THE BLOG
09/05/2013 02:44 pm ET | Updated Nov 05, 2013

4 Social Recruitment Mistakes Your Company Is Making

With so much of the online population liking, tweeting or pinning, the burgeoning social strata demands respect and attention when it comes to finding the talent your organization needs. In fact, 61 percent of adults under 30 use a social networking site daily, while daily usage for the over 50 set has risen to 32 percent. And more Americans are becoming social media obsessives, with 22 percent checking their social profiles numerous times a day.

This probably explains why 91 percent of recruiters are using social media in their recruitment efforts. With any widespread adoption of new technology, however, you can expect mistakes will be made. These mistakes, however, can easily cost you the talented candidates you need to continue growing and innovating.

Whether your company is a Fortune 500 or just starting up, here are some of the social media recruitment mistakes you might be making:

You Haven't Developed a Social Recruitment Strategy
"What do you mean social media strategy?" you might be asking yourself. "How long does it take to write 140 characters?"

Just because many social media platforms involve short-form communication does not also mean there is no rhyme or reason to how they work. While some companies continue to stubbornly ignore social media's place in talent acquisition, others will jump in without a workable game plan.

"Too many companies try to hire an intern or lower level person to handle 'Facebook and Twitter' or 'develop all content' without taking the time to develop a social media and digital strategy," said Maryanne Conlin, Partner at RedRopes Digital.

The Solution: The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Do not try to leap to the end of the journey and skip the middle. Those middle steps are important.

Start at the beginning and build a solid foundation for your social media recruitment strategy. Identify your target audience, find where they spend their time online, set goals for your recruitment efforts, and look critically at the social tools, next-gen recruitment systems and applicant tracking you will need to get the job done.

You Are Not Engaging With Talent
When it comes to finding top talent on social media, engagement is the name of the game. The whole point of taking to the social web to find top talent is the unique opportunity social media affords you for building a more personal connection with applicants.

"The 'post and pray' technique that doesn't work in other means of recruitment, certainly applies to social media as well," said Erin Bazinet, sourcing manager for Seven Step. "A big mistake across all social media channels is not responding at all or in a timely manner to questions and comments from interested candidates. Companies need to not only have social media accounts established, but they also need to be informative and communicative as well."

The Solution: You should make sure your social recruitment platform pushes out relevant jobs to all your social media profiles, but know this is not nearly enough. You will also need to engage with candidates on the key social platforms in order to build up your company's brand identity.

Share relevant content, give insights into your company culture and engage in discussions and information sharing with candidates. Engaging with potential applicants is the best way to turn visitors into lifelong fans and brand ambassadors, not to mention employees.

"Engaging with talented candidates and getting to know them better have been some of the best outcomes from our social recruitment strategy," said Tasso Roumeliotis, CEO of LocationLabs. "It has helped us build connections and get in front of top talent through social media while creating opportunities to build our brand at the same time."

You Are Not Looking At Analytics
Do you know where your top talent spends their time online? Do you know which social spheres are driving the best candidates your way? If not, you might be wasting a good amount of your recruiting efforts on social channels and outlets giving you poor results.

"Companies also have to take the time to fully understand their industry and demographics," said Bazinet. "Not every social media site will be appealing to every type of industry."

The Solution: Look for social recruitment platforms that allow you to dive into analytics and determine the best source(s) of hire. This way, if you discover Twitter is driving top talent in your direction, you can pivot to focus your social recruitment efforts appropriately.

Analytics help you determine what is working and what is not regarding your social recruitment strategy, helping companies make necessary adjustments to get the best ROI for their efforts.

You Are Ignoring Candidate Experience
Candidate experience is just as important in your dealings on social media as it is when talking about your applicant tracking system. A recent survey by CareerBuilder showed 75 percent of job seekers never even heard back after applying for a position, souring them on the company.

As mentioned above, engagement is important in attracting and retaining top talent. But so is making the application process headache-free for applicants. If your applicant drop-off rate is sky high, you might have a problem with your candidate experience.

"One of the most common mistakes organizations make when using social media for recruiting includes trying to meld new methods with antiquated systems," said Lynda Zugec, Managing Director at The Workforce Consultants. "When an organization posts an open position, then redirects the potential applicant to their company website which contains a cumbersome process of uploading and a game of "cut and paste" into boxes, the organization may drive top candidates away."

The Solution: Make the application process as seamless and easy to navigate as possible. Also, ensure your social recruitment platform has options that allow you to provide feedback to candidates who have taken the time to apply. Even a small thank you letter in a candidate's inbox can make a world of difference.

Social media recruitment can help you capture the top talent needed for your company to survive and thrive. By avoiding these common social recruitment mistakes, you can get a jump on your competition and scoop up the best candidates.

What are some of the most common social media recruitment mistakes you see? How do you avoid them? Share in the comments!

Sajjad Masud is the Co-Founder and CEO of Simplicant, a cloud-based social recruiting platform transforming talent acquisition and making enterprise-level recruiting technology accessible to companies of all sizes. Connect with Sajjad and the Simplicant team on Twitter and Facebook.