Can talent acquisition get a ride on the corporate communications social channels? Is it necessary to have separate social profiles? How can I get corporate communications to share careers-related content on social channels?
I can’t tell you how many times I am asked these questions. I find I’m not the only one spending many sleepless nights bouncing different scenarios in my head.
I organized my thoughts, posed the question to several talent acquisition and employer brand professionals, did some research and decided to write this blog post.
WHAT WE KNOW
- Social media is an effective way to showcase company culture and highlight your employer brand.
- More and more talent acquisition teams are finding that content can be a differentiator when trying to be in front of a candidate. There are companies investing in career-related blogs to provide relevant content to their candidates. Need some examples? Check out these blogs from BP, Sodexo, UnitedHealth Group and Fidelity.
- Typically, a corporate communications team has some sort of “control” over a company’s brand and consider the social media channels as part of their domain.
SHOULD TALENT ACQUISITION HAVE ITS OWN SOCIAL CHANNELS?
Well, it depends! And here is why:
ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS POSSIBLE CANDIDATES?
You should only consider combining careers and corporate channels if there is at least 90% of overlap between clients and potential candidates.
Let’s take Vail Resorts, for example – many of its customers/guests may also be their prospective employees. In this case, sharing the same social channel profile would be acceptable with the right content strategy. On the other hand, let’s consider a high-end winery – its customers most likely won’t be the best candidates for the majority of the roles. Sharing a social channel doesn’t make sense.
“Communities and content are for audiences. Unless those audiences (in this case customers and applicants) are alike AND are seeking the same resources from you (product/services info and culture vs careers info and culture), then they need to be separate. Now that doesn’t mean content can’t be cross pollinated when appropriate. We do that often.” Rachel Forester Duran – CA Technologies
HOW VOLATILE IS YOUR INDUSTRY?
If a certain social channel is a common destination for controversial or volatile conversations, you may want to keep careers and corporate separate, even if an overlap of target audience exists.
Example: It may not be ideal for you to post career-related content in an attempt to attract customer service representatives on a Facebook page where people post a lot of complaints about products/services. On the other hand, a page that constantly receives complaints about the company as an employer (layoffs, working conditions, etc.), may not be the best place to host content to attract new customers.
HOW BIG IS YOUR COMPANY?
This has to do with the amount of content (including social posts real estate) that is required to support both the consumer and employer brand.
Think of your employer brand and careers content needs:
- Various departments and/or locations with different hiring needs
- Micro cultures based on geography
Think of your consumer brand content needs:
- Highlight different product and services in large scale to support sales
- Promotions and discounts
- Customer service
Often, in large and or global organizations, marketing has to support sales and needs content marketing real estate on social channels – this leaves talent acquisition with little or no space to fulfill its needs.
DO TALENT ACQUISITION AND CORPORATE PLAY NICE?
As many of you know, sometimes there is some animosity between the two sides of the house. If that’s the case, you may see some resistance in publishing career-related content on corporate social channels. This may be a great opportunity for you to build a bridge and start collaborating, whether channels are separate or combined. A good relationship with corporate communications is key for success. How do you build that bridge? That’s a different blog post (coming soon maybe?), but here’s some food for thought:
- Start small – sharing one valuable piece of content is better than a lot of mediocre ones.
- Keep an eye on data – if that one piece of content gets a lot of engagement, you may have found a way to bargain for more content to be shared.
- If you can find it, show examples of the competition or other reputable companies of similar size and market penetration.
- If you are hiring for corporate communications and marketing, suggest a partnership as a pilot – they create the employer brand and careers posts/content for their channels with your help.
DO YOU HAVE THE APPROPRIATE RESOURCES?
Each channel deserves a different content strategy. Creating content is time consuming, peeps! Creating engaging content is even harder. You are not thinking about only posting career opportunity posts, are you? You need more than that! Do you have someone on your team who can handle it?
You have to be constantly thinking of what is of interest of your audience (check out this case study).
For example, say you host/attend several career events and would like to use Twitter for interaction – that’s a great Twitter strategy! Do you have a team that is well-versed in that channel and familiar with the social media guidelines in order represent your brand at live events? If your answer is “no” – your next step is training. If you do, then you are ready to go!
DO YOU HAVE A “PAY TO PLAY” BUDGET?
If your audience is on Facebook, your organic reach will be around 3% (on a good day). You need to promote your posts, so they can be seen by the right people.
Attention: if you are advertising on Facebook, don’t target people by age and other criteria due to litigation risks.
“… unfortunately your followers on Facebook aren’t seeing your posts unless you pay to boost them- ok 3% are. The only good use of Facebook for recruiting is the targeted ads where you choose the audience (depending on your current hiring initiatives) so it makes no difference who your page followers are.” Audra Knight – Tenable
Have you acquired a company and now are hiring for a new set of titles and skills? If you want to reach this new group on LinkedIn (and they are not following your company), be ready to have to pay to sponsor those company updates so the right audience can see it.
Remember, you need a budget to do so!
WHERE IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
This point is moot if your audience is primarily on LinkedIn. There, you can’t have separate corporate and careers profiles. (LinkedIn Showcase Pages are just not worth the effort due to much smaller reach.)
You might be wondering, if TA doesn’t own LinkedIn, isn’t it worth it to at least have separate Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profiles so we can push out our content? Hummm… No!
If you are hiring in the United States, would you advertise in the United Kingdom? No! If your audience does not hang out or engage on a social channel you should not be there. So, in this case, you should work to create a cohesive content strategy in partnership with the team that controls LinkedIn.
IT ALL DEPENDS…
When I have a question, I want an answer – and most of the time, I don’t want an “it depends” answer. I hate to say it, but in this case, it really does depend.
“We do a little bit of both. We have our own Twitter Careers & Life at Blizzard on Instagram. … Our Facebook page has deep roots and a lot of engagement from our followers. We’ll do an occasional spotlight but we tend to focus on our players, products and culture for that channel.” Dina Medeiros – Blizzard Entertainment
What did I miss? This is a big topic, and this post did not have the intention to give definitive answers or cover all the details – what would you add? I'd love to hear from you, don't hesitate to reach out.
Posted by Adriana Kevill
Adriana has over 20 years of experience working on marketing and digital strategies. She has also been part of the localization industry - giving her a unique insight into different cultures and international business. The “why not?” attitude that stems from her fiery personality combined with the fact that she is seldom satisfied with the status quo, enabled her to build two departments from scratch: Search Marketing and Social Media. By helping clients from several industries (financial technology, engineering, healthcare, etc.), she is equipped with a distinctive vantage point on recruitment marketing strategies, challenges, and opportunities. Getting personal: • Incurable chocoholic • Small talk defiant • Lover of lattes, flip-flops and white sandy beaches • World traveler • Wine over beer • Admirer of great art and design • Crazy mom in beta • Professional observer enthralled by the ‘social’ web