A social strategy is a powerful way for recruiters to build a successful team and business. If you are a recruiter, and you are reading this on LinkedIn, then odds are you are already in engaging in using social media in your recruitment process.
BUT there are 4 pillars to a successful social strategy for an agency, and chances are that right now you might not be executing across all of the 4 pillars. Let’s take a look..
- Listening – Social listening involves regularly monitoring and responding to customer service and potential reputation management issues that are occurring on social media.
- Engagement – Engagement on social media has two things to consider – Influencer Engagement and Audience Engagement. Influencer engagement is finding the high profile leaders in your industry and building a relationship with them (enhancing your own brand and reach.) Audience engagement is actively helping your audience with questions and queries in online forums.
- Influencing – This is the process of creating preference, credibility, and authority with your target audience. This is often through a well executed content marketing strategy which we will look at below.
- Social Selling – Generating leads and sales from prospects and existing customers leveraging social media. This is the more one-to-one activity you might be engaging like sending an InMail to that Finance Director on LinkedIn that has just changed roles and offering to help with any additional resources they might need for their team.
When thinking about your own recruitment and branding activities, these are the 4 core areas that a recruitment agency needs to be considering. Often an agency might be focusing in one area (often social selling) while not executing on the other pillars eg. failing to consider listening to their audience, creating industry authority, and building relationships with thought leaders and influencers.
Let’s take a look at each of these 4 pillars to a successful strategy and why they matter:-
Social listening allows for better reputation management, and when you are listening to what your audience needs and wants you will often identify better strategies for business growth and both client and candidate retention. This might include searching your recruitment agency’s name on Facebook, or paying attention to Twitter hashtags within your industry.
Engagement can create a competitive advantage for an agency, through both influencer engagement and audience engagement.
Influencer engagement involves finding the high profile thought leaders in your industry and fostering a relationship with them. Initially that might include referencing their articles in your own, sharing their content, etc. As a relationship progresses you may even be in a position to create some content with them together.
To give a hypothetical example specific to the Australian recruitment industry and specifically a rec2rec agency, this process might begin with following, liking, commenting, and sharing the work of thought leaders like Greg Savage or Ross Clennett. Once some level of relationship has been established, then perhaps in the future asking the influencer if they might like to do an article/interview on an industry topic that you can share with your own r2r audience (Please don’t all rush and ask them both today saying I said it was a good idea!)
Audience engagement might mean finding a forum, discussion thread, group, etc. where people are asking questions about the recruitment process for their industry and jumping in to offer your advice and help solve their problems in the places they are seeking information across the web. This audience engagement focus really helps you interact and promote your business at a grass roots level with your audience.
Social Influencing often means a structured content marketing strategy. Don’t just tell them you are an expert – prove it.
Through providing regular information that informs, entertains, and solves for your audience you are placing yourself as their first choice when they need to be working with a recruiter. This might include blogs, graphs, statistics, interviews, podcasts, webinars, whitepapers, Youtube clips, etc. (Please: No weird maths equations.)
Leveraging content marketing for influencing means you are establishing trust, credibility, and preference with your audience. Clients and candidates both prefer to work with recruiters that know their industry and a content marketing strategy is a powerful way to establish this authority.
Lastly, social selling is where the strategy comes together – and for a recruiter thats asking clients and candidates about jobs. It’s pretty straightforward on how to find and attempt to engage with someone via a social media platform – it’s an InMail, a job post, a leveraged introduction, or similar.
Here is the important point of considering the entire 4 pillar strategy – your success in social selling is often dependant on how well you have already listened, influenced, and engaged with your audience before you start the selling.
Recruitment is a much easier process when people already know who you are and actively want to work with you.