Competition to find the best IT talent is fiercer than ever. Companies of all sizes, industries and locations are all struggling to fill vital IT roles. Therefore, talented individuals possessing in-demand skill sets are becoming increasingly harder to find. In fact, skills shortages that could potentially hinder a company’s growth is a leading concern for many CEOs. So how can using social media help you find the sought after candidates you need to drive your business forward?
In 2019, an estimated 3 billion people were active on the most popular social media platforms. It is most likely then that no matter which industry you’re business operates in, people with the skills you need are active on social media.
Social media is not just for socialising with friends and family. Social media marketing is also a relatively cheap way for businesses to build brand awareness and promote products or services. Additionally, it’s having a massive impact on the recruitment industry.
A robust online presence can help companies overcome skills shortages by finding and attracting the right talent. Of course, that is providing employers adopt the right social media recruiting strategy for their business. When used correctly, social media platforms can be indispensable in the fight against the plight of skills shortages.
The wide range and different types of social media channels on offer make it hard to know where to start. So before you begin planning a social media posting strategy, the first thing to do is find which social media site your target audience is most active on. Understanding this will help you identify the best place for you to publish content.
While LinkedIn might be the most obvious channel for publishing job adverts, it’s also where you will find yourself up against the fiercest competition from recruitment professionals. Additionally, many of its recruitment features are only available at an extra cost.
YouTube is the ultimate platform for sharing video content. While many view it as a social media channel, it’s actually the largest search engine behind Google. For this reason, if you have the equipment or the budget, YouTube is the perfect place to build a brand presence.
Facebook & Instagram
As they are now owned by the same company, it’s getting harder to distinguish between Facebook and Instagram. They both enable users to publish regular photos and videos alongside ‘stories’ and live video content but the feed format is slightly different.
The main advantage Facebook has for businesses is that Facebook ads provide a low-cost way to reach their target audience with laser accuracy. However, any ads created on Facebook are also sharable on Instagram.
For example, a local business wanting to reach potential employees within walking of its office could set up an advertising campaign targeted purely to those individuals. Such targeted adverts ensure that companies only pay for the results they want to achieve.
Of all the social media channels, the one people most often complain that they don’t understand is Twitter. Although once you know how it works, it’s incredibly easy to use and possibly the most natural channel for engaging in conversation.
Twitter’s original concept was similar to sending a text message… only to the entire world. For this reason, to the untrained eye, Twitter can seem like a lot of people posting random thoughts. However, for many Twitter users, it is their go-to social channel for finding out what is really going on in the world.
Additionally, many small businesses use Twitter to manage their customer service. The instant messaging nature lends itself perfectly to this purpose. Similarly, Twitter’s functionality makes it easy for candidates to contact your HR team with any enquiries they might have about your advertised roles.
Now that you have an idea of which channel might be best for your business, take a look at our top tips for using social media to find the most sought after IT skills.
Using Social Media to Get Involved in the Right Conversations
Identifying relevant conversations and becoming part of them is the key to using social media to recruit IT professionals.
Joining groups on Facebook is a way to meet with like-minded professionals. Although it’s vital to keep in mind that all groups have moderators and strict rules, and anyone not abiding by those rules gets removed.
Groups are, therefore, most effectively used as a way for individuals to ask questions and gain advice from experts. There is nothing to stop individuals employed by a company from joining groups in the hope that any information they give will lead them to their website. But while that is the desired effect, it’s never a guarantee, and promotional activity will likely result in removal from the group.
Another effective way to ensure your posts get seen by the right people and encourage them to strike up a conversation with you is with hashtags. Hashtags are most useful on Instagram and Twitter.
For example, let’s say, you are looking for talented Mobile Developers to join your team. Use an #iOSDeveloper hashtag in your post a call out for developers on Twitter. This way, relevant people can find your tweet, join the conversation and send you a direct message with their details.
Hashtags work in a slightly different way on Instagram, where instead of using just one or two, you can use up to 30. While this may seem excessive, this enables you to anticipate the different interests which might allow IGers to find your post. In fact, posts on Instagram are pretty much invisible without hashtags.
Use Social Media to Promote your Company Culture
Job seekers with specific IT skills are in high demand so these individuals can afford to be picky when it comes to deciding who they work for.
Something becoming increasingly more important to top candidates is prioritising work-life balance. Endearing company culture is what they look for when job hunting. It is essential, therefore, that employers offer such desirable lifestyles for employees. A company that offers flexible working patterns and ongoing career development and training will undoubtedly win over one that doesn’t. Thus it is necessary to promote an employee-focused culture to attract potential talent to your team.
Don’t be too Pushy
There’s no place quite like social media for promoting your attractive company culture. Avoid overstating how great your company is to work for. Instead, use your social media presence to subtly promote your employer brand by demonstrating what goes on behind the scenes. Here are a few examples of what to share on social media channels to portray a positive image:
- Videos and images of company parties on Facebook can help communicate what your company culture is like
- Pictures of dress down days, free coffee, tea and fruit on Instagram represent benefits you offer
- LinkedIn is the perfect place to share insights from staff training and brainstorming sessions
- Facebook and Twitter can help spread the word about cycling to work campaigns, demonstrating your concern for the environment
- LinkedIn, Facebook also make it very easy for companies to advertise vacancies without investing in hefty job board subscription fees
- LinkedIn makes it possible to search for candidates with particular skills. You can then reach out to them using InMails inviting them to apply for your role
The above are just a few examples of how you can show your company in it’s best light. Appealing to individuals seeking a company that has its employees’ best interests at heart will undoubtedly help you attract the talent you seek.
Think your office is a fun place to work? Show the world on social media!
Don’t Underestimate the Power of LinkedIn
LinkedIn alone has transformed the world of recruiting, helping brands and candidates connect in the swipe of a finger. Despite our previous note of caution regarding LinkedIn’s costs, it offers many free features which are essential for attracting talented candidates to your team.
Utilise LinkedIn to the maximum by ensuring your brand page is fully complete. An attractive business profile offers the chance for your company to showcase its highly sought-after company culture.
When searching for quality candidates on LinkedIn, use filters to find individuals with the right skillsets. Filters include:
- Years of experience
- Current and past employers
Weed out Potential Iffy Candidates
Social media can also be a useful tool for weeding out potentially iffy candidates. Before committing to your next hire, browse through their different social media profiles. If they’re pictured misbehaving on their platforms or appear to have a bad attitude, they may not fit your company culture.
A quick scroll through a potential candidate’s social media feed can help you weed out individuals who might not be a good fit for your business.
Disadvantages of Using Social Media for Recruitment
While there are many benefits of using social media as a recruitment tool, it does have it’s drawbacks. The most obvious benefit being that anyone can set up an account for free. However, as anyone in business will know, free isn’t always cheap. It is understanding the subtle nuances between the channels and which one is best for sharing what kind of content which can be a minefield to navigate.
Creating a continuous stream of quality content which presents your company in its best light is a full-time job for a skilled professional. It might even take a whole team of Digital Marketing Executives to manage your social media presence effectively, depending on the size of your business.
Even for a small business, scrolling through endless social media feeds and reaching out to prospective candidates via InMails can be extremely time-consuming. Large companies often employ several full-time Marketing professionals to manage their social media feeds.
While setting up a social media account is free, creating content and continuously being on hand to engage with potential candidates is a full-time job. The alternative is to let a recruitment consultant do it for you while you concentrate on running your business.
Our recruitment specialists use every possible resource, network and contact to unearth the skills your business needs. Social media is just one of the tools we invest in to ensure that no stone is left unturned when our recruitment consultants are on the case!
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