Executing a social recruitment strategy is only the start

 In Social Recruiting

linkedin recruitmentIn the penultimate instalment of our 10-part story series, “Lets get serious about social recruiting,” we look at the execution phase.

Pushing the big green ‘go-live’ button on a social recruitment strategy is not the end of the process, but rather the starting point of the engagement.

A social recruitment strategy takes many months of planning and preparation before launch. There are skills gap audits to conduct, research needed into relevant channels and a content strategy to design. The HR team needs proper social media resourcing, technical integration between the the Applicant Tracking System and relevant channels, and all the content needs to be produced. The foundational elements of search engine optimisation (SEO) must be put in place, the marketing team has to give their input, all internal approvals have to be secured and, finally, the first campaign is ready for launch.

Going live, all the social media profiles are made public, automation to relevant channels is activated, and the company starts building its presence with scheduled content. Everyone celebrates as many months of work has finally come to fruition.

But, going public also means opening the floodgates of conversation. Are you ready for people’s reaction?

Social media is a two-way engagement about the employer brand, company culture and career opportunities. This requires enough resources for ongoing conversation. It could also draw off-centre comments. For example, a candidate asking, ‘do you have any learnership opportunities’, ‘what are you doing about ‘social upliftment,’ or even ‘what is your view on fair labour practices?’

Can you respond quickly and authoritatively? In a direct recruitment model, questions that might previously have been answered by a recruitment agency will now come directly at the company, for the entire world to see. It’s important that companies are ready for whatever may come at them.

HR managers should prepare for these tricky interactions in three ways:

  1. Brainstorm the most common questions the company is likely to encounter and how you are going to deal with them. If there’s a common set of queries a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page could be set up. Or, have standard responses on hand that a team member can use to respond.
  2. Decide and agree guidelines about what type of comments will be entertained. If a comment is not adding value or blatantly ‘flaming’ (Internet slang for insulting someone) should and could you delete it? Remember that Facebook gives you control over the conversation on your page to delete destructive comments, but that on Twitter you can’t…
  3. Make sure you monitor the conversation so you don’t have two weeks passing before spotting a potential problem. This can be tough because the Web is such a massive ecosystem. Automating the monitoring of discussions with online Reputation Management Software can make this much easier.

Once a social recruitment strategy has been launched there’s no turning back without causing damage to the brand. Social media’s capacity to touch the broader business with negative sentiment even impacting the bottom line is one reason why many companies still prefer to steer clear of this space.

A social recruitment strategy is a carefully considered, preplanned effort and not something that can’t just be done overnight. Execution is the moment of truth when all eyeballs will be on the HR team – from the public to internal stakeholders, all closely watching the process.

But, social also has the power to transform traditional recruitment practices. With proper planning and preparation and a solid strategy on how to manage ongoing engagement, there is nothing to fear.

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