Here’s what candidates DO and DON’T want to see on your social media

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Attracting great job candidates starts on social media. In fact, the four main platforms - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - play such an integral role in employer brand that three quarters of candidates look at a company’s profiles before they apply for a job. 

Given that Gen Z, the newest generation entering the workplace born in the mid-90s onwards, are famously ‘digital natives’, it figures that how seriously you treat these four main networks could be make or break when it comes to recruiting star players to your team.

Here are some things socially-savvy candidates expect to see - and what they’ll find an instant turnoff:

CANDIDATES WANT TO SEE #1: Friendly, conversational posts 

The quickest way to show that your business is friendly and approachable on social media is by making sure the content sounds like it’s written by a human being. 

Faceless corporate speak might suit some annual reports, but when it comes to getting potential employees enthused and excited about joining the team it’s better to write the way someone would speak in real life. 

That means being conversational and relaxed, addressing followers directly with ‘you’ and ‘your’, referring to your business as ‘we’ and generally keeping posts as short and punchy as possible. 

CANDIDATES WANT TO SEE #2: Happy, engaged employees taking centre stage 

Your current staff are your company’s best brand ambassadors, so let them shine through on your social media. Would-be team members enjoy seeing personal testimonials from the type of people they might end up working alongside. 

There’s also huge value in first-hand videos or written stories that give candidates a clear picture of how their career could progress. 

Beware scripted content, however. The most effective way to get the most out of current staff is if they speak honestly and openly about their experience at your organisation - no prompt cards needed. 

CANDIDATES WANT TO SEE #3: What it’s really like to work at your company 

A great company culture features heavily on the wishlist of many prospective employees, and they’ll actively seek out clues on whether your company is right for them. 

Social media is a perfect place to show off behind-the-scenes glimpses and highlight whatever makes your organisation unique. 

From sharing the perks that staff enjoy, to the community projects your team gets involved with and perhaps any workplace policies you’re proud of, there’s a lot your business can do to give a real taster of your workplace at its best. 

At HR GO, we regularly share snapshots of things we’re up to - whether that’s a latest industry award we’ve won, or a picnic in the park to welcome a new member of staff (and sometimes even a special wedding celebration!). 

CANDIDATES DON’T WANT TO SEE #1: One-way broadcasts 

If your company tends to treat social media like a glorified press release, regularly blasting out key messages and hoping someone notices, it’s time for a drastic rethink: interaction and engagement are crucial. 

Potential candidates are looking to have a conversation with their future employer, and want you to ask questions as part of your posts. 

It’s a bad move to let any comments and questions go unanswered, and they expect personalised, meaningful back-and-forth replies (not just copying and pasting a stock reply). Another bad sign is leaving social media accounts dormant for weeks or months at an end - tumbleweed could be a red flag to possible team members. 

CANDIDATES DON’T WANT TO SEE #2: Unoriginal content on every platform

The youngest job seekers are digital natives, so know each social media platform inside out - and have the high expectations to match. 

If your business has decided to focus on all four main platforms - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - don’t cross-post the exact same content on each one. It looks automated and therefore inauthentic to the audience you’re trying to reach. The same overall message is fine, but the delivery just needs to be tailored to the particular channel it’s going on.

As a guide, here’s what works best:

  • Facebook: videos
  • Instagram: photos and stories (videos)
  • Twitter: news, blog posts and GIFs
  • LinkedIn: jobs, company news and professional content

CANDIDATES DON’T WANT TO SEE #3: The same old stock images 

In our digital era, authenticity is everything. And giving a true picture of what your company’s like to work at has never been so important. 

Stock photos - staged images of office life available to buy online - have now been so overused that many of them have now become a cliché. So bear in mind that using one of these images to accompany a post - whether it’s on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or especially Instagram, which is such a visual medium - may do more harm than good. 

It’s easy to take clear around-the-office shots and videos on a smartphone - no professional photographer needed.

Prospective candidates respond far better to real photos of real people who work for your organisation - and will be truly interested to note the type of colleagues they might end up working alongside. As with so many things to do with attracting star players to help your business grow, social media authenticity is now key in the modern workplace.

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