Most candidates use social media to research companies that they’re interested in working for. So, it’s pretty much essential that companies have some sort of ‘employer brand’ presence on social channels.
Though, it’s more than merely being present – it’s an opportunity to showcase your brand identity, tell your story and promote your culture.
We all know this. Yet, many brands are missing the mark, and failing to reach candidates in meaningful ways. Why is that?
We spoke with Dr Karen Sutherland an award-winning social media expert, author and educator.
“Social media should be a long-term relationship management tool,” she says.
“It’s about building trust and it’s about relationship – it’s not about selling things. If you get the relationship right, the selling will come as a by-product of that. But, I think that’s how people approach it, and expect instant results. And, it’s not like that.”
Attracting talent is an immediate need for a lot of organisations, who have watched application volumes decrease. The recruitment costs have risen too, as have wage demands – and in many cases it’s difficult to entertain long-term relationship-building strategies such as social media, particularly if it’s been somewhat neglected for years.
So, how can companies make-up for lost time, and improve their social media game? Dr Sutherland explains that looking internally is often a solution -
“(Companies) have to allow staff to be advocates for them,” she says.
“Instead of pushing things out there that say ‘I’m wonderful’ - it should be coming from the people who actually work there … and that means empowering your staff to share their experience.
“And, if you’re providing a positive experience, then you have nothing to worry about it - and I think that really helps because that’s much more genuine.”
Achieving an authentic voice is often hard to come by, but employees not only have credibility – they have better engagement. LinkedIn’s own research confirmed that employee posts typically receive 2.5 times more engagement than company posts.
Further, there is huge reach potential – employees’ collective follower-base is often ten times greater than their employers.
This provides employers with a huge opportunity to widen their talent pool and reach the job market in an engaging way. The key, it seems, is to engage people in the right way – a way that reflects positively on the brand whilst meeting an employee need. Dr Sutherland advises -
“Think about what would actually motivate someone to actually want to work there – but not only work there but stay there – and promote those sorts of initiatives externally rather than just focussing on what are usually seen as the measures of success of a company."
Dr Sutherland also shares that companies performing well are finding ways to genuinely showcase their personality, interact with people and deliver content that people care about.
“Things like, ‘yay, we had a pizza day’ … no one really cares about that. Show me how you paid for this person’s Masters degree. That’s what people want to see.’