The staffing industry is amid a very real challenge.
With the national unemployment rate hovering around 4 percent for the past six months, we reached unemployment metrics in September that were the lowest recorded since February 2001.
Let that sink in.
Unemployment is at a 16-year low with metrics dating back to the month after Wikipedia was launched, and predating the launch of the first generation iPod touch and Windows XP.
Even worse, if you’re operating out of North Dakota or Colorado, then you’re undoubtedly feeling the pressure of finding qualified candidates amid an unemployment rate of 2.3 percent, a number we haven’t experienced at the national level since Eisenhower was in office (national unemployment hit 2.5% in 1953).
So, what can we do?
How can we find talented individuals to fill those job orders that continue to come across your desk?
If you want to win the battle for applications in 2017, you have to play by 2017 standards.
That means dismissing any preconceived notions of what social media is, and understanding that the right social media strategy can help you crush your business goals.
So, where should you get started? What can you do today to drive applications to fill the job orders already sitting on your desk?
Create a Well-Designed Website Conversion Funnel
Okay, maybe the title of the post was misleading. I promised tips on landing more applications through social media. But, we can never be successful on social media if we don’t start from the foundation and make sure your website is built for success.
You can drive all the traffic in the world back to your website, but if there are holes in your conversion funnel, you’ll never reach your goals.
When you look at your blog or your main services pages, think about the next step you want a prospective candidate to take.
Do you want someone to contact you?
Submit their resume?
Apply for an available position on your website?
Whatever your team decides, be sure to include strong calls to action within the sidebars of your website, in the footer of your content and within the copy as in-line buttons. Use these calls to action to drive visitors to the next targeted page on your website where they can take action and apply for a job or contact your team directly.
Understand the Tools to Their Fullest Extent
Jay Baer once said, “The goal is not to be good at social media. The goal is to be good at business because of social media.”
While I’ve adapted this mentality and respect Baer as a thought leader in the social media and reputation management fields, I do believe that to be great at social media, you need to understand the tools better than anyone else.
You’ve heard of the 10,000 hour rule?
In the same respect, anyone can be good at social media. Anyone can log in to Facebook and post an update about an available job they are hiring for or a job fair that is coming up. But, to be truly great at social media, you need to understand the specific nuances of the platforms you’re posting to. You need to put in the time to know each individual social platform as well as you know how to operate within your ATS.
Most importantly, you need to understand the business goal you’re trying to reach and then understand how you will leverage social media as a tool to help you get there.
Post Jobs Everywhere
This might go without saying, but if you’re having a hard time finding qualified applicants, you need to start posting jobs…everywhere.
Don’t rely solely on Indeed, Monster or Glassdoor.
Don’t only post your job on Facebook when sites like Twitter, LinkedIn or Craigslist can help you amplify that job to thousands of other potential applicants.
Put simply, break out of your comfort zone.
Sit down and make a list of every place you are currently pushing your available job opportunities.
Now challenge yourself to find 10 more.
Related, don’t just post your available job opportunity. Make it appealing! Make the details and description irresistible!
In February of this year, Facebook set out to “Take the work out of hiring”
Allowing pages to post jobs directly on Facebook, where applicants could apply quickly and efficiently…without ever leaving Facebook.
There’s a first-mover advantage to new rollouts from Facebook, and this feature is certainly proving that to be true.
Looking for a step-by-step guide to Facebook Jobs? Want to know what this would look like from the page you manage and what the candidate would see on their side?
Hashtags on Twitter
Twitter is, and always will be, about the conversation.
So, how can you join that conversation and be a part of it instead of aimlessly shouting into the clutter?
Hashtags (#) allow Twitter users to group their tweets together.
If you’re looking to gather more applications, I would encourage you to not only browse #Jobs or #Job, but also look for location-specific hashtags and join the conversation, answering questions that Twitter users might have and providing the solution they’re looking for.
For advanced research into hashtags, and to better identify which hashtags would work best for your staffing firm specifically, check out www.ritetag.com.
Remarketing Through Facebook Advertising
Have you been on Amazon in the past six months?
Did you look at a product only to leave Amazon without purchasing that item?
Chances are, when you went back to Facebook within the next day or so, that product showed up as a Facebook advertisement.
Remarketing is a strategy that continues to impact the online marketplace, but it can also impact the staffing industry.
Consider placing remarketing code on the job board on your website!
When an applicant views that page, a cookie is placed on their computer so when they venture out to Facebook, they begin to see advertisements for your available job opportunities.
But does it work?
At Haley Marketing Group, our independent research shows that a repeat visitor is two times more likely to apply to an available job opportunity than a new visitor.
If you’re working to drive new candidates to your website, don’t forget to hit them with remarketing code on the way out so you stay top of mind and influence the likelihood that they’ll come back a second (or third!) time.
Grow LinkedIn Connections Daily
On Episode 6 of Secrets of Staffing Success, Brian Hatfield, Director of Recruitment at Cornerstone Staffing Solutions, talked about how a relationship he built with one woman allowed him the opportunity to also find jobs for her husband, two sons and daughter over a 10-year period.
You never know who will need help finding a job or when that need will arise.
Every day, log in to LinkedIn and connect with 25-30 individuals.
This can be specific and strategic; connecting with people in your geographic location – or it can be more free-flowing and open – connecting with second connections of people you already know.
Either way, I challenge you to actively grow your LinkedIn database so you continue to grow your personal network and brand.
Listen and Respond
This might go without saying, but if you want to land more applications through social media, you have to be human on social media.
While you can certainly automate portions of your social media marketing strategy, there is still massive value in being human on each individual platform and listening and responding to the individuals you come into contact with.
This is true for both personal and company accounts.
If you see a question or comment come through that you can provide value towards and answer…answer it!
Don’t just post blog after blog on your company page. Don’t blast job after job onto your Twitter account because you see a competitor doing that.
Instead, be strategic with your posts and listen to the audience around you. Answer their questions and be human.
Document Who Your Company is on Instagram
At Haley Marketing Group, our Instagram strategy is simple…but effective.
While we push content and resources out through our other social channels, Instagram is used to showcase our team.
Consistently, we are publishing pictures and videos that showcase who we are as individuals so our clients and prospects can become more comfortable with the individuals behind the brand and, more importantly, the individuals executing various marketing initiatives.
If you’re looking to land more applications through social media, I would encourage your team to do the same.
Everyday, strive to post one image update on Instagram that showcases an individual from your team or of an event happening in your office that can give candidates an inside look into what it’s like to partner with your organization.
This will lead to them being more comfortable with your team when they do decide to reach out regarding an available opportunity and will continue to position your organization in a positive light.
Strive for Five…Stars
When you think about Search Engine Optimization, the first thing that typically comes to mind is Google.
How can you get your staffing firm to show up on page one of Google results for a generic term like “Employment Agencies in (YOUR CITY HERE)?”
Well, there’s another side of SEO that is often overlooked, and it lies on Facebook.
Getting to the top of Facebook’s search is another leading way to get more applicants to visit your page…instead of a competitor’s.
So, how can you influence Facebook’s search?
To start, verify your company Facebook page. Facebook has said in past releases that verified pages will show up higher in search results.
Once you do that, strive for five stars when it comes to Facebook reviews.
Not only is Facebook more likely to show a staffing firm with a higher rating in search results, but 90 percent of people report that reviews help them determine the quality of a local business, and 72 percent of people report that positive reviews inspire trust.
Applicants are generating an opinion of you before they even call your office or visit your website based on reviews. Don’t let one negative review from a disgruntled employee five years ago be the reason you’re losing applications to your competitors today.
How Can Haley Marketing Help?
Whether you’re a staffing firm owner just getting started on social media, or the social media coordinator for a specific firm, Haley Marketing Group has the team in place to help support your initiatives. With Social Pro by Haley Marketing, one of our skilled Social Media Marketing Advisors will take responsibility for developing your organization’s voice on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. By posting quality content, top jobs, and other branded shareables every day, your firm will be positioned as a premier resource for job seekers and employers within your target market.
Your advisor is also available to answer specific questions about other leading social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. We understand the social space and want to help you make the most out of your time spent on every platform.
Did I mention Social Pro assisted in clients winning six ASA Voice and Genius Awards?
Not sure you need a full social media advisor to execute your strategy? Just need a little coaching along the way?
That’s fine too!
We’d love to consult with your team on a monthly basis, giving your social media coordinator or internal team member tasked with social responsibilities additional tips and best practices to help them crush social media!