It used to be so much more of a pain in the butt to apply for jobs.
Applicants had to get a newspaper, see what was available, update and print their resume, find out where the business was located, and get themselves there for each job.
Now, employees can find a job by searching Twitter hashtags on their phone, apply by tapping their thumb on a button that turns their LinkedIn profile into a resume and go back to bingeing on their favorite series on Netflix.
For this reason, a lot of the employers I talk to are just a little skeptical of posting jobs on social media. They’re already getting slammed with piles of totally irrelevant applicants every day, by people who didn’t even bother reading the qualifications for the job. Why would they want to reach a wider audience of people potentially even less likely to care what they apply for?
Because that’s where the best candidates are.
Right now, the U.S. has its lowest unemployment rates in 10 years, highest number of people employed, and longest time to fill jobs. While great employees do still check out job sites, especially industry-specific job boards like these, a lot of the people you really want to hire are known as “passive applicants.”
They’re not out looking for jobs, but if they saw a great opportunity, they’d take it. So if these people aren’t on job posting sites, where do you find them?
On social media, that’s where.
How to Attract Great Employees on Social
Great employees may not be searching job boards, but they’re almost definitely on social media.
Problem is, how do you get their attention between all the baby photos, political rants, and cat videos?
You’ve got to know exactly what it is about your job that will get their attention. There are a couple surefire ways to do this.
First, just talk to your current employees and ask them what the best things are about working at your company. Get specific – are there things they love about their co-workers, the region, the office space, or the equipment they use?
Next, go to Glassdoor and do a quick search for the position you’re hiring for. See what other local companies are hiring for this job (if there aren’t any, re-do the search with the location blank).
Click on those companies and take a look at the reviews of them, and take note of the “cons.” Usually, after reading some reviews, you’ll see patterns emerge, like everyone complaining that they don’t get enough paid time off, that their equipment is outdated, that their store is a shambles, etc.
Can you counter any of these cons? For instance, do you have a state of the art store, cutting-edge equipment or a great paid time off allowance?
Now take this info, along with what you learned from employees, and put as much as you can into your social post. Put everything else into your job descriptions, with just the most essential qualifications listed.
So, a potential Twitter post might look like: “#Hiring sales associates. Generous PTO at a brand new store. Apply here:” ending with a link to where they can apply for your job.
Adjust this as necessary for posting to various social media, and use images whenever possible.
How to Screen Out the Bad Employees
Ok, reading the above, you might be thinking that this strategy is going to bring you a lot more applications to sort through.
And you’re right.
But I’m going to show you a simple trick for making that sorting process a whole lot easier and faster. This is the simple version, if you want to see a more detailed screening process, go here.
All you need to do is come up with 5 questions about the job that you’d like potential employees to answer. These questions should ideally only be answerable by people who have the experience you’re requiring and should take some thought and about 20 minutes to respond to.
Send these out to every applicant before you even take the time to review their resumes.
Here’s what will happen.
The totally unqualified and unmotivated candidates won’t even bother responding. If they do, the poor quality of their answers will be immediately obvious.
The great candidates will also be obvious. Those will be the ones who clearly put some time and thought into their answers. Theirs are the only resumes you’ll want to bother with.
Now part of the reason we created a job post that focuses on all the great things about the jobs, and limits qualifications, is to get great candidates to answer these questions.
If you just post the typical boring list of responsibilities and qualifications, with nothing about why the job is worth applying for, great candidates won’t feel inclined to answer your questions. So don’t miss that key step.
Good luck hiring! I hope this helps you get more quality applicants via social and creates a better hiring process for you overall.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.