I’ve recently finished Professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski‘s A Social Strategy: How We Profit From Social Media. The book was an intriguing read because it provided insight in why, in addition to how, social media works.

I don’t want to spill the beans about the material on which he writes; I wholeheartedly recommend the book for any enthusiast of social media. The long and short of it: understand your candidate’s current social failures–social
interactions that they seek, but cannot accomplish–to create social strategies that gives them the interactions that they want

Failed Economic and Social Interactions

Professor Piskorski states that social failures happen thanks to economic and social interactions failing in the economic or social domains:

Social Economic
Domain Economic Social restrictions on appropriate conduct limit who can be on the market and who can enter into contract with whom, leading to market failures Incomplete information problems that lead to typical adverse-selection and moral-hazard problems that lead to market failures
Social Social restrictions on appropriate conduct limit who can say what to whom, and who can establish a relationship with whom, leading to social failures Adverse-selection and moral-hazard problems also apply to interpersonal relationships and lead to social failures

For recruiters and other HR professionals, examples of social failures your candidates may experience are:

  • A candidate wants to learn about a company’s culture and open positions, but you don’t provide the information.
  • A candidate has a question for your HR team or your recruiters, but has no way of getting in touch with you directly.
  • A candidate doesn’t know what benefits you provide, thus not knowing if it’s worth making a switch based on incentives.
  • A candidate wants to do research on his smart phone or tablet, but your information is difficult or impossible to use on devices other than a computer.
  • A candidate can’t find your positions or your company on social media, and has very little time to spend scouring the web for your information.
  • A candidate wants to know when a position opens up in a particular department or location of your company, but you provide no way of alerting them when a position they want opens up.

Note that these are only a few of the social failures your candidates might experience. The more difficult the situations they encounter when looking at your company and your positions, the easier it is for them to defect, to disengage, and to never consider your company again.

A Social Strategy for your Candidates

To prevent candidates from running away, and to nurture them closer to apply, alleviate the social failures you’ve created with social strategies available to you today:

Broadcast Your Company Culture and Open Positions on Social Media

Screenshot of Marriot employees as superheroes saving the day for their guests.
Look how Marriott shows off their superhero employees, and invites others to shout out their heroes.

The best solutions will automatically post your open positions onto your company’s career pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Also, have your employees share open positions and company culture information on their personal timelines to broaden your reach.

Engage With Your Candidates Using Your Talent Community, Comments, and Messages

Screenshot of Talent Community Widget
A talent community is a great way to encourage engagement between your team and your candidates. Plus, great talent communities also alert candidates when a job they’re interested in is available!

Look out for your candidates and listen to what they’re telling you in your talent community; in comments, mentions, and shares on your company career pages; and in the direct messages they send you with their questions and concerns. By answering their concerns, you’re nurturing their research and moving them closer to apply by leaps and bounds!

Pack Your Career Pages With Rich Information And Links To Your Social Networks

Screenshot of Social Widget
A social widget on your career site gives your candidates an easy place to choose how they want to find information about your company.

Don’t make your website’s careers tab be a link to your ATS; give them information about your company’s benefits, videos of what it’s like to work there, and pictures of your company’s events. Don’t just tell them about your openings–let them know you have openings, and show them why they don’t want to miss out.

In addition, make sure you make it easy for them to find your information wherever you’re posting: your social pages, through e-mail or text alerts, through your talent community, or any other places! A social widget is a great way to show all these locations to your candidates.

Target Your Messaging with Mobile Responsiveness and Social Networks In Mind

Woman looking at cell phone while driving.
Candidates want to get information at their own time on their terms. Please note, however, that I don’t condone driving and using a phone at the same time.

Your candidates are on mobile, and your candidates are on social networks; it’s as simple as that. If you’re not giving them the information they want on their terms and on their time, or if you’re making them work too hard to do the research they need, why would they consider working for you? Make sure everything from your career site, your listing of positions, and your application process is mobile responsive, and make sure your information is in the social networks your candidates are searching.

Alleviating Social Failures Isn’t Hard!

Even if it seems daunting to incorporate new strategies, it isn’t hard to make sure your company’s information is easy to find for your candidates. Are the various difficulties and social failures your candidates experience worth not understanding social failures, and is it worth not investing in sound and effective social strategies? I don’t think so.

Is it difficult, or was it difficult, for candidates to find information about your company’s jobs or culture because of social failures? How did you solve it? Let me know!

This Post’s Featured Image is Office, November 2011 by Travis Isaacs, released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Some rights reserved. Original photo edited to add screenshot of Facebook and Twitter over the iMac.