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Authenticity is the name of the game when it comes to recruiting. In today’s candidate-driven landscape, it’s no longer sufficient to go through the motions of a one-size-fits-all recruiting strategy — particularly when it comes to social recruiting.

Social media has transformed the recruiting industry, as more than 91% of employers use social media to hire talent today (source). Modern job candidates practically live on social media, especially candidates from younger generations. Naturally, platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have become essential tools in a recruiter’s strategy.

While most recruiters have embraced the shift towards social media, many continue to use outdated or ineffective tactics. In today’s blog post, we look at some of the most common and most critical social recruiting mistakes. And, we offer key tips for you to avoid these pitfalls at all costs and immediately improve your social recruiting strategies.

8 Social Recruiting Mistakes to Stop Making Today

We’ve all been there: you open up your LinkedIn messages and find a sloppily-written note from a recruiter that hasn’t done their homework. They even spelled your name wrong. You ignore the message — or it looks so much like spam that you don’t even read it — and continue on with your day.

Poorly-executed social media recruiting is a bad look for you as the recruiter, your company, and all your colleagues who count on you to find top talent for open positions. Think of it this way: every decision you make on social media is a reflection of your brand. Even small mistakes can make long-lasting impressions and alter the overall perception of your company.

Keep reading as we dive deeper into the social recruiting mistakes you might be making and tell you how to avoid them.

1. You don’t have a social recruiting strategy.

This first mistake might sound obvious — but you might not even be aware it’s a mistake you’re currently making. Recruiters often treat social media as a supplementary tool; they post sporadically, engage with passive candidates when they have the time, etc. Even the recruiters who use social media consistently often lack a formalized, specific strategy that drives their social recruiting activities.

Before you say your social recruiting strategy is perfect and you skip to the next section, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have specific goals, tailored exclusively to recruiting on social media?
  • Have I determined which recruiting metrics I will use to track those goals?
  • Do I have specific outreach tactics to attract both passive and active candidates?
  • Do I have a strategy for each social media platform I use, and do I understand how these strategies are different from one another?
  • What recruiting content assets do I need to post to achieve my pre-determined goals? When, where, and how often should I post these content assets? 

These are just a few of the many considerations you must make before you can call your social recruiting strategy ‘perfect’. By developing a thorough strategy, you’ll be able to improve your social recruiting efforts over time through consistency and analysis of your results.

2. You haven’t defined your target audience.

If you’ve created a social recruiting strategy but failed to hit your goals, it may be a result of the next mistake — you haven’t defined your target audience. What kind of talent do you want to attract? What does your ideal candidate look like? While you don’t want to cast too narrow of a net, you also don’t want to waste your time targeting people who would never be interested, or are not qualified for, a job at your company.

There’s one main solution to this problem: candidate personas. Candidate personas are semi-fictional profiles of your ideal candidates. You create them by analyzing hiring data points related to work history, skills, education, and more personal attributes such as a person’s goals, pain points and interests. To learn all about creating candidate personas, check out the following post: Job Candidate Personas: A Guide for Recruiters

3. You only use social media to post job openings.

In addition to your Careers page and the tried-and-true job boards, social media is a great place to spread the word about new opportunities at your company. But, posting job openings is one small facet of a social recruiting strategy — and should not be the only reason you log on. If your profiles look like long lists of job descriptions, you’re missing a major opportunity to engage with potential candidates.

Make sure to post original, engaging, and valuable content in addition to job listings. These posts don’t have to be exclusive to content related to your company — you can also share informative articles, blog posts, or videos that you think will be of interest to your ideal candidates.

By posting consistently engaging content, you show job candidates that you want to offer them value. And, if you’re sharing the right content, you show candidates that you understand their interests, ambitions, pain points, and goals — and your company does too. 

4. You don’t interact with your network.

So, you’re now posting valuable content in addition to your job listings. Unfortunately, you might still be making this mistake: you’re only posting content. The whole point of social media is to interact with other people (it’s called social media for a reason). If you only log on to post content, you’re missing valuable opportunities to grow and engage your network.

Instead, spend some extra time and interact with the content other people are sharing. Start conversations, ‘like’ posts, leave comments, and reshare high-quality content. For one, this adds exposure to your profiles and makes it more likely that a candidate will remember your name and your company’s name. And, engaging with other users illustrates that your primary goal is to build connections and authentic relationships — not just fill positions.

5. You don’t personalize your outreach messages.

No matter what channel you’re using, candidate outreach is the element of social recruiting that requires the most care. Passive and active candidates alike must sift through an overwhelming amount of messages from recruiters on LinkedIn — some of which aren’t even sent from real accounts. If you want someone to open your message, let alone respond, you must establish your authenticity and credibility right off the bat.

It’s not sufficient to craft a great outreach template and use it over and over again. You must personalize, personalize, personalize! Each message you send should be tailored specifically to the candidate you’re hoping to engage with. 

Learn as much about the candidate before reaching out, and lead off your message with something that will catch their eye and prove you’ve done your homework. Perhaps you’ll reference their current work, mention an interesting detail you found in their employment history, or even break the ice by bringing up a common interest you and the candidate share. 

Yes, this means you’ll have to do additional research, and the total number of messages you send might decline. But, the extra time and energy will be worth it when you build more authentic connections with your target candidates.

6. You don’t monitor your online brand presence.

Much like marketing professionals, recruiters must remain aware of what people are saying about their company online. The narratives around your company influence how candidates respond to your recruiting efforts — and they play a major role in a candidate’s decision to apply and ultimately decide to work for your company. 

Enter social listening. If you’re unfamiliar, social listening is the process of monitoring the online conversations people are having about your company, brand, and products. Marketers use social media to inform their messaging and tailor their campaigns to better engage their target audiences. But, social listening also gives recruiters invaluable information about the positives and negatives of their company — thus making them well-prepared to tailor their own outreach, and answer any tough questions that candidates may pose.

Here are a few tips to implement social listening as part of your recruiting strategy:

  • Set up Google Alerts: Google Alerts will notify you of any mention of your brand, industry, employee, a competitor, or any other keywords you choose to track.
  • Monitor hashtags: Twitter’s search functionality allows you to search for specific hashtags related to your industry, brand, products, and other keywords involving your brand. Monitoring brand-related hashtags will allow you to observe the conversations about your brand as they happen, in real time.
  • Invest in social media management tools: If you have it in your budget, there are many cost-effective tools that allow you to streamline the social listening process. 

7. You use social media to “dig up dirt” on candidates.

Yes, it’s wise to look for obvious red flags before hiring a candidate. But, make sure you’re using social media as a recruiter, not a private investigator. It’s worth noting: candidates have sued companies for not hiring them based on details they discovered on their social media profiles.

Your focus should be getting to know potential candidates in the most organic, honest way possible. Adhere to whatever background check protocols your company has established, but don’t dig deep into candidates’ personal profiles — it’ll hinder the building of trust between you, your employees, and future candidates.

8. You treat every social media platform the same.

We may talk about social media recruiting as if it’s a singular strategy — but don’t make the mistake of using identical tactics on each social media platform. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other channels don’t just have unique functionalities; they also require unique tones, posting cadences, outreach tactics, and more. 

For example, LinkedIn is geared toward a more professional audience. As a result, you might post more in-depth or job-specific content to your LinkedIn page, where visitors are more likely to be active job seekers. 

On the other hand, most candidates use Twitter for non-work related purposes, whether they’re following celebrities, staying informed on breaking news, or retweeting the best memes they can find. That means recruiters must use more conversational and casual tones when interacting with candidates on Twitter, and they shouldn’t be as quick to bring up a job opening. Make sure you have a specific strategy for each channel so you can reap the benefits of each social media platform.

Key Takeaways on Social Recruiting Mistakes

We’ve discussed social selling as a strategy predicated on building relationships, not closing deals. A similar principle applies to social recruiting. At the end of the day, candidates remember how you made them feel — did you make them feel appreciated and valued, or like just another candidate on your never-ending list.

While social media can’t replace in-person interactions, it acts as a great starting point and can help you reach high-quality candidates, faster. But social recruiting requires much more than posting a few sporadic bits of content and sliding into a few DMs. Much like any other relationship, your connections to candidates on social media take nurturing and care before they grow into something more — in this case, the perfect new hires.

If you want to improve your recruiting strategy, contact ZoomInfo today. Our B2B contact database will help put you in touch with the high-quality candidates you’re looking for.

About the author

Reyna LaRiccia

Reyna LaRiccia is a Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact database and sales intelligence solution.

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