Social Media

The role of social networks in the war for talent

Social media has established itself as an essential tool for employer branding in the last decade, and has become a means for companies to approach young, talented adults. How can these channels be used to facilitate staff recruitment?

by Smart Media Agency CH | March 31, 2022

Employer branding is a holistic concept. Social networks offer a whole host of opportunities for increasing the visibility of and strengthening the employer market. As these networks are so widely used and accessible, they are the most cost-effective way of communicating with prospective employees in a direct and regular manner while also allowing the companies to highlight their strengths and show themselves to be a great place to work. This enables external parties to get a realistic idea of what day-to-day life with a particular employer would look like. Potential applicants can also get to know the employer brand in this way and come to trust them, which increases the likelihood that they will apply in the future. And last but not least, smart employer branding not only makes sense for recruitment, but also helps to retain valued staff in the long term.

A comprehensive strategy

Once a company has taken the decision to establish a presence on social media to strengthen its employer brand, it should look at the important issue of social media channels handling successful staff recruitment in a professional manner and integrating this into the employer branding strategy, instead of leaving it down to individual actions.

In addition to specifying strategic goals, the target group should be defined by the relevant channel. As an example, TikTok is great for reaching out to suitable Gen Z candidates, while according to Statista, the over-40s tend to look to Facebook. Furthermore, a decision should be made as to whether you create a separate account for recruiting staff, as the Marriott hotel chain has done with their Instagram account @marriottcareers. An alternative is to expand accounts that already exist, with Migros’ LinkedIn channel being one example. This channel features employer branding content alongside posts to reach out to their clientele.

To make sure they are easily recognisable, the employer brand should always remain consistent. While you should have a clear storyline with a uniform tone in the editorial plan, the content should be as diverse as possible. This includes using a range of formats (such as articles, images and videos). At the same time, the content should always be tailored to the target group. In this light, it makes little sense to target the over-50s with on-trend memes and Gen Z-ers with long articles.

Content should be published regularly to keep the community updated. To this end it is advisable to establish the responsibilities for doing so within the organisation. An important part here is working out who will manage comments and DMs to maintain personal exchanges with users.

And last but not least, an employer branding strategy never stands still. Each social media channel should be monitored closely with a view to checking and optimising the content and its effectiveness.

Eight ideas for varied content

Once a social media strategy has been drawn up, it’s all about the implementation. Which content is suitable for reaching out to the target group in the right manner? In the ideas stage, it can be worthwhile using the questions the company receives from applicants as a starting point.  For even more inspiration, you can find eight suggestions for employer branding content on social media listed below.

  • Social media takeover

Staff testimonials are the most reliable and valuable source for getting the feel of a workplace. One option is to have employees post a personal message on social media in a social media takeover, in the form of Instagram stories or TikTok videos, for example.  They could also post about something from their day at work or how they found their job. As an alternative, they can express their opinion using quotes about what they like about their employer and their job, or update the community on a particular topic. In this case, it is recommended to tag the employer in the post. This not only ensures transparency, but also means the content will be shared on their account. It can also increase the visibility of the employer brand and encourage community building.

Example 

As part of the “Vlog Heroes” campaign, employees of Smart Media Agency Belgium regularly give followers a look into their working day.

  • Showing employees appreciation

Posting messages about employees makes sense for companies in any industry. Not least because people get to see the faces behind the brand. It’s also a great way of introducing new employees, and shows potential candidates that the company is moving with the times. On the other hand, it’s also recommended to congratulate employees on reaching a work anniversary, on a promotion or professional achievements. Such public appreciation not only acts as a motivational factor, but shows the outside world that employees are at the heart of the company.

Example

Marketing firm Jung von Matt Limmat introduces a new employee.

  • A look behind the scenes

Social media is great for giving people a look behind the scenes at the company on a regular basis. What is the corporate culture actually like? In which fields will potential employees work? What benefits does the workplace have to offer? Picture- and video-based social media channels such as Instagram and TikTok are well-suited to showing off these aspects. Such looks behind the scenes have the added bonus that they encourage people to apply who will be a great fit for the company.

Example

Siemens offers a look behind the scenes into a typical day for one of their apprentices.

  • Activities outside of working hours

A healthy work-life balance has perhaps never been more important to job applicants than it is today. As a result, posts taking a look behind the scenes shouldn’t just be limited to the workplace. A company that is shown to celebrate success, organise a Christmas party or run team-building days out will instantly become more attractive.

Example 

Smart Media Agency Switzerland gives you a sneak peek of a team lunch.

  • Things that make the company stand out from the crowd

What differentiates the company from the competition as an employer? Messages can be posted about a range of subjects on social media channels in innovative ways – whether they focus on the company’s foundation or growth opportunities offered, to its values, mission and social engagement. Statistics, fun facts and quotes are great ways to post information. And in any case, the company’s current success should be publicised to help position the company as a key player in its industry.

Example 

KPMG Switzerland on their initiative for World Cancer Day.

  • Added-value content

Another option for positioning yourself as an expert in your industry is to post informative content containing added value for your target group. Whether it’s an internal study or sharing staff knowledge in the form of an interview, showing what you’re good at and what you do will enhance the company’s image.

Example 

ABB on the results of their study.

  • Interactive content

Interactive content transforms passive viewers into active participants. This strengthens the relationship between the target group and the company. An Instagram story with a poll, going live on Facebook or a quiz on Twitter that attracts huge numbers of comments are just a few of options that can be used to engage directly with the target group on social media platforms.

Example

A quiz by UBS on inflation risks in Switzerland.

  • Share job vacancies 

When a company publishes a job ad, it goes without saying that it wants the ad to be seen by as many people as possible. The reach of the job ad can be extended if it’s shared on social media as a post. Being catchy and to the point is the way to go here, as an overview of the position with key information and a link to the relevant website will suffice.

Example 

An innovative approach from CRK to advertise a job vacancy.

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