Sharpen up your social strategy

By Neil Morrison, HR professional, @neilmorrison

It wasn’t too long ago that we were all being told that if we didn’t have a recruitment website, we’d be dead. Or at least lose the war for talent. Or be ex-communicated from the HR community. Or something like that, my memory fails me. The last few years, it appears that where we once read website, we now read “social media presence”. Don’t have one? How very “personnel” of you… is only a matter of time before you’re completely obsolete.

I’m a great believer in HR engaging with social tools and using them well. But in the same way that I saw a million awful recruitment websites launch, I’m also starting to see a similar number of dreadful social recruitment campaigns. I sat as a judge of the social recruitment category for a well-known recruitment awards recently. By the end of reviewing submissions, I was ready to go old school and poke my eyes out with a sharp pencil and staple my forehead to a notice board.

One of the biggest issues that I witnessed, and I see in general, is people starting with the technology and not the audience. Focussing too much on the means and not the end. Forrester have a methodology that simply explains a different way to approach the use of social tools called POST and we’ve used it successfully in my organisation for our consumer marketing campaigns. Essentially the letters stand for:

  • People
  • Objectives
  • Strategy ... (and then)
  • Technology

Work out who you’re trying to speak to and where they are, what you want to achieve, what the overall end goal will be and then AND ONLY THEN, the technology. Your social strategy should have a clearly defined purpose and reason, it should speak to your targeted audience. It should be about achieving business success and not about having the “shiny” that other people tell you that you need. There is a lot of information out there about social platforms and demographic groups, so there is no excuse not to target your usage properly.

And finally, remember that social tools allow people to talk to you as well as you to talk to people. Really successful usage is about genuinely being social, allowing job seekers to speak to you as well as you to tell people about your amazing opportunities. Helping people navigate their way through your processes, identify opportunities and apply successfully can only be a good thing, right?

Social tools are exactly that; they’re tools. Used well they can be an incredible effective element to your overall recruitment strategy. Used badly, they can be an ineffective time sap. The great news is, there are a lot of people out there using the tools effectively and willing to share their knowledge and experience. And because they’re using “social”, they’re a whole lot easier to find.

View more information about social technology

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