How Smart Construction Companies Use Social Media to Find Job Candidates
By Jeremy Knauff, Construction Executive
Most people today know that social media can be a powerful tool to generate new business, but not many realize that it can also be used connect with potential job candidates. Both tasks are important to success in the construction industry but, given the intense shortage of qualified workers, the latter is especially critical because new business isn’t valuable without the workforce to complete it and get paid.
While using social media to find new job candidates requires a different strategy than using it to generate new business, the underlying tactics are basically the same. In this case, rather than promoting the value, capabilities and qualifications of a company to prospective clients, it’s used to promote a positive workplace culture, salary and career advancement opportunities to prospective job candidates. The idea is to use social media to show people why they would want to work at a particular company.
This requires consistently posting compelling content and engaging with the correct audience.
In today’s highly visual social media landscape, that means going beyond traditional (and often boring) text and image posts, and adding video to the mix. Adding video is essential because it is significantly more compelling and far more effective at conveying what the workplace is like at a particular company.
Statistically speaking, viewers are up to three times more likely to engage with an online video, and videos get 1,200 percent more shares than text and image combined. This makes it a powerful tool for getting in front of a larger audience and convincing them that working at a particular company is in their best interest.
Today, just posting on social media isn’t enough to get attention—even when using video. The megaphone approach, where a company uses their social media accounts to simply blast out a constant stream of messages, is dead. Success today requires engaging with other users on a regular basis to develop and nurture relationships, just like networking in real life.
While posting is basically the same on all networks, finding and engaging with the ideal audience is slightly different on each one.
For most employers, using LinkedIn to find and connect with potential job candidates is the obvious choice, and it’s a good one. Posting job opportunities here is one way to use this particular social network, but that’s barely scratching the surface. When used properly, LinkedIn becomes a powerful tool for finding qualified job candidates.
It can be used to easily find a large number of employees at a particular company—a competitor, for example. It could also be used to identify potential candidates working in certain industries, or those with job titles that they may be eager to leave.
Because of the algorithm, which determines whether users see a post or not, success on LinkedIn requires engagement from users. If they comment on and/or share a post or the longer they watch a video, the more users LinkedIn will show that post to. This means that it’s essential to encourage and nurture engagement.
Believe it or not, Facebook can actually be used for other things aside from fighting about politics. It’s a great way to showcase a positive working environment at a company, and the almost scary level of precision targeting available via paid advertising makes it easy and cost effective to put that message in front of the perfect audience.
A few ways that Facebook’s targeting can be used to reach the right audience include targeting:
- Employees of competitors;
- Recent high school graduates or military veterans;
- Students in trade schools; and
- Employees in dead-end jobs (e.g.: fast food, retail, grocery stores, etc.).
As with LinkedIn, success on Facebook depends on engagement with users. This applies to paid and organic posts.
This social network is incredibly fast paced, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be an effective platform to show prospective job candidates that they might want to work at a particular company.
Success on Twitter depends on engaging with other established users to leverage their following—especially in the beginning. This helps to reach and build an exponentially larger audience more quickly. Don’t just wing it though, because following the proper process makes it all significantly easier while improving efficiency and effectiveness.
Some types of accounts that might be worthwhile to engage with include:
- Local high schools;
- Trade schools;
- Employment services;
- Veteran transition organizations; and
- Local media.
Due to Twitter’s fast pace, the key is to post frequently—once an hour or more. (Don’t worry, there is software to help automate this process.)