Right now, it’s definitely a candidate market. So how do you use social media to build a strong and engaging employer brand?
Recruitment is a hot topic right now, it’s the toughest employment market we’ve faced in 10 years. In these conditions, your employer branding can make all the difference in attracting candidates. So how do you determine your employer brand? And how can you use social media to reach candidates?
‘your employer branding can make all the difference in attracting candidates’
It’s a tough employment market
Seek.com.au do a monthly report on job ads, and in June 2022 job ads remain over 50% higher than they were in June 2019. They’re using that timeframe, because it’s pre-pandemic and it’s the best way to compare the market over the last couple of years.
On top of that, applications per job ad fell for the fifth consecutive month. So right now there are 50% more jobs, and less applicants.
‘Right now, there are 50% more jobs, and less applicants’
Recently I was talking with Nathan Soti, who runs Ethos 360 Recruitment, on my other podcast, the Make It Work podcast. He said that over the last 10 years, the highest number of job ads on seek was 200,000. There are currently over 300,000 jobs advertised on Seek. It’s clear there is a lot of competition out there.
So what do we do? Firstly, we can’t just rely on job boards, we need to start using other options like social media. And if we want to build a sustainable process over time to attract candidates, we have to focus on our employer brand.
So the first question to ask is: where do our ideal candidates hang out? Maybe that’s Facebook or Instagram. It could be TikTok, it could be Discord, it could be Reddit. It’s really important to start by asking, where would these candidates actually be? Where do they spend their leisure time?
Because that’s the place that you want to be able to put some social media presence. And we want to put into our social calendar posts that attract people as employees, and not just as customers.
Next, you need to determine what your employer brand is. I’ve looked at this area before, in my post Make an Employment Offer They Can’t Refuse, I discussed employer branding and in another post I discussed how Recruitment is More Marketing than HR. So check those out for more information.
But here are two very quick ways to get some information around your employer brand — talk to your staff, and record yourself.
‘here are two very quick ways to get some information around your employer brand’
Talk to Staff
Have a conversation with you staff. Ask them
- Why did you apply for the job here?
- Why did you start working here?
- Why are you still here?
The answers to those questions will give you some keywords and themes that you may not have thought about before.
You can also record yourself. What do I mean by that? When you are interviewing candidates, there are probably things that you’re saying to describe your business, and you may not have captured these before.
So record yourself saying those things, maybe you can have someone interview you, so it comes across more naturally. Look at the transcript of that recording and ask:
- What are the keywords I’m using?
- What are the things that are coming through as themes?
- Do they match what the employees are saying?
An employer recently told me that the reason why they’re a great company to work for is because that their employees don’t have linear career paths, it’s all very zigzag. If someone starts in one place, and they want to go and learn something in a different area, they’ve got a way for employees to do that.
This is awesome, but it wasn’t mentioned at all on their website or in any of their job ads. So the organisation was missing a huge opportunity. Although they did talk about this with candidates, they needed to get the candidates in first, in a tough employment market.
So it’s really important to think about those things that you do differently, what makes your workplace a really good place to work. These are the things that you want to talk about in your social media.
Candidates are going to be looking at your marketing, and they’ll ask themselves:
- Does this inspire me?
- Does it make me want to work for the organisation?
- Does it give me a sense of pride, the idea that I could work there?
Once you know the types of things you want to talk about, and the avenues you’re going to use in social media, the next thing is to look at the type of content.
People have told me they’re a bit nervous about this, because they’re concerned that their customers will think, ‘Oh, geez, they’re so desperate, they keep looking for people.’ That’s why you’ve got to do this properly. Just posting out job ads all the time can create a sense of desperation. It’s so important to focus on the employer brand, rather than the job ads.
The employer brand is a good news story. If you’re putting out messages like ‘we are a fun workplace’, ‘we’re a kind workplace’, ‘we’re a trusting workplace’, whatever it might be, that’s going to attract your customers as well. And these messages can take many different forms.
If you have long-term employees, or employees that are super motivated, or people that have been promoted through the organisation, ask them if they’d be willing to do a video testimonial.
You could have them interviewed by someone and then edit that video to get some snippets, or you could ask them to talk to the camera (though accept that not everyone is going to be comfortable doing that). Find the people who have some good things to say, and make some little videos.
Take photos and videos at different events, for example:
- if you’re having a social get together
- if you’re taking your team to a conference
- if you’re just getting together for Friday night drinks
It could be lots of different things, but take the opportunity to think, we need to take some photos while we’re doing this. Of course, if you’re taking photos of your staff, you should be getting their permission to post on social media before you do so.
Of course you still need to put your job ads out there. You want a mix of of content, the same as you would in marketing your business products and services. Rather than just advertising a sale, develop a mixture of things to market your business, and job ads are no different. You still want to put them out there, but you do this in the mix of everything else.
Get some quotes that may or may not have someone’s name attached to them, or may just have a first name. Like the video testimonials, these are about their experience working for you. You could take these from:
- your employee surveys
- your first impressions surveys
- your engagement surveys
- requests for people to submit some quotes.
And you can use these in your social media tiles.
Staff Survey Highlights
Speaking of staff surveys, why not spread the news about the highlights? For example “we did a survey and 92% of people said X or, 85% of people agreed with Y.”
These results show that not only do you have some great stuff happening at your workplace but also that you accept that 100% of people are ever going to agree. It gives you an element of authenticity and vulnerability.
You’re not going to do this for every area of the survey, but say you get a result that shows 90% of employees agree that you do a great job of development planning, then, that is something to talk about.
‘Day in the life’ Interviews
Interview different staff members, particularly if you are recruiting for certain types of jobs. It’s a good idea to do an interview for a ‘day in the life’ because you can use these on your socials and also on your website to show the type of role you’re recruiting for.
Those keywords that come through from yourself and your staff are incredibly important. For example, if kindness in your workplace is frequently mentioned, do a post around why this is so important to you in your workplace
If people are getting promoted into a new role, remember to shout that out on socials, and not just internally.
This is another area where you’ll need the permission of your employees. But if someone is having a new baby or getting married, post a shout-out. There are lots of different life events that you could talk about and it all goes to humanising your workplace, and showing the type of organisation that you are.
Review Your Socials
Have a look at your social media presence at the moment and ask yourself, ‘if I was a candidate, would it be clear to me what type of employer we are?’ Have a look at where you can add content in your recruitment ads and where you can improve your employer branding. You may just start off small and build it up over time. And once you do that, you also need a process to capture the candidates and to nurture them.
You can use software to do this or you could just use a simple process of having a careers email address. If people email in, put them into a separate audience within your CRM and send an email out to those people every month or three months, depending on how often your recruitment activities are happening. Keep in touch with them, or to let them know ‘hey, these are the job ads that we have at the moment’.