An increasing number of charities are turning to social media as part of their recruitment strategy, as they see the value of attracting talent by using multiple online channels. But often, their activity is limited to posting a link to a given job ad and asking staff members to share it on their profile, which means that they are only using a small fraction of what social media can offer them when it comes to recruitment. So how can you build a social media strategy which effectively showcases your charity’s brand and attracts the right talent?
1. Carve out your charity’s online reputation
‘Employer branding’ is a term that has become more popular over the past few years. According to LinkedIn, an employer brand “includes the market’s perception of you as an employer, but also describes your promise (or employee value proposition) to employees in exchange for their experience, talents, contacts, or skills.”
One of the key areas in which to carve out your charity’s employer brand is social media, but there are a few things to be mindful of to ensure that you make this a success.
- Be consistent – have one tone of voice across all of your social media platforms, keep your messaging on track and be open about your values, ethics, and beliefs.
- Communicate your uniqueness – there will be many employers out there who offer the same perks. Apart from the real value that your charity provides through the work that you do, is there anything that makes you stand out as a place which would enable a candidate to grow? Perhaps you offer a unique training scheme or placements with the communities that you serve?
- Post regularly – make sure that your profile isn’t forgotten by posting regular quality content. More on this in the next point.
3. Connect with the right people
It goes without saying that networking is still of great value when it comes to finding the right employees. Begin by building up your network of contacts or followers on each social media platform by adding the people that you know in real life, and then expand your reach to also cover the relevant individuals from their networks. The UK charity sector is a close-knit community, and you’ll likely soon build up a broad online network.
The next step is to join the right groups. There are many specialised communities on LinkedIn and Facebook where candidates play an active part, trying to position themselves in their field. These are great places to seek out potential future employees. For example, if you’re looking for a Fundraising Manager, you could join the Furloughed Fundraisers Group. Take the time to identify the key influencers in each of these groups as they will be useful people to keep in touch with for future jobs that you’re looking to fill.
4. Make use of hashtags
Using the right hashtag can be a powerful way of increasing the scope of your message on certain social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. The first step would be to research the hashtags that jobseekers in the charity sector follow, but bear in mind that some of these will be generic, and won’t necessarily attract the candidates that you’re after. Below are a few hashtags that you might like to try:
- Twitter – #notjustajob, #charity, #charityjob, #fundraising
- Instagram – #charityjobs, #charityjobsuk, #fundraisingjobs
- LinkedIn – #charityjobs, #thirdsectorjobs
If you can’t find a suitable hashtag for your role, you might want to create your own and get it trending – particularly if you’re recruiting for a high-profile post. But, in order for your hashtag to be effective it needs to be accompanied by genuinely useful content, which social media users will be willing to share, so make sure that you get your content top notch first.
5. Give video a try
Social media users consume content differently, and some prefer watching short films, rather than reading text on a screen. It’s therefore worth diversifying your content, and trialling video. There are two main styles that you could begin with as part of your social media recruitment drive:
- Pre-recorded clips of different team members talking about their work and the role that the company is recruiting for. This is a great way for a candidate to get a glimpse of both their potential future colleagues and the charity’s culture. These can be posted on LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Live Q&A sessions with the recruiter/hiring manager answering questions about the role and the charity. These can be hosted as an Instagram Live.
The strategies above are just a few ideas to get you started on leveraging social media as part of your recruitment strategy. Remember that building a quality online presence doesn’t happen overnight. So invest time into writing and sharing quality content, building your network and researching the communities in which your prospective candidates hang out. It’s also worth bearing in mind that each social media platform has a purpose and your approach will need to be adapted accordingly.
Finally, remember to track the results of your activity on every platform. What’s the engagement level? Which posts get shared most widely? Which communities are the most active? Remember that recruitment is always evolving. That way you can adapt your efforts based on your results and boost your charity’s brand reach, which will be highly useful when it comes to recruitment.