Insights: Why Marketers Need to Think about Social HR

TL;DR: The use of social media extends far beyond marketing and sales. Smart organizations will apply social media strategies and tactics to market themselves to future employees and by doing so, attract better talent at much lower cost.

When you ask a CEO what she or he sees as the biggest challenges for their business in 2017, hiring and retaining talent is likely to be high on the list. With U.S. unemployment less than 5 percent (the lowest levels in eight years) and employees showing less and less loyalty, the “war for talent” is being fought harder than ever.

In this “war”, new weapons are being used and some of them are surprisingly successful. Since the emergence of “employer branding” concepts, companies have understood that some of the principles of consumer marketing should be used to market to current and future employees. This trend has lead to marketing departments becoming more involved in what traditionally have been human resources functions.

As a social media agency, we obviously have a biased opinion on the role social should play in this, however, we are not alone— there are entire conferences dedicated to this subject.

And, if you ask those who are charged with hiring for entry-level positions, you will hear how hard it is to reach the younger workforce with traditional HR tools. 

Because human resources and marketing rarely exchange ideas, recruiters do not know enough about hyper-targeted social media advertising options (other than LinkedIn), the importance of content strategies, social listening tools or social influencer programs. 

Compared to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can help reach qualified candidates at a fraction of the cost. Here are some examples of what is possible:

  • Facebook allows you to target users by job title, company, industry, or the university they attended

  • Facebook also allows you to target students who are currently enrolled in a university by field of study and/or graduation year

  • Twitter allows you to run ads against specific hashtags, which allows you to target everybody who has tweeted at a specific conference and used the conference hashtag

With a $100 media spend, we ran hyper-targeted Facebook ads for one of our clients, providing them 12 qualified applicants for positions that normally were filled by recruiters. Click here to learn more about creating a successful social media recruiting strategy.

If you are a marketer, I highly encourage you to share the strategies and tactics learned from marketing to consumers with other company functions like human resources. It will not only help your company as a whole, it could very well lead to a much more qualified pool of candidates for you to choose from when your HR colleagues try to fill the next open position on your team.

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