In the digital age of job search, luring applicants is a breeze. All they have to do is hop online and search in Google these days to start gathering a list of jobs in their area. While that’s handy for the jobseeker in terms of getting an idea of what is advertised, it does little for the company who wants to work on sifting through those applicants to find the right candidates. Hundreds of applicants, if not thousands, make it really hard to narrow it down to just one. Ask any recruiter.

In efforts to better connect with their talent audience, companies turn to social media to build a following of people whom they can educate about their company, services/products, culture, and employment opportunities. Simply educating the masses, however, isn’t going to find the diamond in the rough. The trick to sharing all of this information is to actually engage with your followers and gather practical information about them in terms of making a hiring decision.

Looking at the top three social sites, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, it’s clear that companies are aware that there is a valuable audience to attract. In 2015 a study by SHRM reported that 84% of employers were using social media as a recruiting tool and 9% said that they were planning on rolling it out in 2016. If that stated intent came to fruition, we can assume that by this year, 2017, at least 95% of employers have a social presence and have built a healthy base of followers.

Benefits of Social Recruiting

A search on “Social media for recruiting” will bring hundreds, if not thousands of articles all touting the perks of social recruiting. Build, promote, and manage your brand; advertise opportunities; search potential candidates; stay top-of-mind; reach passive candidates. The list goes on and on. Without a doubt, these are all top notch benefits and employers should continue to invest in having a positive presence on social media.

What’s the Problem With Social Media?

You can push all the content you want out there, but once it’s in a public space, you’ve lost control of it. Side conversations begin to happen, negative comments and feedback appear (the complainers always tend to voice their issues publicly, don’t they?), and missed opportunities to respond if the employee responsible for managing the social media misses a notification in the noise. Most importantly, you are not collecting insightful data about your audience. You are simply shouting out to a crowd through a megaphone while wearing earplugs.

Are You Just Pushing?

Simply relying on pushing, not pulling, will not build relationships with your audience and doesn’t constitute engagement. You are likely relying on a call to action to bring applicants to your career page or a specific posting. But once they arrive, what happens next? Do they sign up for job alerts (which is just another push, not pull), or they enter the black hole of the ATS? Or are they going to have an engaging experience that provides them with recognition and interest that simultaneously provides you with practical data?

The second option provides a better ‘what’s in it for me’ experience for your potential candidates. It sets the stage right for a top of the line candidate experience which can be carried through all the way to the hiring phase. The applicants who are not suitable don’t get disenchanted with a black hole experience, while those who prove to be a good fit have an positive experience ushering them through the door.

View the experience that your organization provides from the screen of your social media follower. Are they being enticed by the correct information, are they being directed to the right place, and are they given the opportunity to start building a relationship with your organization? If you said no to any of these questions, it might be time to reassess your strategy.