By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I love social media. Don’t get me wrong. My business is built on using social media to engage job seekers, employees and candidates. Social media is a great way to engage an audience of job seekers who are both passive and active candidates, but it’s not really a strategic activity.

Social media and social recruiting is a real time activity. Yes, there is an art form to using a hash tag and properly creating content to tweet. But what’s really strategic about building candidate pipelines involves more than pushing out an automatic job posting.

For social recruiting to be strategic, it needs to involve these four things.

A long-term plan and strategy.
Going beyond publishing photos and holiday content but focused on resources for your ideal candidate that are valuable and will last for the long term. It’s not enough any longer for companies to post pictures of GEICO Camel for ‘Hump Day.’ Consumers are looking at brands to provide them with real content that they’re able to use professionally.

If you’re a marketing agency you should be putting out tips and tricks that help consumers navigate their brand and presence. Don’t give them the secrets of the trade, but give them enough where they’re educated about the necessity for a stellar brand image. If you’re a software company put out information that educates the consumer on the importance of your offerings as well as industry-related types of content that keeps the reader coming back for more.

You need a long-term content strategy and overall plan for building your brand into a resource for not only potential customers, but also current customers.

Create an inbound candidate flow.
Keeping in mind with the talent network a strategic social recruiting strategy means creating a constant flow of potential candidates to your talent network and pipeline. When you post a new job requisition you should already have 3-5 candidates in mind from your current pipeline that you can ask to apply for the job. Using software like TalentCircles allows you to bring all the candidates you source on social networks into one central location where you can keep them updated on company news and open positions that might peak their interest.

Creating an inbound candidate flow and you’ll basically be golden for filling positions. Most companies don’t realize that there are great technologies out there that allow them to place all candidates in a central hub. Once you’ve found someone on social networks get them involved fast so you can fill positions more easily.

Use your resources.
A real relationship with job seekers going beyond just social activates your entire recruiting funnel. Utilizing your resources and technology focused on unique engagement and meaningful conversations that go beyond just surface but focused on building an employment brand and recruiter relationship that speaks positively about your company. Candidates and job seekers like to feel engaged and important. One off answers when they have a few isn’t going to cut it. If you want to find the people who are really engaged and loving your brand make sure to take the time in responding to each and every question that job seekers ask.

Focused on metrics.
Sometimes social media is fuzzy. Like any type of engagement-focused activity, not every conversation or tweet means that every interaction is with a candidate. The focus is on metrics, conversation and where candidates are directed to your talent network and then ultimately hired or engaged.

Before you start building out a social recruiting strategy make sure that you have benchmarks in place to determine how successful you are at your efforts. This will also allow you to discuss with your team what is most important to your organizations whether it be X number of candidates in your funnel, good conversations with potential candidates, or brand awareness while building your pipeline.

Your social recruiting strategy is more then “likes” on your Facebook or followers on your Twitter. It’s about the relationships you build over these networks and turning those relationships into brand ambassadors or employees to your company. Create a shareable story about how you recruited a candidate and build off the momentum to get the results you’re looking for in social recruiting.

How are you stepping up your social recruiting strategies?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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