How to use Social Media for Employer Branding and Recruitment

Written by Sophia Kenvold who works as Consultant & Project Manager at Mindjumpers.

Strategic HR entails attracting, developing and retaining high-performing candidates to your company. Previously, companies would communicate with employees and candidates via traditional push messages, but now they are required to adapt to the changing consumer and employee behavior, where the tendency is to rely on and trust peer recommendations.

Social media is ultimately about establishing relationships. Integrating it into your company’s current employer branding and recruitment strategy thus provide the company with an opportunity to present itself in a more transparent and credible way by connecting and engaging with employees and candidates.

Using social media for employer branding and recruitment provides the following benefits:

  • An opportunity to enter into dialogue and engage/attract potential candidates.
  • Creates a common understanding of the company.
  • Builds communities and create long-term relationships that in turn will strengthen the pipeline of talented candidates.
  • An opportunity to have employees act as ambassadors on behalf of the company and provide a preview of what it is like to work for your company.
  • A possibility to reach passive candidates through targeted messages.
  • Promotion of the company’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP).

Leverage Employees as ambassadors

Your employees drive your business, and allowing employees to become ambassadors on behalf of the company in social media will have a positive effect on your employer brand. It creates credibility, transparency and provides candidates and other stakeholders with the ability to meet the company at eye level, gather valuable insights about the company’s EVP as well as vacant positions. This is further supported by a study done by the employer branding specialists CORE:WORKERS who found that:

  • 59 % of potential applicants say that information from employees is more credible than if from the company.
  • 70 % feels that positive posts from employees and fans make them more likely to send an application.
  • 57 % of applicants expect that the company interacts with fans and followers.

In turn, the recruitment process is further strengthened by the knowledge and insights companies can gather about potential and current employees from listening to the conversations taking place on the platforms. However, although employees can be a powerful tool in promoting your employer brand it is vital that they are empowered to act as ambassadors. Therefore, it is important to have a social media policy in place, where you communicate your expectations to your employees. You can read more about how to implement a social media policy in our previous blog post.

A successful case: Novo Nordisk

The use of social media has had a positive impact on Novo Nordisk’s employer brand. They chose to shift their strategy of recruiting graduates from a focus on traditional advertisement to almost only communicating through social media using employees as ambassadors. The initiative included a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a company owned blog, which were the primary platforms used to create awareness and engagement. The blog includes current and former graduates (ambassadors), who share their experiences. The Twitter account is managed by Novo Nordisk graduate, Chris Hedquist, who tweets about general news and subjects from the graduate blog.


From these initiatives, Novo Nordisk accomplished to create transparency and credibility by letting current graduates be responsible for distributing and streamlining the communication across its social media platforms, which resulted in:

  • Applicants for the Graduate Programme almost tripled since 2008 (1.250 in 2008 to 3.500 in 2011).
  • 35.00 unique visits on the website and 7.000 visits on the blog
  • More than 3.500 applications, from 92 countries – nearly index 300 compared with 2008
  • KPI reached (being that 50 % of applicants should be of international origin).

Have you integrated social media into your current employer branding activities yet, and what are your experiences?

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?


Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.


Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.


The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.


Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.


A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.


Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.


At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.


If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.


*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!