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How Can You Reach Out To More Candidates?

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We’d all like to reach more and more relevant candidates with our job posts right? So in this two-part blog series, I’ll set out a simple change you can make that will dramatically increase the candidate response levels you enjoy over the coming year. Intrigued? Well then let’s get started!

The Biggest Social Media Dilemma

A recent post on the Bullhorn Reach Blog sought to debunk common social recruiting myths. A great read it is too, if you haven’t read it yet I’d certainly recommend it. But, I want to take a step back and tackle what I consider to be the biggest social media dilemma that recruiters face. For if you make the wrong choice at this stage, it impacts the effectiveness of everything else you do. The dilemma is “how much can I get away with filling my social media streams with promotional messages?” This dilemma is particularly acute within recruitment, because by its very nature we are always working on pressing deadlines and short timescales to achieve results. The pressure to cave in and send just a few more promotional messages to try and hit target is a constant in a recruiter’s life. This, though, is a pressure you must resist.

Less Is More

The great irony is that – as a long-term strategy – less is more. Show me ten recruiters whose social streams are crammed full of job adverts and promotional plugs; then show me one recruiter whose social stream is packed with helpful insights, reports and anecdotes – with only the occasional job advert mixed in. I’ll happily bet that that one recruiter derives greater results in terms of candidate attraction from their social media activity than any of the other ten. This is pure human nature. We tune in to people who want to help us and seek to engage with us; we tune out when people seem to be constantly trying to sell to us.

So for any given following on a social network, a recruiter will have a more engaged following the more they are focused on helping their followers and the less they are focused on selling their open positions. But, the effect is more pronounced than that – because the likelihood of your followers sharing your updates with their networks also grows dramatically the more engaged they are with the messages you send in your stream. Put simply, selling too much makes your followers less likely to note what it is you are saying; and makes it less likely they will help to spread your messages out virally to their networks. By contrast, if followers devour every item you send out they are much more inclined to get into the habit of sharing your content; and are much more likely to see the job adverts that you include within your stream.

The Simple Change You Can Make

Sorry to harp on about the importance of not overselling. It’s just that I see so many recruiters getting frustrated at the lack of success their social media efforts are bringing – and it’s almost always as a result of overselling to – and under engaging with – their follower-base. What is also true though is that even when you’ve bought into the importance of not promoting your vacancies too often, the challenge of finding good content to share can be quite daunting. It can become quite a headache – and a lack of good content can easily push you back into having a stream that is mostly full of jobs. We’ll solve this issue for you in part two of this series.

The frequency with which you should post varies by social media channel. Personally I find sending Twitter updates once every 60-90 minutes is optimal – 24 hours a day if you are targeting a global audience. On LinkedIn and Google+, sending 3-5 updates a day is more appropriate. Different cultures and industries will respond differently (so do play around with this)… but as a rule of thumb I would aim to ensure only 10-25% of your content is promotional. So on LinkedIn and Google+ that means you’ll need 3-4 good articles a day to share with your followers in order to send out 1 promotion of your current vacancies.

On Twitter – if your stream is running 24 hours a day – you’re going to need 15 good pieces of content or tips in order to be able to send out several promotional messages without saturating your stream. In part two of this series, I will discuss a two-pronged approach to keeping your social media streams filled with effective, relevant content that keeps your followers engaged.

About the Author:

Tony Restell is the Founder of Social-Hire.com and a respected commentator in the online recruitment and social media sectors. A published author and Cambridge graduate, Tony spent his early career in strategy consulting before going on to build and sell a job board business. He is focused on helping candidates and recruiters use social media to find their next career or their next hire.

To view Tony’s blog, click here. Follow BullhornBullhorn Reach & Tony Restell on Twitter.