The Secrets to Integrating Social Into Your Next Recruiting Event

If you’ve ever had to plan a week-long family vacation, you know the stress and pressure that’s involved, especially if you’re the one running the show. You want it to be the best vacation ever. You want to be as prepared as possible. But most importantly, you want to have the memories. You want to be able to show your friends your vacation pictures on Instagram and say, “Hey! Look at all the cool stuff we did!”

But what if you didn’t have anything to show for all your hard work? When you look back at those missed opportunities — wishing you took more photos, wishing you checked in on Facebook at that one restaurant — what you really wish is that you had planned your experience better.

More often than not, recruiters face this same experience and situation for their hiring events. Finding and talking to the best candidates, making sure all those brochures that were ordered got printed, and the overall hope that the event goes well — factors like that come into play for every recruiting event.

[pullquote]Behind every trade show, tabletop booth, and career fair lies a huge opportunity to incorporate social media into your overall objective.[/pullquote]

A lot of the time, recruiters will report back on their events with numbers and maybe a couple photos. “We attended this show and talked to this many people. Next, we want to interview these people and have them work at our company.”

Think about the big picture, though. What if you took your recruiting events a step further? What if you were able to communicate with the best candidates days before a show? What if you were able to speak to your candidates through messages in an affordable, easier way?

The cycle of planning and executing a recruiting event are all there. But what some recruiters don’t realize is that behind every trade show, every tabletop booth, and every career fair lies a huge opportunity to incorporate social media into their overall objective, and it is often missed.

Why is using social media for recruiting events important?

Using social media for recruiting and recruiting events is nothing new, but using social media effectively to attract candidates, create awareness, and validate reasoning for why someone should stop by your table — that is the main way to differentiate your company from everyone else at the event.

If you’re a recruiter, read these tips on how to successfully integrate social media into your upcoming recruiting events:

Make Recruiting-Specific Social Media Accounts

• While your company may have corporate social media accounts, there’s a chance you don’t have social channels dedicated to just recruiting. Talk with your marketing or HR teams to get your recruiting-specific accounts made.

• Create accounts on the social media platforms that fit best with your recruiting objectives. Twitter is a great platform to start from, especially if you’re trying to reach a younger demographic.

Do Your Research

• Make a spreadsheet of all the recruiting events your company will be attending in a given year. Continue to add to the list when new events come up.

• For each event, research the event or organization’s websites and social media handles. You will be able to figure out if the event already has a Twitter account or custom hashtag associated with it. Make note of this information in your master spreadsheet.

Think About Hashtags

• Hashtags used to only be limited to Twitter. Now Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all support the functionality of hashtags.

• Create an original hashtag for your recruiting efforts — one that can be universally used for all your events. Try to incorporate your company’s name and tie it in with recruiting. Or, if your company has a pre-existing original recruiting tagline, include this as a hashtag in every social post surrounding your events.

• If you’re at a bigger recruiting event and know they have an event hashtag, make sure to use that hashtag in your posts as well. You will gain more visibility and social engagement from people attending the show or seeing live streams from afar.

• Will you be at a large recruiting event, such as an expo? Consider implementing your original hashtag into your booth space: on the walls of your booth, on business cards, on lanyards — the options are limitless. This provides more opportunities for people to remember your original hashtag and interact with you.

Promote in Advance

• Plan at least one week before a recruiting event occurs to start posting on social media, letting your followers and potential candidates know you’ll be there.

• Let people know where your booth will be located. “Come visit [your company] at [Booth Number] to talk to our recruiters at [Name of Show]!”

Create an Engaging Experience Live at the Event

• Have a dedicated person or group dedicated to posting and interacting live with candidates and other show attendees during the event. This ensures you are being proactive with your messaging and truly care about candidates’ comments and concerns.

• Social media posts with photos always perform better than those that don’t. Take pictures of your booth space, your recruiters, and anything else from the show that would resonate with your audience and include those photos in your live social posts.

• If you have experience with live-streaming events, using an app like Periscope will allow your recruiters to engage with your social audiences live! Have your recruiters answer general questions about your company, your open job positions, etc. Any user who joins the live feed can also ask questions, so take those into consideration too!

After the Show, It’s the Follow-Up

• When your team gets back from a recruiting event, set up an internal meeting discussing what went well with your social media strategies and execution, and what you’d like to improve upon or add to upcoming shows. This is a prime opportunity to set future goals, add more objectives, and get more employees at your company to support your social media strategies.

• Follow up with candidates who reached out to you either in person, over Twitter, or over email. Any of your social channels could have been a result of you meeting a specific candidate, so make sure you ask how they knew you were at the event and why they stopped by your company’s space. If social media was the result, take note of how many candidates occurred because of this.

• When it’s time for the next show, you are better prepared. For every recruiting event after that, you will see how important it is to continue being “social” recruiters.

If you’ve been wondering why your recruiting events have fallen flat, start incorporating some of our social media advice above. You will soon start to see exactly what puzzle pieces were missing: huge audiences of potential candidates and the ability to showcase your company in a positive way.

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