How to win candidates and influence talent
Unless you are Ryan Gosling, being charming is hard work. You have to brush your hair, make the right amount of eye contact, and refrain from telling terrible jokes, even if someone sets you up for a killer pun. Tricky stuff!
Things get even trickier when networking online. Sure, you can skip the hair brushing and eye contact, but you still have to engage people. And without the assistance of intonation, facial expressions, and firm handshakes, this can be difficult to say the least. Without these physical signs of congeniality, it’s easy to become a bit robotic with our online interactions.
Since Facebook recruiting is all about engaging potential candidates via the internet, what is an employer to do when trying to build a Facebook Talent Community?
Let’s bring it back to Ryan, or the Gos as we like to call him. He is pretty much the most beloved actor in Hollywood today, by both men and women. Sure he’s good looking, but come on, there are many more modelesque male actors out there (looking at you Channing Tatum!). He’s talented, but he’s no Johnny Depp. And yes, he’s funny in interviews, but a comedy genius he is not.
So what makes him so appealing? (Other than the fact that he is Canadian). It’s his humanness. The Gos is basically the male version of the girl next door. He’s nice, kind of goofy, handsome, but not too perfect, and is willing to make fun of himself. He is the opposite of a robot.
How exactly does that apply to building a Facebook Talent Community?
Be a Ryan Gosling. Don’t be a robot.
With that in mind, here are some tips to make your talent community more awesome:
1 – Know your audience
You can’t please everyone. Ryan will never appeal to my dad, so why would he even try? He wouldn’t. Nor should you. My dad is retired.
Posting super-generic content in an attempt to appeal to everyone comes off as robotic. If your main hiring focus is for construction positions, then focus on appealing to construction workers. Find out what kind of content your target audience likes, how best to interact with them, and what kind of language they respond to. A great way to accomplish this is by asking current employees their opinion and even getting them to spend a little time on your company Page.
2 – Build on what you’ve got
No, I’m not going to reference Ryan’s biceps (okay, mentally maybe). Instead I’m going to take us all the way back to 1997 when the Gos was just a scrawny teen with a mushroom-cut. He played a girl-chasing nerd on Breaker High. Not exactly a role to brag about, but he built his career up from that terrible, terrible show to star in respectable movies like Lars and the Real Girl (my favorite Gosling endeavor).
For Facebook recruiting, having a base to build upon is really helpful. If you have a Company Page, even if you haven’t been using it to grow your employer brand, it’s a fantastic starting point.
Some companies start new Pages just for hiring. This means losing the Likes and community you’ve already established. With a quality Facebook recruiting app, you can capitalize on what you’ve already built by adding a Career Page to your pre-existing Company Page. This means you don’t have to start from scratch, and lets you grow your company brand alongside your employer brand, with all of the content you post.
3 – Flaunt what you’ve got
Unlike most Canadians (see Kids in the Hall), Ryan does not have perfect comedic timing. So what did he do when he was cast as a lead in a blockbuster comedy? He did the best he could with the dialogue, and then took his shirt off. A lot. His abs made up for anything he was lacking in comedic chops. Even straight men were impressed. Be like the Gos: Don’t hide your shortcomings — distract from them with your strengths.
Maybe you don’t have the best comedic timing either, and that’s cool. Instead of trying to be funny, just be super friendly and helpful. If you don’t have slick products to showcase, post images of company BBQs. Share the things your company does well, the knowledge that you’re proud of, and remember, everyone likes a good BBQ!
4 – Diversify
From trashy teen TV, to dramatic lead, to real life super-hero (seriously — he saved a lady from being hit by a car, for real). The Gos has tried it all, and so should you!
Take risks with your social strategy. Try posting a range of content, interacting more, maybe less, or just differently. Perhaps your candidate pool doesn’t respond to a lot of business-related links, but they freaking love Dilbert cartoons. Maybe they really like it when you reach out and chat them up, but then again maybe they don’t. You won’t know until you try.
To keep track of what works and what doesn’t, make only one big change to your recruiting strategy at a time, and pay attention to how your talent community responds. Even better, use an awesome Facebook recruiting app to track your metrics — just sayin’.
That’s all for now. May all of your recruiting be fruitful. Oh, and if by some slim chance you are Ryan Gosling, my contact info appears at the top-right of this blog post.