Modern Recruiter should know social selling!

This post was originally posted at LinkedIn, 15th November, 2016: 16951422677_07bdee5607_b

Modern recruiter needs to become a social selling specialist.

Recruitment is very much an outwards oriented role. Recruiter is mostly focusing his actions towards external audiences, the potential candidates and applicants, rather than existing employees. Recruiter is selling the idea, that his employer is the most interesting company to work for, has the best employees, and has great career opportunities available for the best applicants. Recruiter is using sales and marketing tactics to attract and engage with his audience, but in most cases, don't know much about the best practices, tools and services for doing so.

All recruiters should know social selling by heart


What is social selling in recruitment and talent attraction context?

Social selling is many things, but in recruitment, it's a fairly simple set of practices.

Modern recruiter needs to become a "digitalist"

Modern recruiter needs to understand social media services and ways of working, social media analytics (tools), digital marketing, networking, search functions and especially boolean search criteria, and more.

Which services to use to attract different types of individuals and skillsets? How to produce content within the chosen set of media? How to measure the results? How and why to network and where? How to build employer brand with corporate brand strategy in mind? How to build strong personal brands? How to engage personnel to give referrals and to distribute content? How to build a strong talent pipeline in general with the help of digital media?

  • Building employer brand

How to become an interesting employer in the eyes of the target audience? Which media to choose for which focus group? How to create content that suits the channel and interests the audience? How to build trust? What motivates people to change jobs or to apply for one?

  • Find the right people

How to use search features in each media, how are boolean search criteria supported? How to network for better reach, to build engagement and to reach the audience more directly, cheaper and faster?

  • Use metrics and analyse your ROI

How much effort do you put in and what do you get in return, are you doing the right things in the right channel to reach the right audience?

  • Activate your network, your employees

Personal brands and see through processes FTW! How to make your network carry your employer brand torch, how to make them an efficient referral network? What motivates people, do they need support in building their personal brands, presence and voice? Are they speaking the right "language"?

  • Building relationships, personal brand

How to become a trustworthy advocate for your employer? What to publish, what to share for what kind of impact, when to like, share and comment? What kind of information may they be looking for when evaluating you, the company?

Create buying personas for your target skillsets!

Just as in sales and marketing, modern recruiter needs to understand his audience.

Create buying personas! What skillsets are you looking for, where do they work, which schools did they study at, what are their hobbies, where do they hang out, what are they interested in, what motivates them (professionally)? What kind of talent do you want to attract?

Convince them with your content. Whether it is your own content or content created by your specialists, modern recruiter needs to understand the power of content marketing, the power of telling stories and opening up the company processes to build interest and understanding. The need for openness is now greater than ever, if we want to attract the right kind of people to work for us, to get the "cultural matches" while finding the best skilled individuals.

And when someone likes, shares or comments your content, you need to engage. Someone has reached out to you, now you need to react!

The same goes with your personal and corporate profiles. If someone visits your profile or follows you, you need to consider if this person is worth discussing with. And start with the assumption that everyone who shows interest in you, you need to be interested in!

At early stages, you don't get to choose, you can't afford to be picky! You are a servant for your "customers", so you deliver customer service like you mean it! Was it the competitor's top specialist who visited your LinkedIn profile, is he considering changing jobs?

Employer brand is built on moments

I consider the employer brand building a journey of many "moments" and encounters, and many of these "moments" happen without you even knowing it.

People start to become aware of the company long before you even know it, from the very first moment they hear the name of the company. Your image, the brand, starts to build immediately. It may be a news article they later won't remember, it may be about your employees saying something in media, the CEO earning sick loads of money, or the company winning a "great place to work" award.

At some moment in time, the person may be considering a career move, and has a vague memory of your company, you as a person, or one of your employees, and starts considering the company as a potential employer. Starts searching for content online or asks friends about their experience with you, your company, the company products, the recruitment process, salary levels, and all things imaginable.

And you don't get to choose what they see or hear, from whom or where. You're an object of investigation. The recruitment marketing content you've created may start to have impact. The corporate and employee profiles come into play. The application process may start if the investigation came back with positive results. And the actual applicant experience starts to build up.

To me, the perfect situation would be when all personnel act as recruiters. They all have their individual networks, the reach and credibility towards their networks, and tone of voice that makes them the most trustworthy advocates for the cause. They all should be interested in the organisation to find the best individuals, the best skillsets and best cultural match to work with and prosper together. And personnel has far greater reach - on top of being more credible advocates of the company - than their employer.

Modern recruiter's check list:

  • Create buying personas for top skillsets you may be looking for in the future. Learn to know your target audience.
  • Choose the media wisely, there's plenty to choose from!
  • Learn to use the media (searches, profiles, pages, groups, content, impact, metrics and analytics)
  • Constantly build your network
  • Plan how to activate personnel to get referrals, brand advocates, distribution, to collect stories
  • Use visual content. Always.
  • Tell stories. Use content marketing techniques.
  • Engage into conversations, publish status updates, react when someone reaches out to you
  • Share knowledge and help, serve your customers
  • Do searches and use saved searches. Learn boolean well!
  • Use tags, notes, reminders, publishing tools, scheduled updates
  • Ask for help, referrals, distribution.
  • Enrich your CV database / ATS data when possible
  • Always keep your eyes open for new ways of working, tools and techniques
  • Be positive!

Anything to add?

If you know a recruiter or HR person who might be interested in this, please do share!

The writer is a social media recruitment and employer branding trainer, social selling tipster and a LinkedIn specialist, travelling the world, evangelizing social media.