By Karen Spaeder, Vice President of Communications at Rallio
Using social media as a recruiting tool is nothing new, with many employers nowadays leveraging online tools to attract top talent with minimal recruiting costs. In fact, according to a Career Arc “The Future of Recruiting” study, 91 percent of employers turn to social media to connect with prospective candidates.
Gone are the days of waiting for applicants to visit your website or a job posting site to fill openings at your franchise corporate headquarters, at corporate-owned locations, or at locations owned by multi-unit or individual franchisees. Most job seekers are already on social media searching for information, if not specifically about your company, then about your industry — or simply about companies that match their values, their preferences in a future job and the type of culture they hope to join.
In some cases, they’re not searching at all, but rather just minding their own business, doing what they do on social media, i.e., scrolling, watching their stories and taking an interest in things that matter to them. Here’s your chance to get their attention when they weren’t even looking for you! In fact, the Society for Human Resources Management reports that recruiting passive job candidates — those who are currently employed and not actively looking, but are open to good career opportunities — is the #1 reason organizations use social media for recruitment.
That means your future employees could be yours for the taking if you connect with them in the right way at the right time. The bottom line: Taking a proactive approach to recruiting via social media channels will help you and your owners fill positions more quickly and with the best candidates. Take a look at the tips below to get your creative juices flowing — and start filling those empty roles.
1. Leverage Employee Advocacy
Your best employees are also your best advocates for your brand — not only in the eyes of consumers and business partners, but also those of job seekers. These employees presumably embody your core values, mission and messaging, and they give future employees a glimpse into what it’s like working for your company.
Highlighting these employees in fun ways is the key to getting “social” with your employee spotlights. These posts can be photos or videos — showing them doing what they love and enjoying their time on the job! You may also wish to create a recruiting-focused branded hashtag, making you more discoverable.
Another side benefit of spotlighting employees is that you can incentivize them to share these posts on their own social media profiles. Their friends may see these posts and become drawn to working for you simply based on employee testimonials, making employee spotlights one of your most powerful tools for getting in front of hundreds of new prospects — especially when you boost them with ad dollars.
2. Have a Personality
While current employees are the best advocates for your company, highly engaging posts are a close second. You should be regularly posting the type of content that will elicit comments, questions, reactions, shares and other engagement. If it’s funny, quirky, informational, useful, emotion-provoking or viral-worthy, then it belongs on social media. If it’s boring, dry, forgettable and run-of-the-mill, it has no place on your pages.
One great way to infuse your pages with personality is by working with micro-influencers who can tell your brand story in engaging ways. Like employees, these micro-influencers — people who have anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 followers (more or less, depending on whom you ask) — have smaller followings but are able to promote your brand via authentic, visually engaging posts. These influencers are either paid or they agree to promote your brand in exchange for agreed-upon products or services.
Another, equally important method is by posting your own engaging content that features real people, events and places that involve your brand. Office holiday parties, team events, community sponsorships, “bring your dog to work” day and other real-life happenings are perfect for social media. They make your company a place that people would want to work, not just another boring 9-to-5.
Keep in mind, as the franchisor, your posts may also include branded content that you syndicate to franchisees, such as special promotions and other corporate assets that allow you to look uniform across your network. However, utilizing the employee and influencer strategies above will help you get the word out beyond your page without impacting your corporate branding.
3. Dedicate Resources to Recruiting
Just as you have recruiters dedicated to going out and finding good candidates, you should have resources dedicated to social media recruiting. Some franchisors also choose to create social media profiles that are separate from the main pages and focused on recruiting new hires and franchisee candidates. No matter how you’re finding candidates, just make sure that each and every day, someone (or several team members) is spending time solely connecting with candidates on social media and making sure your brand stands out in a sea of other companies.\
If your existing recruiters aren’t social media savvy, take the opportunity to educate them via webinars and other trainings so they’re equipped for success. You can also bring on new hires who possess social media marketing skills, or work with an agency like Rallio that can help keep up with the heavy lifting of connecting with your audience, responding to online reviews and maintaining a positive online reputation for your brand.
4. Seek Out Third-Party Recognition
Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and Comparably all include various types of employee reviews that publicly show what’s great (or not so great) about working at a company.
Other organizations, including Comparably, also offer awards to recognize areas in which surveyed employees have identified the company as an employer of choice — whether due to benefits, culture, leadership or other factors. Similarly, FBR’s own Franchising@WORK program surveys franchise employees to identify the best franchise workplaces.
With all the different “best places to work” lists and awards out there, it makes sense to apply to as many as you can. Not only do such lists give you an opportunity to gauge employee sentiment about your company and make improvements as needed, but it also allows you to increase your exposure. Should you land a spot on a list or earn an award, you can promote it on your social media — and the third-party organization will likely promote it, too.
Keep a running list or calendar of these opportunities so you can stay on top of the deadlines and make sure you give employees ample time to respond. Look for not only national rankings, but also local opportunities — in a business journal, for instance.
Facebook and LinkedIn have many different helpful tools to help you create job postings and screen and track candidates, making social media one of the simplest methods of finding new hires. Familiarizing yourself with the tools you already have at your disposal will help you learn the ins and outs of this process fairly easily.
Keep in mind, too, that if recruiting via social media isn’t part of your current strategy, it’s never too late to start. Begin taking small steps by posting the kind of content that you, yourself, like to see on social media. Then continue building on your social media recruiting strategy as you get more comfortable with the medium.
Stay tuned for the next post in this two-part series, where we’ll drill down into specific content ideas you can use to create a complete content calendar.
Your team is your greatest asset, and that’s why our Franchising@Work program is such an invaluable tool in your retention toolbox. Through a brief survey, your employees are asked to rate your company in eight key areas, and we provide you with a scorecard showing your benchmark score. Click here for more details on how to participate.