HR and Social Media: From Maybe to Must Have

If you want top talent for your municipality, it’s no longer a question of “if”, but “how and when” you implement a social...

Friday December 16, 2016

If you want top talent for your municipality, it’s no longer a question of “if”, but “how and when” you implement a social media plan as part of your integrated online communications and recruitment strategy.

According to a national HR consulting firm, “We have found that with the rise of social media, talent— particularly top performers—are continuously searching for new positions.”

Who’s where?
Let’s begin with a better understanding of where prospective employees learn about your organization.

Millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, represent 30% of the Canadian population and will soon make up 75% of the workforce. They are the heaviest users of social media at 75%, according to research firm Environics.

Gen Z, born between 1996 and 2010, has grown up with smartphones almost surgically attached to their hands. Their favourite communication tools are apps and they are less inclined to share details of their private lives, reports Forbes magazine.

And again according to Environics, 24% of Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, use social media sites; a number that is growing substantially as parents and grandparents move online to stay connected with their children.

The good news is that your traditional advertising strategy – local newspaper advertisement, and websites postings – continues to play a vital role. According to a Financial Post report, 70% of Canadians are still reading newspapers, and 70% of those aged 18 to 34 are reading newspapers, too – but doing so online. Facebook and LinkedIn have already begun commercializing this trend, working with media outlets to syndicate content to their social networks.

What can I do to make the most of it?
The following steps can help get you started as you build a social media plan within your integrated communications and recruitment strategy.

  1. Consider a multi-channel recruiting strategy. Social media channels and online recruiting sites provide the opportunity for very targeted promotion at reasonable rates. You can pick the geography, age group, experience and interests of your best potential candidates and only communicate with them. And digital channels mean you can see real time results and quickly adjust your postings to make the most of your advertising dollars.

  2. Engage your supporters. Referrals are the number one source for success in recruiting and according to LinkedIn research, cuts the average hiring cycle to 29 days from 55 days. Posting on your website, with pertinent points and an image posted to social media, helps employees share the information with their personal or professional circles. It also delivers your message to any followers instantly.

  3. Always give prospects a home. Your website must deliver current and relevant content, easy to find, and telling your unique story. And a very clear call to action for potential recruits. Every social media post (or shareable message for communication apps like Snapchat or Facebook’s WhatsApp or Messenger) should link to your website for more information. It helps provide that next level of information, rounds out your story, and makes it easier for you to report on the interest and impact your social media efforts generate. Current and unique content also gives your Google Search results a boost as well.

  4. Be prepared. Proactively developing your own social media policies and guidelines, helps equip your employees to tell your story in an appropriate manner. Monitoring your social media sites and promptly responding to queries, complaints, or comments helps you better connect with your community and protect your organization’s brand.

Social media, as part of your online communications and recruitment strategy, is about connecting your organization and positions posted with those that are best suited – and interested – in making the move to work with you. We know top performers are looking at you online and through social media. Isn’t it time to look back?

Looking to move your recruiting process online?

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