How Social Recruiting Can Find You the Best Talent

on March 24, 2016

How Social Recruiting Can Find You the Best Talent

To ensure the continued success of your B2B company, you’ll need a system in place for recruiting stellar employees. And looking forward, a key component of such a system will probably be your social media presence.

More and more B2B companies smartly leverage their social presence to find highly-qualified job candidates. In an environment where the fight to win over active job seekers is fiercely competitive, and 75% of the employed workforce, consider themselves to be “passive” candidates who will only jump on the perfect opportunity, it’s even more important to be where potential employees can see you. That often means getting their attention through their LinkedIn and Twitter feeds, drawing them into social “talent communities” to create valuable interactions, and optimizing the hiring experience for everyone involved, from start to finish.

Here’s how B2B hiring managers and recruiters can leverage social platforms to find the best candidates for any open job.

Define Ideal Candidates and How You’ll Get Their Attention

In B2B social media marketing, you reach customers by first figuring out who they are and what they want. Then you craft social content and build communities that appeal to their needs and tastes.

Smart B2B social recruiting is no different.

Just as you might use buyer personas and psychographics to identify the real-world and digital habits of prospective customers, a strong B2B hiring team will conduct talent segmentation in order to define the desired qualities of ideal candidates, and what those individuals do as they live their professional lives, both online and off.

Things to consider when segmenting your talent pool include current or most-recent job position, industry, education, and skills, as well as their online habits: the type of web content consumed and favorite social networks. Segmenting might also go beyond specified experience requirements for certain jobs, and be flexible enough to consider the right type of personality. For example, your software company might require 4-6 years of relevant experience for a new project manager, but a passive candidate who’s a highly praised data analyst in a tangential industry, and whose LinkedIn job history and endorsements suggest a propensity for determination and great people skills, might just be the person you need.

Here are some more-specific ways you can begin to narrow down ideal talent:

If you define ideal candidate characteristics beyond the on-paper job requirements, build a streamlined experience for job applicants, and expand your hiring team to include “everyone,” you’ll great footing to source the best talent, whether active or passive.

Candidate Sourcing, Vetting and Hiring: An Individualized, Organic Process

Once you’ve identified what the best candidates for each department will look like, it’s time to go after them.

A comprehensive social recruitment strategy should engage a mix of active and passive candidates at all times, but to get the most out of your efforts, think of short- and long-term company needs. Is there an upcoming vacancy that needs to be filled within a few weeks? If so—and you don’t have a highly-structured recruitment plan already in place—you might shift focus towards engaging active candidates. However, if revenues and company vision are expanding, with many potential hires happening in the next year, you’ll want to build your recruitment strategy now to attract the best-and-brightest “passive” minds steadily over time.

When seeking top-notch individuals to bring into the fold, especially when they’re not intentionally in the job market, consider the wisdom of the old adage: “If you build it, they will come.” While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, having a recruitment framework in place is essential for successfully engaging passive candidates:

If you’re constantly serving up content that keeps key individuals in the pipeline interested and involved, you’ll maximize the chances that some will become valuable employees. For example, interesting video content—showing off your physical office space, displaying friendly employee banter as staff are hard at work on an interesting project, or even a glowing customer testimonial that spotlights employee contributions—are sure to engage. Invite participants to webinars where digital face-to-face interactions can give both employer and candidate a sense of fitness and job-relevant knowledge. Every now and then, present calls-to-action for relevant job openings and phone or Skype calls with the core hiring team. You’ll want to integrate your social media management with your CRM to keep track of all touchpoints, both inside and outside your social media presence.

While passive candidates can be drawn into a well-marketed talent community and a highly customized user experience, you might take a more direct approach with active candidates. With 79% of job candidates generally, and 86% in the first 10 years of their careers, being likely to use social media in their job search, reaching them via social is a matter of placing job offers and opportunities within their easy reach. You can:

Finally, keep in mind that there isn’t one formula for successful recruitment. It all depends on the size, mission and current and future needs of your company.

Review your social recruitment KPIs

After a few months of a fully-implemented social recruitment strategy, you’ll know whether it’s working or it needs work. There are many potential metrics to track from the beginning to the end of the hiring process, but broadly, there are a few KPIs specific to social recruitment that you’ll want to watch out for and optimize:

Keeping an eye on your social media analytics and other objective results will help you optimize your social recruitment for maximum efficiency. For example, if there’s a high cost per hire and relatively low engagement, you might revisit your content or hire a content creation agency for engagements that will better “convert” prospects to successful job applicants.

Social: A New Trend in B2B Recruitment

Social might have yet to catch steam among “traditional” recruitment sources such as job boards and referrals, but with the growing prominence of social media in B2B, it’s essential to lead in integrating your social presence with recruitment efforts to create an organic whole. By adding social depth to your talent acquisition protocol, bringing the most capable professionals into your company will only get easier.