweet out jobs. Be sure to also provide value-added content to give potential candidates a
reason to follow you.
5.) ACTIVATE YOUR EMPLOYEES
The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that employees are the most trusted sources of
information about a company’s work experience. Tap into that credibility and empower your
people to become your strongest advocates in small ways, such as following company pages

and liking, sharing and commenting on your content. Many organizations encourage
employees to share job openings with their social networks, and some even incentivize
doing so via an employee referral bonus program.
6.) KNOW YOUR CHANNELS
Finally, it’s important to understand the social
recruiting tools and channels available and
leverage the unique strengths of each. Here are
four of the most popular:

76% of social job seekers found their
current position through Facebook,
but recruiters prefer LinkedIn when
searching for candidates.
–Jobvite Job Seeker Study 2014

LinkedIn
The world’s largest platform for professional networking is an obvious place to start. The
network’s global reach (it’s among the top 25 sites in the world) and extreme targeting
allows employers to share specific, tailored content to target candidates by location, current
employer, job function, years of experience and more. Plus, no other channel makes it easier
to tap into current and past employees’ professional networks to source potential
candidates.
Twitter
Twitter’s audience is huge and highly engaged, with nearly 300 million users sending more
than 500 million tweets daily. Thus, a primary goal in recruiting via Twitter should be building
and engaging with a community of followers who represent the kind of talent you are looking
for. Once you’ve created a community of engaged talent, it’s easier to get your message out
to them—and identify those who would be a good fit for open positions.
Glassdoor
While employees use LinkedIn to check out individuals’ resumes, Glassdoor is where they go
for the resume of a potential employer, including ratings and candid employee reviews on
everything from organizational culture to interview questions and compensation. As the
largest company search site, Glassdoor boasts 450,000 company pages, and 2,000
organizations use the site’s branding and job tools, which help market your company as a
great place to work.
Facebook
The world’s largest social network is by far the place job candidates spend the most time –
so use it! Facebook doesn’t limit content length and provides greater freedom of expression
than Twitter and free analytics offer detailed insights on the effectiveness of your content.
As with LinkedIn, Facebook allows employers to publish highly targeted job postings with

added social context — friends can see when
employees “like” a company or a post, and
employees can easily share company content
and job openings with their network.
Social media offers employers a suite of new
tools for competing in this decade’s war for
talent. As part of a comprehensive recruiting
strategy, social media can help you reach and
engage with the talent your organization needs
most.

Recruiting with Facebook
Many companies create specific recruiting
pages separate from their overall brand
page to share content geared for
prospective employees.
Job advertisements that run as “dark
posts” or unpublished page posts don’t
appear as organic posts on the company’s
Facebook page. This is a great way to craft
recruiting content that represents a
company’s brand without interfering with
the experience of the corporate page.

ABOUT US
Edelman Employee Engagement helps organizations accelerate business performance,
delivered by highly engaged and trusted employees. We do this by making meaningful, trustbuilding connections—connecting employees with the company, connecting employees with
each other, and connecting employees with the outside world. We have a global network of
employee engagement specialists who can develop engagement strategy; deploy the tools
and processes to deliver it; create the multimedia channels and content that support it; and
design the insight mechanisms to measure it. For more information, visit us at
ee.edelman.com or follow us on Twitter at @EdelmanEE.

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