Further Research Into Social Media and Talent Acquisition
My most recent posts have extolled the virtue of employing a social media strategy for talent acquisition. This week I decided to do some further research in this connection. I begin with phone calls to a couple of my clients. I wanted their input and to learn what they're doing. After a few conversations, I began visiting their websites and social media pages. I even built an Excel Spreadsheet to capture the data I thought might be relevant. What I learned was most interesting, leading me to believe that I must pursue this line of analysis further.
As I have a somewhat diverse client base, I was able to see top line results across various industry sectors. My clients range from retail to consumer packaged goods, business to business services, and manufacturing. All of these companies are using their websites to attract potential employees. Some have a more robust presence than others in this regard, however, all are posting jobs and providing a vehicle to take applications from job seekers. A few of the consumer brands are using their website to build a community of career minded followers. It was interesting to note, however, that none of these companies provided a compelling reason for anyone to join their team. There was no call to action. It was as if to say; yeah we have positions to fill, and we might be interested in talking with you if you want to talk to us. That was common across all platforms.
With one exception, all of my clients are using LinkedIn to promote their company. There is a wide range of effort in this area, but it is fair to say that none has a particularly strong presence on LinkedIn. Again, there was no evidence of a strategic message for talent acquisition by any of these brands.
Only one of these companies, a manufacturer, doesn’t have a presence on Facebook. Otherwise, there is substantial evidence that they are making good use of social media. There is a lot of variation in the frequency of their messaging, but they are all working to develop a community of engaged followers.
All of these brands are active on Twitter as well. The consumer oriented brands are generating the most activity and followers. The manufacturing company scored lowest on activity level whereas the CPG brand is "rocking it." With the exception of the manufacturing company, each of these firms also maintains a presence on Instagram and Pinterest. That was a pleasant surprise, but understandable as those platforms are consumer oriented.
My Clients recognize the importance of leveraging their presence on the Web to support their talent acquisition goals. Some are further along than others, however, each has established a beachhead. They have extended their reach and are becoming more experienced. I suspect there is a budget issue in play here as well. Generally speaking, the larger companies have a bigger social media footprint. They must recognize the value of this medium and have resourced their efforts. A notable exception is the smallest company which has made the greatest commitment to social media. Of course, that could be because it is a CPG-Digital company that markets its products on the Web. Even so, it is most curious that they don’t offer a compelling message to attract potential employees. They provide the process to make it easy for the motivated job seeker to make an application or to send a resume but offer little encouragement. None offered a compelling reason to consider a career with their company. Their message is directed toward their retail customer and prospective customers, but not prospective employees.
I found this to be a very useful exercise which requires further investigation. I made an effort to follow each of these companies on Twitter and LinkedIn. I also gave them my email address to receive their marketing communication. I am eager to learn about their messaging. It will be fun to watch their progress.
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Jim Weber, President
New Century Dynamics Executive Search
Author of: Fighting Alligators: Job Search Strategy For The New Normal
1. COO- Atlanta-based Casual Dining Restaurant Company – New
2. Controller – Atlanta-based Consumer Products – Digital Company – New
3. Director of Biz Dev, Atlanta-based B2B Professional Services Company: Completed
4. Payroll-Benefits Manager, Atlanta-based Retail Company: Complete
5. Senior Accounting Manager – Atlanta-based Manufacturer. Complete
6. Controller – Atlanta-based Restaurant Company: New
7. Outplacement Assignment – Atlanta-based Manufacturer: New