When it comes to kicking off your employer branding efforts, there are three big buckets to think about: careers site, content, and social media. Your careers site and the content that will go on it are pretty easy to isolate from an employer branding perspective—there’s no question if these should be all-employee-focused all the time.
Social media is a different story.
It’s a tale as old as time: your corporate marketing team runs the social media show. Sure, they push employee-centric posts or job postings every once in a blue moon, but they’ve never given you the full-on treatment you’re looking for. And so you decide it’s time to take matters into your own hands and create social media accounts specifically for your talent function (or hire someone else to do it).
Hold on there, cowboy. Before forging your own careers-focused path in the wild west of social media, there are a few roadblocks you might hit that you’ll want to consider:
Social Channel + Handle Names
When creating careers-specific accounts, you’re going to have to distinguish in both the usernames and the handles that these are all about the attraction and retention of talent at your company. There’s a multitude of ways you can do this, including:
Roadblocks come in when you consider character limitations, notably on Twitter where you only have 15 characters for handles and 20 characters for usernames. The problem is, you want your usernames and handles to be identical across platforms (and if you don’t, you should), so if one social channel presents this problem, it’s a problem for all social channels.
Trying to fit your company name + talent/careers/people/etc into 15-20 characters or less can be tricky, and it’s definitely one of the first things to consider when setting about creating careers-specific accounts for your employer brand.
Photos, Or Lack Thereof
The thing you have to understand about social media is it’s an incredibly visual place to be, and if you’re lacking in images then you’re going to suffer. You need pictures of your offices, your employees working, your employees experiencing the culture of your company, pictures for holidays, pictures to post with job links, pictures to share with careers site links…you get the “picture”.
While this might seem like an obvious component that you’ve got covered, in reality you probably don’t have as many pictures of your people and places as you think you do. Those pics from your company meeting earlier this year and office shots that are a few years old don’t really cut it. Obtaining pictures might seem like a relatively easy task, but consider these roadblocks:
–If you have multiple offices, you’re going to need pictures from all locations, which means coordinating with people at each office.
–You’re going to need pictures to represent most, if not every team in your company, so get ready to visit all the facets of your organization.
–You need pictures of people doing work, hanging around the office, and at official company events. That means you’re taking pictures for stock, but you’ve also got to stay on top of everything happening around the office to make sure you’re capturing every angle of your employer brand.
All of this is time consuming, ongoing and takes real effort, but it’s got to be done for your social efforts to be successful. Our recommendation is creating a full shot list of every picture you want to take for stock and you want to take at upcoming events to make sure you’re covering all your bases.
Corporate Branding Backlash
One you start building out your careers-specific accounts and posting to them, it’s amazing how quickly your corporate branding team that was so hesitant to help you out in the first place suddenly wants to be involved. As frustrating as it can be, you have to give a little to get a little in the business world, and in this case a little understanding about where they’re coming from in their position can go a long way.
When the corporate branding experts start coming in and asking questions about what this is, and why that’s set up the way it is, here are some things you can do to overcome these roadblocks:
–First and foremost, you have to explain to them why having careers-specific channels is important.
–Once you sell them on why you need separate channels to completely engage candidates and talent, you’ve got to show them why you should be in charge of it. Even though social media might be their game, recruiting and retaining talent is your world and you know how to do it better than anyone.
–Then it’s time to give them some collateral. Maybe this is insight into what you’re posting each week; maybe it’s a document with broken out goals and how you’re going to obtain those goals. Either way, chances are they have so much going on in their world, if you send them a ton of information and back it up with some success metrics, they’ll back down.
Each of these items is a roadblock in and of itself, but overcoming these barriers will allow you to completely own your spaces in the social sphere.
Despite all these challenges you might face when building out careers-specific social channels, the value of having places where you can engage candidates and current employees is invaluable. Keep pushing ahead, just know it won’t be as easy as creating profiles. Prepare yourself for the hardest tasks and you’ll be ready to take them on when they happen.
Photo Credit: image from HTSABO