George Takei (aka Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek) once described social media as, “like ancient Egypt: writing things on walls and worshiping cats.” True enough. But memes and witty Tweets are only the tip of the iceberg.

Companies know social media is a powerful talent acquisition tool.

It connects with and engages a very hard-to-reach audience: highly talented, forward-thinking, tech-savvy people, who are happy in their current position and who won’t use traditional platforms (even when they do search for jobs).

The results are hard to ignore. In a 2014 study, Jobvite found that after implementing social recruiting, employers saw a boost in the quality of their candidates (44%), a decrease in time-to-hire (34%), and an increase in employee referrals (30%).

So why are organizations still hesitant to invest more money and resources? There are plenty of factors. Though, there are four roadblocks that everyone faces. Here’s how to get past them:

There are too many social channels.

A Wikipedia search for ‘social media’ brings up a list of 353 different platforms. Mind-boggling. But you hardly have to use them all. Narrow the list by finding out where and how your target audience is searching for jobs.

This can be as simple as talking with candidates at a job fair or checking in on industry-specific forums and LinkedIn groups. You can also look at the big picture with free/low-cost tools and reports that provide demographics and analytics (like Google Analytics, Alexa, and Statista).

It’s hard to get a foot in the door.

Social media moves fast. So the two biggest pitfalls are being ignored and being noticed—for a mistake. Seem like opposites? These are really just symptoms of the same problem: a lack of engagement.

Engagement doesn’t mean posting more often. It starts with not saying anything at all. Set aside time to explore online communities, follow hashtags, and get to know the people who share an interest in your business and industry.

Having a genuine understanding of these social spaces will help you avoid unintended social slip-ups. And in turn, you’ll be able to engage candidates in dialogues that are much more relevant and authentic—not intrusive or out of context.

Social media ROI isn’t measurable.

As entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk famously asked, “What’s the ROI of your mother?” In other words, like most good things in life, you can’t put a blanket value on social media. But there are plenty of ways to measure specific objectives.

For instance: Are your tweets generating meaningful conversations? You can track this over time by measuring retweets, comments, and sentiment with online services like Hootsuite, SocialBro, or Socialbakers.

Social media defies corporate structure.

It’s not easy to wrap your mind around how a complex global brand can be accurately represented through the constant real-time interactions that social media requires. But there are ways to organize that complexity with an effective social recruiting strategy.

Want to know more? Share your ideas and questions. Or get in touch to find out how our Global Social Media Workshops can help to simplify the process for your team.

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