Hiring is no longer linear. In fact, a strong employer brand is one of the most significant variables in top-level talent deciding whether your organization is the right fit.
According to one survey, 75% of job seekers are more likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages their employer brand. HR professionals recognize similar trends, with 86% responding that recruitment is becoming increasingly like marketing when it comes to selling the organization to prospective applicants.
Employer branding happens everywhere and throughout the recruitment process. Social media, though, occupies a special position in the process. 68% of Millennials, 54% of Gen-X, and 48% of Baby Boomers specifically indicated that they visit an employer’s social media properties to evaluate its brand before or during the application process.
So, let’s talk about optimizing it. While social media remains a primary for more traditional marketing efforts, it can also play a significant role in promoting and even enhancing your employer brand.
Match Your Social Media Channels With Job Seeker Preferences
As in any other type of marketing, the first step starts with your target audience. In this case, it’s about making sure your efforts line up with the social media networks your potential applicants use.
LinkedIn is the first and most obvious answer. Your employer brand should definitely be a part of your LinkedIn presence. But it doesn’t need to end there. Facebook can work exceedingly well as the most popular network in the world. And, Instagram’s visual nature is a good fit to show off your organizational culture. Even Twitter’s short notes can work well if your audience is active.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. Even the best content won’t matter if it doesn’t get in front of your audience. Pick your channels of choice, then start working on the content that gets their attention.
Create All Social Media Content With Prospective Applicants in Mind
Unless your organization isn’t public-facing, chances are your social media efforts are broader than employer branding. Universities use it to attract students and engage alumni, while hotels look to attract guests. Overhauling your entire social strategy to suit prospective audiences may be great for your employer brand, but drags down all of your other marketing efforts.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. One simple step you can take is making employer branding a checkpoint on any content you create. It doesn’t necessarily have to be optimized for the hiring process, but also shouldn’t work actively against it. For example:
- A university will frequently post content of current students. As long as it doesn’t put faculty and staff in a bad light, that content should not pose a danger to your employer brand.
- A hotel will likely post about the location, fun activities, and relaxing opportunities available. Especially if those are perks of working at the hotel as well, posting about them doesn’t endanger your image as an employer.
The same examples can easily be extrapolated across industries and channels. Rather than building all of your social media content for prospective hires, simply keep your employer brand in mind as you span your content efforts across your target audiences.
Take a Narrative Approach to Tell Your Organization’s Story
Humans love storytelling. It connects with us on an emotional level, allowing us to more easily grasp concepts and become engaged. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the world’s top employer brands leverage human-centered storytelling to endear themselves to prospective applicants.
Storytelling allows you to build an emotional connection to your audience that adds to the generally rational nature of the job description or careers page. Or, as one HR publication puts it:
With story, people will be able to connect with your brand on a deep level. Internally, you will be able to recruit willing advocates, ambassadors, and brand activists who knowingly protect, nurture, and proliferate your employee experience and the culture that fuels it, and externally, candidates will be able to feel what it’s really like to work at your company.
So, how do you tell those stories? Ideally, through the eyes of your current employees and culture advocates. Allow them to explain what it’s like working for you, and the impact it’s made on their personal and professional lives. That also adds another benefit: you might be targeting talent first and foremost, but your other social media audiences will also benefit and become more attached to your brand through these stories.
Celebrate Dedicated Months With Value-Add Content
In today’s hiring an environment, diversity, equity, and inclusion is an absolutely vital value to highlight as part of your employer brand. Especially for the younger generation, working at an organization that respects all races and members of an underrepresented group is a priority.
Social media alone won’t help you get there. But if DEI is already important within your organization, it can help to highlight it, especially during dedicated months like Women’s History Month, Black History Month, Pride Month, and so on.
Plan for these months ahead of time with content specifically designed to draw attention to them, which you can accomplish in a few different ways:
- Share quotes, both from external experts and historical figures, relating to your industry and organization.
- Spotlight key clients and employees within the group in question, drawing attention to their relationship with your company.
- Swipe or Carousel posts, now available on networks from LinkedIn to Instagram, that allow you to share multiple images or graphics following a similar theme and look.
- Wrap-up posts at the end of the month that highlight your organization’s efforts and connection with the month and group in question.
DEI is very much about show, not tell. Social media posts are great to draw attention to these topics, but social media posts that show actual efforts and engagements your organization is undertaking to help underrepresented groups will go a long way towards showing prospective applicants where your values lie.
Show Collaboration and Organizational Culture Within Your Teams
What, exactly, can employees expect when they are hired and begin working for you? Don’t be afraid to show off exactly what the working environment will be like. After all, culture at its most basic is just the feeling your employees and teams get when they’re working together.
This type of content especially works on two platforms: LinkedIn, where many of your applicants will look for it, and Instagram, which is visual by nature. On each, you have a variety of options:
- Simple, occasional pictures of people working together, decorating their offices, etc. This is the low-hanging fruit that can be surprisingly effective.
- Behind-the-scenes videos of your office spaces, perhaps even produced by employees showing off their space, require more production time but also generate more engagement.
- Interactive job previews that provide an immersive look into your organization’s campus and workplace. The most complex option, but also the most engaging.
When in doubt, test out different types of content. You will be able to determine which visuals will draw in prospective applicants by the number of views, likes, and engagement you get on each post you type.
Amplify Authentic Voices Within and Outside Your Organization
Finally, let’s talk about perhaps the most important part of employer branding: authenticity. Simply saying you’re great to work for and you have the right values, won’t be enough. To build truly effective messaging, you need to show it—and there is perhaps no better way of showing it than through your employee and external advocates.
Your employees have an opinion to share. They’ll leave reviews on external sites like Glassdoor, but they’re also happy to share them directly. Customers have similar feelings about your organization’s values and emphases. So why not leverage already-generated content to work on your behalf?
If reviews are lacking in quality or quantity, ask employees you know to be happy directly. Keep the authenticity in place, though; applicants will be able to tell if a quote is forced or lacks detail. You need honest opinions from people who truly love working for you.
Once you have them, you can amplify them as much as possible. Take reviews, turn them into designs to act as social media graphics, and post them. Create testimonial videos for your employees to share on their own channels. Wherever you can, highlight what your own teams, your applicants’ future co-workers, have to say about you.
Creating a Better Employer Brand With Visual, Authentic Social Media Content
Building an employer brand is not easy. It’s even more complex once you take the many channels your audience uses to research you into account. Fortunately, with the right guidance and content in place, you’re halfway to promoting the right brand image to prospective applicants.
Remember: the average candidate will review 12 or more pieces of content before applying to an open position. With a social media presence both visual and authentic, you can make sure what they find accurately describes and enhances your organizational image and culture.
Depending on your content needs, we can help. As mentioned above, job previews can play a core role in highlighting your work environment. You can even integrate visuals from other channels to turn them into informational, engaging hubs of content. Ready to get started? Contact us today.