PR Week Jobs’ Recruitment Expert, Lindsey Westley, shares her tips to successful social media recruitment, the keys to effective branding and the challenges PR recruiters are facing in the industry.
Are there any new methods of recruiting that you are seeing take form in the industry?
Social media has become an integral and ongoing part of the hiring process and it is fast developing as a very effective recruitment strategy.
What methods of recruiting via social media do you believe are most effective?
You should focus on having an ongoing conversation with candidates. It will help tie your company's brand and engagement strategy together with your recruitment process.
Social Media facilitates the opportunity for new hires to interact and engage with your brand early on, encouraging them to immerse themselves in your company ethos and brand values.
Just remember that a large amount of time and resources have to be put into creating, establishing and maintaining a continuous and healthy social presence.
Why do you think social media is becoming such a popular recruitment method?
It allows companies to engage with candidates directly and its more cost effective than traditional recruitment methods. Social media has a large and ever expanding reach. If your ideal candidate has missed your original post, it might still find its way to them through their own network sharing.
Candidates especially the millennials and the upcoming Generation Z will expect employers to use social media effectively as part of the recruitment process.
Is there any advice you would offer to recruiters looking to utilise social media as a recruitment tool?
Each social media platform has its own sets of dos and don'ts so you need to make your message appropriate for the platform you are using.
"Think about your audience, how do they currently interact with your brand and how do they interact with each other in your industry. This will help you define which platforms to focus on and they might not be the most well known."
You will also need to think about your tone, the tone you adopt on social media should be an extension of your company culture.
Ultimately, you are trying to build a relationship and an ongoing conversation with your audience, so you will need to think about your content. Your content should be engaging showcase your industry knowledge and create a holistic view of your company, encompassing company culture, ethos, vision. Be consistent, post/ update your social media regularly and crucially make sure you reply to posts promptly. Conversations are not a one-way process.
How important is branding when recruiting?
Branding is essential in the recruitment process. It can be one of the defining factors that can push a candidate to choose your vacancy over your competitor’s. Sometimes companies are not aware of their reputation or simply chose to ignore a negative one.
Check your online presence. Glassdoor, where candidates can see how your current and previous employees rate you as an employer can have an impact on whether a candidate chooses to work for you or not.
Candidates are able to locate so much information on employers, that just having a website is no longer enough. Which is why a multiplatform and ongoing branding approach is beneficial. Personally engage candidates through social media, advertorials, content marketing, round tables or events such as PR360 - creative solutions like these help to maintain potential candidate interest.
What challenges do you think recruiters are facing in the PR industry?
The industry is also facing a candidate shortage within mid-level positions. The recession forced companies to streamline the number of staff and reduce internships/ entry level roles.