From #SRSC: The Importance of Meaningful Content
February 15, 2015 by Crystal Miller
@CelindaAppleby @AllisonAKruse ok what’s the joke? “Spam should come out of a can and not a recruiter” #SRSC pic.twitter.com/OxXGO5sat2 — Andres Traslavina (@traslavina) January 31, 2015
The conversation started with a question in a tweet from SRSC speaker Andres Traslavina of Whole Foods: "Does a job posting inspire you to engage or feel anything?" It's likely of little surprise that no one could think of an example where a job posting really inspired anyone to do anything - at least, not recently. But that, and SRSC speaker Allison Kruse of KForce's closing keynote on Effective Communication Across Social Platforms, spurred really interesting discussions on one of the largest drivers of success in social recruitment: your program's content. There's no denying that the impression candidates form of your company starts with the information they're able to find from Google (or their search engine of choice). Which means much of their opinion of you as an employer will be formed by the content you share on social media marketing channels. So what kind of content will really hold meaning with the people you want working for you? There are 4 main content areas to ensure your program covers, in addition to current job opportunities:
- Purpose: Meaning of Work - At the core of every worker is the desire to know the work they do has meaning and matters to those they work for. The good news is that every job in the company, from the janitor to the CEO, has significance to its overall development and success. Help prospective employees see the impact of the roles you would like them to perform. Share how the work that's being done by current employees has meaning to the bottom line, shareholders, and the organization's customers. The benefit of sharing this kind of content goes beyond recruitment: it shares success and sheds a positive light on your company to customers and prospects, as well.
- Culture - While it's tempting to spread the word about how amazing and fabulous your company culture is (whether it really is or not); that's short sighted. Not every company can be a sexy start-up or a hip, creative agency... nor should they want to be. There are all kinds of people in this world; rest assured there are people out there who won't just 'make it' in your organization... they'll thrive there. But the only way they'll know if they really "fit" is if you showcase and share what it's really like to work for your company, what a day in your office looks like, how employees engage in company trainings, awards banquets, etc. Have cool perks that prove there is, in fact, free lunch at your company (or any other free food)? Let people know... it's part of your DNA; just make sure the stories you share about what it's like to work for your company reflects reality - because if it doesn't, attrition is sure to follow.
- The Team - This is where your employees - from leadership to rank-and-file - need to have the time and spotlight to shine. Share stories and videos of how your employees manage to maintain work-life balance, "day in the life" videos from employees in various job families across the organization, advice from leadership on how to advance within your company (and industry), and share news articles written where your leadership has been highlighted. Candidates will connect with employees they view as equals and will appreciate humanized insight into the company leadership that sets direction for the organization.
- Community & CSR Involvement - It's not enough to make money, society today wants to know that some of the income your company brings in goes back into the community. Employees in particular want to be able to feel proud of how their employers operate in terms of ethics, community involvement, and giving back. Be sure to share how employees impact and participate in these initiatives; it will add dimension to the good work your company does. Sharing CSR initiatives will prove to pay off in spades, as shown in research results from a survey done by CCL: "Knowing about the 'good deeds' of an organization might make an employee more eager to discuss their company with outsiders, as well as feeling more committed to their organization which is doing these good things."
Content Automation and the Point of Content Marketing
But while there was general consensus about the importance of good content, not everyone saw eye to eye on howto share it, particularly when it came to content automation. When it came to the use of technology to advertise jobs on Twitter, there was some debate on best practices:
I think if 1 out of every 15 tweets are job posts it's ok. It's when that's ALL you tweet that it's #TimelinePuke. @MiraGreenland #SRSC — Allison Kruse (@AllisonAKruse) January 30, 2015
While Mira is right, there is room for both, Allison gives sound advice: space it out. I'd personally argue that the mix of job opportunities to branding/recruitment marketing content should be more along the lines of 1:5 (1 job, 4 pieces of other content) on a main handle and automated jobs are likely best shared through a separate dedicated jobs account. The bottom line is that your social channels should have varied content types to keep your audience interested - you want them to pay attention. That means you need to, too! While it's easy to throw up open job roles or just share anythingin an effort to gain an audience, tactics like that are short-sighted. Focus first on creating a strategy that's aligned with your purpose, audience, and talent attraction/acquisition goals... and couple that with the support and resources you're able to dedicate to talent attraction. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are we trying to achieve by leveraging social media marketing channels? Is it SEO? Is it to build an active pipeline, gain a pulse on industry happenings, share news.... knowing what you want to get out of your marketing efforts will help you create an effective strategy.
- Where is our audience? Are they on FB, LI, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat? Don't guess - know. Survey your employee base (tools like SurveyMonkey are free), look at reports put out by Pew Research and Forrester on Social Media Usage by Demographics. Invest your time where your audience is - not where you want them to be.
- Do we have the manpower to engage with the people who engage with us on social marketing channels? It doesn't help your program to get prospects, candidates, and employees engaged in a conversation with career pages and handles if you aren't prepared to respond. If you don't, that's okay - just be up front about it by sharing that you're broadcasting info on this channel and sharing where candidates can best interact with you (i.e. career site, LinkedIn, etc).
- Have a content approval process in place. A second (sometimes third) set of eyes can be the difference between social media success and spectacularly embarrassing failure that can damage your company's reputation. Ensure all hands touching your social media accounts are trained on brand standards, messaging guidelines, conversational tone and that management reviews content plans. You can't come back easily from turning a C-level executive into a member of the Blue Man group due to bad lighting, typos or cultural gaffs once "publish" has been hit.
@recruitradical re: "When in doubt don't tweet it out." @AllisonAKruse #srsc pic.twitter.com/Z74T1x347T >Look (& think) before you [tweet] leap! — Ian Gertler (@IanGertler) January 29, 2015