The days when companies could ignore social media are over. Most businesses embrace social media and are turning to social recruiting for its efficiencies in evaluating job candidates more comprehensively than traditional recruiting methods. Today, an overwhelming majority of job seekers have Facebook pages, and nearly half have used Facebook specifically for job hunting. Meanwhile, the number of mobile job applications coming from LinkedIn is in the tens of thousands every day.
Furthermore, your company's existing employees can be central to social recruiting success. Company advocacy by employees on social media gives your company a human face, making it more trustworthy and helping it reach more people - including coveted passive job seekers. When employees who genuinely support your brand engage in social media advocacy on your company's behalf, they speak to people in a way that no corporate message can. But setting yourself up for social recruiting success with employee advocacy requires planning.
One indirect form of employee advocacy through social media is simply showcasing your star employees on your social media accounts. By showing that your head of engineering is a real person who works hard and is enthusiastic about your brand, you engage with people who follow your company on social media, piquing interest and making people consider what it would be like to work there. In fact, if you're thinking of pursuing employee advocacy as part of your social recruiting strategy, this is a fine place to start. But there is more to it.
Official company social media posts are good for providing information about opportunities, competitive pay and benefits, and what your company is all about. These posts, when they're not overdone, can be important to your social media (and social recruiting) strategy. But when an employee speaks for themself on social media about why it's so great to work for your company, it engages people more deeply, because it's about a real person and not a faceless entity. People encountering these posts feel as if they're getting an inside look at your organisation rather than only seeing the filtered, edited, "official" company line.
Naturally, there are risks of unfettered employee posting on company social media accounts. A disgruntled employee could cause considerable damage, for example. That's why any employee advocacy strategy should start with written participation guidelines, including policies on posters identifying themselves, not posting copyrighted content, and not disclosing proprietary information. Planning for employee advocacy should also include definition of metrics such as increases in number of company social connections, social reach, and lead generation for job candidates.
Some companies find success with employee advocacy by defining a handful of social media roles that people can take on, such as "listener," "conversationalist," and "promoter," allowing individual employees to engage in ways that fit their individual styles. And some go so far as to appoint social coaches to help employee advocates make the biggest impact.
On January 14, 2015, Facebook announced new apps for iOS and Android called "Facebook at Work," also available through the regular Facebook website. It allows businesses to create their own "mini-Facebooks" amongst employees. The idea is to allow employees to interact with each other using the Facebook interface they're used to. Facebook believes the new product can benefit companies that have tried other collaboration networks that employees haven't bothered to learn to use. Everyone already knows how to use Facebook.
Theoretically, companies could use this product as a source of content that could be shared on the company's public Facebook account. Say a supervisor congratulates an employee on a particularly important work accomplishment. The company could post this as part of an employee advocacy push on its public Facebook account, although it's advisable to get permission from the people it concerns first. It's still too early to tell how beneficial Facebook at Work might be in terms of employee advocacy, but it's worth watching.
When people look for jobs, they want to know about things like pay, benefits, and hours, but they also want answers about what it's like to work for a company to which they're considering applying. Employee advocacy as part of a social recruiting strategy helps provide those answers. Results can include greater reach amongst job seekers, better access to passive job candidates, and the potential for making better hiring decisions by getting to know job candidates better before offering a position.
Social-Hire helps companies of all sizes maximise their social recruiting effectiveness. If you're ready to make social recruiting fulfil its promises, we invite you to get in touch or check out our monthly social media recruiting plans.