As today's tight talent market challenges business to maintain staffing levels, talent acquisition professionals are looking for the best ways to optimize the recruitment strategies they already have. Social media remains a valued recruitment tool, and improving efforts on platforms like LinkedIn can put an employer ahead of the game.
Businesses have to reach people where they spend their time and that means developing recruiting strategies for reaching potential candidates on social media, LinkedIn Group Product Manager Jared Goralnick told HR Dive in an email — and that particularly includes LinkedIn.
But with unemployment at an all time low, companies need to go above and beyond just posting a job description, Marci Tsiribas, talent acquisition manager at Walker Sands, told HR Dive in an email: "They need to be able to sell their different culture and benefits, but do so beyond just having [pingpong] tables and a cool office space." Social media can be especially useful in such a competitive market, she added, in which everyone has those pingpong tables and that cool office. "The question companies need to ask is: how do you differentiate beyond that?"
1. Beef up your branding page
To put your company at an advantage over the thousands of recruiters online, Goralnick suggested putting effort into your brand presence online, particularly on any social media profiles. A great brand makes it easier for recruiters to do their jobs — and a bad brand can make a company "[not] worth considering," Goralnick said. With this in mind, he suggested using the LinkedIn Company Page to share stories and visuals that give candidates a deeper understanding of what it's actually like to work with your team.
"It's a great place to reveal your culture and mission — and your next great hire is paying attention," he said.
2. Nail down those job descriptions
Tell candidates what they want to know in the job description. LinkedIn's recent heat map study revealed that job seekers care about day-to-day details of the job, along with compensation and qualifications the most. Above all, job seekers want to know what's expected of them and how success will be measured.
"And be sure to pay attention to your language choice, as you may be inadvertently discouraging certain candidates from applying," Goralnick added.
3. Position the company on the platform
In terms of reaching out, being as personalized as possible is the best way to go, Tsiribas said; definitely avoid general InMails. "Less InMail is more — it's way more effective to reach out to few quality applicants versus casting a wide net," she said.
The most advantageous thing a company can do is implement (and advertise) benefits that actually matter to the overall well-being of employees, Tsiribas added; "This also means using LinkedIn as a social media platform in the most transparent way possible, giving potential recruits the clearest vision of what they would be getting into. Once those recruits are in the organization, companies are actually keeping them and making sure they're doing all of these things they said."
And that includes diversity and inclusion initiatives, she noted.
4. Search is a recruiter's friend
Recruiters should optimize their search capabilities, Goralnick said: "Be sure to use insights from LinkedIn data in your searches, utilize search filters that will make your search more efficient, and even add screening questions in your job posts to narrow your talent pool when creating your list of qualified candidates." This will help ensure a recruiter is focusing on candidates who not only can do the job, but are likely to be interested in the position.
For Tsiribas, LinkedIn is a key source to both build a company's brand and sniff out competitor brands. She suggested using it as a tool to learn about the market and how a company can determine its value proposition in that market. "I always create a heat map of direct competitors and look at their talent pool, then figure out where I want to go from there and who we want to target," Tsiribas said.
Without brand awareness, however, no one will apply to a company's open positions, she added. To start, recruiters can target prospects and source appropriately depending on what they notice in the market.
5. Be a human being
When recruiters reach out, encourage them to write messages that actually sound like people.
"Be sure to personalize your messages to show candidates you've reviewed their background and understand the types of roles they'd be interested in," Goralnick said. "Adding personal touch points to your outreach can increase response rates by 10%." A solid subject line, a reference to the candidate's listed skills, a succinct message (100 words or less, Goralnick suggested) and the ability to "highlight common connections" in people networks all can help recruiting messages land.
Tsiribas agreed that the personal touch is needed. "We're all humans at the end of the day. We should always be as down to earth and understanding as possible. Everyone's either trying to change jobs, or may have been laid off and is now being forced to seek new opportunities, so being understanding of all the possible circumstances is a great way to make connections and build relationships."