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What 6,000 Hours of Research Taught Us About Social Media for Staffing Firms

Social Recruiting Strategies | Improved Social Recruiting Strategies
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At Haley Marketing we have a series of core values that shape our organization and make us who we are. And, while they are all important and critical on their own, one has stood out to me since I joined Team Haley in 2013.

Good Isn’t Good Enough

Whether it’s marketing and product development or a relationship and personal development there is always room for improvement.

2018 was a good year.

I’d even argue it was a great year…and I hope my wife of 3 months says the same.

But, good isn’t good enough. By accepting that all is good we put ourselves in a position to become complacent. A position that allows competition to come in and steal business from us. A position that leads us to fall short of our overall goals and plans.

The Growth of Social Pro

A few years ago I took on the development of Social Pro, the fully-managed social media marketing solution designed specifically for the staffing and recruiting industry, provided by Haley Marketing Group.

What started as an idea (to manage the day-to-day social media recruitment efforts of the clients that ask us to do so) has turned into a seven-time American Staffing Association Genius Award-winning campaign.

Much more important than the awards it helped clients place in their office, Social Pro has aided over 100 staffing and recruiting firms with their social recruiting strategies and helped them stay top of mind and stand out in a saturated market amid record low unemployment.

But…good isn’t good enough.

2018 was a record year for Haley Marketing Group.

But, amid the positives, something else stood out to me.

We had clients quit Social Pro.

While there’s no way to guarantee perfect retention year over year, I take it very personally when a client makes the decision to quit the program.

Admittedly. in a roundabout way, I’m thankful for the cancellations. Not because I ever want to see clients leave. In fact, cancellations are one of the largest factors that keep me up at night. and I hope that in time we can earn the trust back of those that did leave so we can continue to help them maximize their success.

But, I’m thankful for the opportunity to improve. Because good isn’t good enough, and the candid feedback of individuals throughout the past year provided us with a range of insight into improving.

6,000 Hours

In 2018 Team Haley spent over 6,000 researching, strategizing and implementing Social media tactics for staffing firms across the country.

6,000 hours of research, along with the feedback of current clients, past clients, trusted advisors and countless team meetings that weren’t tracked has gotten us here. Because again, good isn’t good enough.

The Key Components of a Successful Social Recruiting Strategy

Clearly Defining SMART Goals

Setting SMART Goals to Quantify Social Media Success | Brad Bialy | DisruptHR Talks from DisruptHR on Vimeo.

Last October I had the opportunity to share the stage with Buffalo’s leading innovators and thought leaders in HR at DisruptHR Buffalo.

My topic, Setting SMART Goals to Measure Social Media Success, was one that became a core focus of the team at Haley Marketing Group.

What we learned in 6,000 hours of research is without a clearly defined end destination, without clearly defined goals and objectives, a social media strategy can never truly be successful.

Without knowing where you’re trying to get, the tactics you deploy are just noise in the clutter that is Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Do you want to generate 15% more applications than you did this time last year? Increase traffic to your job board by 20% year over year?

Before posting on social, define your SMART Goals from an organizational level.

Understand Target Audience and Messaging

At record low unemployment our social recruiting plan is going to be primarily focused on targeting passive job seekers instead of active job seekers.

That said, how you speak to a passive job seeker or someone who is underemployed and looking for their next opportunity is drastically different than how you speak to someone who has been on the job hunt for a year.

Along with that, attracting candidates from different industries (healthcare, IT, blue-collar roles) is drastically different.

Before deploying a social recruiting strategy you MUST know your target audience and be able to clearly define their pain points and how you can add more value to their job search than your competition.

Develop a Custom Strategy and Outline Supporting Tactics

Social media recruiting is not a one-size fit all landscape.

What works for light industrial staffing firms in Buffalo won’t necessarily return the same results for an IT staffing firm in Silicon Valley.

By first clearly identifying goals and objectives, you can then develop a custom strategy and the supporting tactics that will guide you on the path to success.

Create Captivating Thumb-Stopping Imagery

Every minute 147,000 photos are uploaded to Facebook (source)

Not only is it critical to have thought-provoking copy that attracts the attention of the reader, but we also need to include captivating, thumb-stopping imagery that will spark the reader’s attention, cause them to stop while their scrolling through their newsfeed and take action by clicking over to your blog article of a job listing.

Schedule Posts

To be truly successful at social recruiting, you need to be certain that every post has a purpose.


By scheduling content ahead of time, you allow yourself the opportunity to develop a plan for every post. To develop a strategic posting schedule that correlates with your main business objectives.

Instead of being reactionary, posting content on a given day because you have to, observe the data, see what’s working best for you, and plan a strategy that deploys tactics driving you towards business success.

Additional Listening: [InSights] Every Post Has a Purpose

Joining the Conversation through Active Group Management

I’ve become a passionate advocate for personal branding over the past year and have made it one of my core speaking pillars at Haley Marketing Group.

A critical component of personal branding is joining the conversation. Listening first and talking second.

On Facebook and LinkedIn, joining groups gives Recruiters and Staffing Specialists the opportunity to join existing conversations.

To make the most of social media recruitment in 2019, join groups based on location and industry and become a trusted member of the group, adding value when you can and sharing appropriate jobs when guided to do so based on the conversation within the group.

Additional Reading: [eBook] Personal Branding: Your Secret to More Applications and Better Candidates

Additional Viewing: [Video] Personal Branding: Your Secret to More Applications and Better Candidates

Actively Sourcing Passive Candidates

In order to actively source passive candidates, you must first create a connection with your audience.

On LinkedIn, this means consistently connecting with individuals in target roles that you’re actively trying to fill. Using social media is an essential piece for reaching these specific candidates.

By growing your audience on LinkedIn and other social platforms, you develop a community that you can then communicate with.

In a similar approach to group management, listen first and talk second.

Listen to what your new connections are saying in your newsfeed and then actively respond to questions and comments on a consistent basis.

Leverage Social Media to Share Jobs

First, as a side note, If you’re working to overcome a decrease in applications from Indeed, I encourage you to read Haley Marketing’s newest eBook: Indeedmaggedon: Strategies to help staffing and recruiting firms prepare for the loss of free job posts

In step one of our key components to a successful social recruiting strategy for 2019, we addressed understanding your goals.

If the main goal of your staffing firm is to generate applications, then understanding how each platform can lead to this success is critical.

That means leaning on Facebook Jobs, understanding how hashtags on Twitter and Instagram can increase reach for available opportunities, and leveraging LinkedIn as a social recruiting tool to find the right candidate for your available opportunity.

Paid Advertising on Facebook

For the past few years, Facebook has shifted from a place where all brands can exist on a common playing field, to a place with pivoting algorithms and elements that need to be truly studied and perfected. The best staffing and recruiting firms understand that Facebook is a viable social recruiting platform and use it to its full potential.,

When means incorporating a dedicated advertising budget.

What should you be promoting or boosting on Facebook?

  1. Active Jobs
  2. Your Overall Job Board
  3. Facebook Jobs
  4. Great Articles from Your Blog
  5. Target Past Candidates through a Like Campaign
  6. Target Ideal Candidates through a Like Campaign

Additional Reading: Facebook Jobs: The Next Heavyweight in the Job Board Ring

Additional Reading: Changes in Social Algorithms Should Motivate, Not Intimidate You


All the tactics above are great but, without a monthly report, how will you know if the tactics you’re deploying are successful or just joining the noise and clutter that already overtakes social media?

What should be included in a monthly report?

Start by recapping your organizational goals. From there, outline data that supports the growth and push towards surpassing these goals.

A monthly report doesn’t need to be a massive document. But it should allow you to take a quick glance at the month’s success and quickly tell you (and other individuals in your office) if the tactics you deployed were successful or unsuccessful.

Additional Video: [1-Hour Video] The Road Map: A Step-by-Step Guide to Social Media Success

That’s A lot to Do Myself! Where Should I Get Started?

This might come as a shock, but a successful social recruiting strategy is a lot to manage yourself if you don’t have the proper coaching.

But, this is no different than any other core component of your day-to-day operations.

What’s different is the shift in perception that social recruiting is a viable solution for generating applications from qualified candidates.

The guide above, along with the included additional resources, should act as a starting point.

How Can Haley Marketing Help?

Whether you’re a staffing firm owner just getting started with social media recruitment, the social media coordinator for a specific firm, or an intern ready to take their social recruiting to the next level, 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. By identifying your goals, our team will develop the strategy and supporting tactics to help take your business to the next level.  In sharing a mix of 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 questions about other leading social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. We understand the social recruiting landscape 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 seven ASA Voice and Genius Awards?

Not sure you need a fully-managed social media marketing solution?

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!

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