You've got the job board, and the advertisers are there or potentially so. But without the talent connection, no job board can function. So where is this mysterious group of people who want a new job, even if they don't realize it just yet? To a large degree, they're running to social media.
Although they're not the revenue drivers, at least not directly, candidates are vital to every job board's success. In fact, Job Board Doctor says candidates are the one aspect that, if missing, will cause every job site to fail.
Yes, you're in the business of job candidate access. Everything else revolves around that element. And you want to reach more candidates, social media is the place to go.
#1: Think of Social Media as an Institution
A few years ago, social media looked like just another trend that might not last. Think about the rapid rise and fall of MySpace and the mass exodus to Facebook. Back then, the idea that anyone could or would look for job candidate through social media wasn't cutting-edge, it was far-fetched. How things have changed since the social concept stabilized. Even MySpace came back in a new artsy, niche iteration.
Social media is a solid concept in the hearts and minds of people around the world. According to Statista, nearly 80 percent of Americans had at least one social media profile in 2016. So it makes perfect sense to aim job board and recruitment strategies in that direction.
The point isn't addressing people who want a job right now. It's capturing the attention of people in general. And social is where people are. Sooner or later, many of them will need a job. And if your job board brand has a strong social reputation, your audience is much more likely to be receptive.
#2: Look Past Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
The Big Three get so much attention, it's easy to forget that there are so many other social platforms. LinkedIn has always had a professional focus. But it misses a large segment of people who don't think business and social are a good mix. Not everyone is into networking.
Facebook and Twitter get a lot more activity. But even they aren't the be-all, end-all of social. According to a 2015 JobVite study, new channels are giving the standard social channels a run for their money with job seekers.
Where are job boards and employers reaching candidates now? It depends on who's looking. Instagram has a good following, says The Searchologist. About 26 percent of all adults online have an account. And 53 percent of adults age 18 to 29 use Instagram regularly. Social Talent says Snapchat is a contender, too, especially for building a devoted community of followers.
#3: Fit the Job Board to Social, Not the Other Way Around
In 2010, social media users totaled about 0.97 billion. That's according to Statista. In 2016, the number is closer to 2.34 billion. And by 2020, Statista estimates the number will have grown to nearly 3 billion. If candidates are your business, your job board and recruitment strategies might need an overhaul.
For social to work, your job board has to function the way users want it to. Otherwise, it's too easy to ignore it. That means cumbersome steps that stand between candidates and jobs have to go. Workable promotes the one-click apply option. It's quick, easy and doesn't push candidates into a different behavior pattern than the one they prefer for social.
Conforming to social also means mobile optimization. We're moving into an increasingly mobile society. Hardly anyone doesn't use a mobile device every day. So another element to this social experiment, one that's important now and probably imperative soon, is a mobile interface that doesn't hog data or limit the user experience. Keep it Super Simple. That's how social works.
#4: Learn the Rules of Social Engagement
Job boards can leverage the wealth of opportunity and candidate access with a few basic guidelines. First, you'll need a strategy for measuring success. In social terms, that often means attracting more users, increasing job and post impressions and building a thriving social community. Most social sites offer tools for analyzing the metrics that matter.
Next, you'll want a social media usage policy. Who handles your social profiles? And what happens if something goes wrong? A crisis plan helps stop bad press before it can start. Some social media business accounts can grow with barely any attention at all. But if you're working toward a loyal social community, your fans and followers will be more responsive if there's company interaction.
Share content that's relevant to your target audience. Engage with them. And craft job ads that work within the different platforms. For example, you can practically write a novel in one Facebook post (although it's not a great idea). At Twitter, you're limited to 140 characters but you can also post job ad image files and links to your job site. Every platform has its own pros and cons, so you'll need more than one social approach.
Candidates are the heart of your job board. They might not buy ad space, but the more candidates you reach the more advertisers will want in. That's why Job Board Doctor says everything distils to the candidates.
Job boards and recruiting have changed in many ways over the years. And they're likely to keep on changing. But a candidate-centric focus supports stability and growth. Right now, candidates are all over social media. So if you don't have a social job board strategy, now is the time to start. Ready to learn more? Subscribe to Recruitment ADvisor and we'll send up-to-the-minute articles directly to your inbox.