Digital recruitment is key to an effective talent sourcing strategy that engages all potential candidates, including those with disabilities. But with so many platforms to choose from, where should businesses begin? In a recent PEAT Talk webinar titled, “Creative Recruiting Strategies for the Digital Age,” Jessica Miller-Merrell of Xceptional HR Consulting shared insights to help answer this question. Jessica’s talk explored how recruiters and HR leaders can prioritize their digital recruiting options and move these efforts forward by developing smaller initiatives designed to drive change and establish buy-in. The webinar also served as an opportunity for PEAT to make an exciting announcement about our new partnership with Workology, a blog and community that Jessica manages.

Social Media at the Heart of Digital

Social media permeates everything we do—even recruiting. And it’s not just young users; according to Nielsen’s 2016 poll, those age 35 to 49 years old are spending an average of almost seven hours a week on social media, a number that increased 25 percent since 2015. Jessica explained that the social media and digital recruiting landscape is complex and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. At the center of a digital recruiting presence is a company’s career site, over which they usually have the most control. Then, there are social media platforms, which Jessica describes as “rented space” because they offer less control of certain elements. It’s also becoming a more mobile-first world as people choose or rely on mobile devices to access social media and job application platforms.

On social media, candidates expect the same type of experience from recruiters and employers that they’re receiving in the consumer world. As Jessica said, “social is all about the candidate experience and as recruiters, it’s our responsibility to attract the best talent and provide an experience that is creative and engaging.”

Live Streaming to Capture Attention

Live video provides an opportunity to connect with communities of people. It offers real-time engagement, demonstrates authenticity (which builds trust), and can humanize interactions between a jobseeker and a company. Jessica highlighted a few examples, including Florida International University’s Business Career Management Services’ use of minimally-produced live video on Facebook to engage their jobseeker community; the AT&T Careers’ Facebook page, which hosts an ask-me-anything live chat where individual recruiters answer questions for jobseekers on the fly; and the American Heart Association (AHA), whose #AHALife hashtag can be found across social media platforms.

Of course, video accessibility is a key consideration. Some platforms, like Facebook, have live captioning for users who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. As such, another best practice is to create and post a transcript of any video created.

Which Platforms Should You Know?

Beyond the most well-known social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, a number of other platforms exist that can connect jobseekers and recruiters. Among these are:

  • Instagram, a photo- and video-sharing app that sees 10 times more engagement than Facebook.
  • Snapchat, a photo- and video-sharing app where content is shared quickly and disappears after a short period.
  • Periscope, a video-sharing app acquired by Twitter that allows people to live-stream from their smartphones.
  • YouTube, a platform where users can upload videos and record live-streamed video.
  • Medium, a free blogging tool with a strong following in the technology field.

In order to determine which platforms are the best fit for your company and recruiting strategy, it’s important to know your audience and what spaces they occupy online. Work with leaders to present your case for why using a particular platform will lead to connecting with better hires and then implement your program.

Optimized Engagement

In a busy, ever-connected world, when is the best time to reach people by social media? Surprisingly, the busiest time on Facebook and Twitter is Sunday afternoon, outside of 9-to-5 weekday working hours. A couple of thoughtful, scheduled activities on the weekend can get content in front of those users. Having a well thought-out editorial plan for social media allows you to prepare in advance, automate content and have a plan.

Another option is text message. For example, recruiters can send interview confirmations to job candidates by text, which usually has a 99 percent read rate within 60 seconds. The method is highly accessible, although the message should steer clear of the use of abbreviations for recipients who use screen readers.

PEAT and Workology

As mentioned, Jessica’s PEAT Talk also showcased PEATs new partnership with the blog she curates, Workology. We’re looking forward to working with Jessica on podcasts, blogs, and presentations through which her human resources (HR) expertise to broaden the audience for information about accessible workplace technology.

For more information and resources on online job recruiting, accessibility, and the job application process, visit PEAT’s TalentWorks resource. And to learn more about digital recruitment strategies, be sure to check out the archived PEAT Talk. Also, we want to hear from you: how does your company incorporate social media into its recruitment strategy?