To recruit the best people, you need a social media strategy Author: Guest     
Date: 30th November 2015

This post was written by Charityworks 2014/15 trainee Maddie Spink, and was first published on Civil Society Media, here.

Charities which engage effectively on social media have more success recruiting staff, Maddie Spink found in her research for the Charityworks graduate scheme.

Recruitment on Linked In and Twitter is the new normal. In 2014, new staff had their first online interaction with their employer on average 7 months before they were recruited. Well-crafted social recruitment allows a process that was once static to become a conversation between employer and potential employee.However, the CIPD found that although 58 per cent of the sector use social media for resourcing, only 13 per cent have a dedicated strategy.

Without a social recruiting strategy, organisations end up shouting about opportunities into the void of the internet in the vain hope of being noticed. Social recruitment strategies can ensure that we tell a story about our organisations that is personal, passionate and honest, reflecting the values of our sector to those who haven’t joined it yet.

The goal of recruitment through social media should be to develop talent streams that can be accessed when necessary, and to engage them with your offer – your work, people and values. In my research I found that not only would active and passive job seekers follow organisations they are interested in, but also follow specific chief executives or sector figures who they wanted to work with.

People are the best asset we have and social media is perfect for amplifying their voices. I was struck by those chief executives who share their everyday experience such as @simonablake and @juliebentley, and how their shared images and insights build a vibrant picture of their organisations values.

Leading Digital Transformation: Reccomendations for Charity Chief Executives highlighted that the best chief executives are ‘unafraid to learn in public’ online. To attract talented staff, charities and figures within them need to be less afraid to be honest and to showcase individual personalities, with all their flaws and quirks, on social media.

Engagement with potential candidates involves risk taking and the mixing of the professional and personal. This mix on platforms like twitter seems perfectly suited for the third sector where job and personal passion are often indivisible.

Another example of this principle done well is Raleigh International’s #RVTakeover event where those interested in volunteer opportunities could ask questions of those already involved – a risk maybe, but how better to hear about the experience of volunteering.

As well as personality, avoiding anti-social recruitment is about community. Starting to build a career in the sector, I have found that watching the community of organisations in conversation on twitter is inspiring, insightful and useful. An organisation that embeds itself in its sector community builds a picture of the environment they work in and invites potential employees into the conversation.

In my research I found that second to specialist third sector job sites, graduates valued personal recommendations from family and friends when looking for job opportunities. In a world where a retweet constitutes an endorsement, followers engaged in the conversation will happily amplify and advertise vacancies for organisations when they feel a relationship exists.

It can often seem that a Moore’s Law of Social Media Exists – ever expanding, it’s almost impossible to predict which social platform will be next to take off.  But whatever the form, it’s the conversation that counts. After all, if someone in your life spent conversations talking at you and not with you, they’d be anti-social, and it’s just the same online.


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