Back to Customer Blog Learn This: How to Use Social Media to Engage Candidates by Bob McHugh on March 11th, 2019 As any staffing professional will tell you, there’s always something new to learn. We want to help make that learning process easier. That’s why we developed the Bullhorn Learning Hub—to make learning Bullhorn easier, faster, and more relevant. But what about the topics outside of Bullhorn? As part of our Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID) report, we surveyed over 2,000 staffing professionals to discover the industry topics where they need further training and development. In this series, we’ll provide you with useful tips on the most requested subjects. First up: social media. For a lot of staffing professionals, social media can be a lot like the brain: you know it’s important, but you’re not entirely sure how it works. Indeed, staffing pros said social media was the number one area where they felt further development and training was needed. Likewise, when we asked them to share the trends they were following most closely, respondents said they were most interested in discovering new ways to leverage social media for candidate recruitment. With that in mind, here are some practical tips for getting the most out of your social media efforts. We’ve included tips for using social media as a staffing firm and as a recruiter. Tips for Staffing Firms Develop (or Refine) Your Social Media Strategy Running social media can be deceptively complex. How do you build a following? How do you reach the right audience? What kind of content should you share? It helps to have a strategy in place to ensure your efforts make sense for your firm. Our friends at Haley Marketing put together a marketing checklist for staffing firms, including a section for developing your presence social media. Here are some best practices to keep in mind. Social Media Checklist: Questions to Ask About Your Strategy Have you defined specific goals for your social marketing? Do you have goals for specific audiences (e.g., employers, job seekers, industries? Are your social media efforts consistent with your company brand? Do you develop a monthly or quarterly content plan, aligned with your desired positioning? Are you creating original content at least once a week? Are you creating content in a variety of formats (blogs, video, infographics, etc.)? Do you share content at least four to five times each week? Because social media is built around sharing ideas (and content), you’ll get a lot more out of your social media presence if you have original brand-aligned content to share. It also helps to define who your target audience is. Are you hoping to target candidates, clients, or both? This will inform your social strategy. Share The Right Content With Your Audience What kind of content are your prospective candidates most interested in? Luckily, you can take steps to reduce the guesswork. Consider using the new Content Suggestions feature on LinkedIn. If you have a company page on LinkedIn, you’ll now be able to see content recommendations for your audience. This features highlights articles and news items that your followers are engaging with on LinkedIn. Share the recommended articles with your followers or use them for ideas to create your own original content. Tips for Recruiters Know When to Reach Out to Candidates on LinkedIn Like in the rest of life, a lot of social media success comes down to timing. So when is the best time to reach out to candidates on LinkedIn? We dug through the data to find when candidates are most likely to open and respond to messages on every medium. Here’s what we found for LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn’s own data, mid-morning InMails get the highest response rates. Candidates are more likely to respond to your InMails on weekdays, but it doesn’t matter which weekday you choose. There is a clear loser, however: Saturday. Respondents are 16 percent less likely to respond on a Saturday. Make sure to account for differences in time-zones. Your 9:30 AM may be someone else’s 6:30 AM, so always take that into account when sending time-targeted messages. Perfect Your Messages to Candidates on Social Media Of course, sending InMails is about more than timing—the content makes a big difference. LinkedIn InMails have three times the open rate of an email, but 20 percent of messages still go unread. Your subject line goes directly to a candidate’s email, so choose the information you include here carefully. It may be the only thing they see. To make your LinkedIn InMails more effective, focus on something you have in common. If you ever worked for the same company as a prospect, make sure to bring it up—it’ll increase the likelihood of receiving a response by 27 percent. Mutual connections bump that percentage up to an incredible 46 percent. Finally, consider A/B testing your messages to candidates. Reach out to half of your prospective candidates with one approach in your subject headline, and try a different headline style for the other half. You may find a dramatic difference in response rates based on which approaches work best for you. Interested in learning more about the challenges, opportunities, and ideas that will shape the staffing industry in the year ahead? There’s so much more waiting for you at the Global Recruitment Insights and Data site. Plus, boost your social media presence with these free social shareables and powerpoint slides.