Social media recruiting strategy: Your execution framework
Posted by: Joel Capperella
Each week, more and more clients are asking us to provide them with a social media recruiting strategy. Two factors are driving this increase. First, it is difficult and almost unnatural for organizations to develop a social media recruiting strategy that looks beyond simply sourcing candidates for talent needs. Secondly, even if organizations are successful in building a social media recruiting strategy (read “5 steps to creating a social media recruiting strategy” for advice on how to do this), finding the right person or persons to execute the strategy has become more difficult. It is not necessarily challenging to find a seasoned recruiting professional who understands passive candidate marketplace development, but it is difficult to find an individual who has also mastered today’s digital and social communication platforms.
This dilemma is all too familiar. So, for the clients that have turned to us for help, we structure the tactics that are necessary to execute a social media recruiting strategy. This framework will identify how to create the infrastructure needed to leverage the social web to build greater access to qualified talent. If the infrastructure is well defined, it is easier to bring on an individual who is social media-savvy but who might not have much recruiting experience. This individual will be given the support they need to successfully create an engaged talent community. More importantly, he or she can be solely responsible for supporting the entire recruiting infrastructure of the organization.
Here is the social media recruiting strategy execution framework.
Employment narrative. Assuming that the employment brand is well defined, the employment narrative is essential for the execution of a social media recruiting strategy. The narrative is a story about the entire cycle of potential and actual employment with your company. Social media recruiting is a conversation, and a good story gets the conversation going. The chapters of the employment narrative should cover the following:
- General assessment and shared goals of the targeted talent community at large
- Active candidates
- Passive candidates
- Employee on-boarding
- Employee orientation
- Succession planning
- Employee alumni
Social Content Development and Management (CDM). The employment narrative must provide a content plan for prioritized outreach to the targeted candidate marketplace and talent community. Content is the only tool that can be used to engage active candidates, passive candidates, current employees, and employee alumni. Without content, engagement, and talent, communities will not exist. Here are a few possible categories to include in your content plan:
- Monthly content topics shared across identified platforms (for example, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook)
- Content themes that guide internal employees to share content across their individual social media networks
- Long-form content creation for more detailed outreach to the identified talent community
- Content variety, such as presentations, videos, and polls
- Response contingency plans that identify the appropriate response to be used in specific scenarios. For example, how to respond to direct praise, negative feedback, brandjacking, positive ancillary story arcs, or negative ancillary story arcs
Talent community development. Leveraging the employment narrative and social CDM plan, organizations should build and engage a broad community of individuals that accurately represents the talent it typically requires. This talent community is characterized by shared skilled sets, interests, and attributes that positively reflect the client’s employment culture. The community exists not to directly source candidates, but to curate like-minded and skilled individuals who positively affect the skill set development. There are three necessary steps to build and maintain the talent community:
- Increase membership. Develop content to increase membership of active and passive talent communities.
- Monitor social media. Actively listen to the social media conversation across multiple platforms to identify the threads that align with the employment narrative and attributes of the identified talent community.
- Prioritize platforms. Rank social media platforms to direct effort, content distribution, and engagement activity.
Candidate marketing. A social media recruiting strategy must prioritize efforts that exist beyond standard processes, such as job board tactics. Typically, candidate marketing falls into one of three categories:
- Talent community nurturing. This refers to periodic communications that focus on the quarterly theme and encourage participation.
- Passive candidate nurturing. Recruiter-identified candidates are invited into the talent community via social platforms or direct email outreach.
- Active candidate nurturing. Though a defined process, candidates are actively engaged during the sourcing cycle.
Notice that we have not taken a deep dive into the tools you need to carry out this strategy. This is not to suggest that the tools themselves are unimportant. Rather, it underscores the importance of having a tactical framework in place to ensure successful execution of a social media recruiting strategy.
We’ll identify the tools you need to use in the future. For now, we ask two things. First, please provide us some feedback on the framework. It is such a new area and the more conversation we have about it, the better. Second, check back with us frequently for more detailed tips on how to execute this social media recruiting strategy framework.