Recruiting? Right now it is a total nightmare… the combined fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit has produced a vacuum where thousands of hospitality workers used to be. Bars, restaurants, leisure centres and hotels have gone from bringing in zero income, to being unable to cope with the influx of customers. So what is the solution?
Well… I can’t solve the staffing crisis but what I can do is give you some great tips on how to use social media to bolster your recruitment efforts. When social media is used to its full potential, it doesn’t just give you a leg up on the competition with regards to sales, it should also help you recruit the best candidates.
Why you should be recruiting on social media?
What are the benefits of using social media to recruit hospitality staff? The most obvious one is that social media channels are built for sharing content. It is so easy for people to instantly spread your message to their friends and followers. As an employer, you need to be taking advantage of this, particularly while it’s an ‘employees’ market’. Here are five great reasons to incorporate social media into your recruitment strategy.
- Broaden your application pool; the more places in which you advertise your vacancy, the more people it will reach. Many young workers have no idea how to look for jobs. I still hear of parents trying to convince their children that the best way to find work is to walk around the city center with lots of printed copies of their CV. While this might still work for some establishments, this ‘door chapping’ method is a pretty alien concept to young people who live a great deal of their life online (excuse the stereotyping!). Many aren’t on LinkedIn either, but they are on TikTok and Instagram so it is important to use a variety of social media channels.
- Attract candidates who fit into your culture; it can be pretty difficult to convey company culture in a job advert, but it is much easier on social media. If someone comes across your social channels, with lots of photos of your staff and information on the services you provide, they can very quickly get a feel for your organisation. People want to fit in at work, and you want your staff to fit in with their colleagues. Social media is a great way to inform potential candidates of the work environment before they even click ‘apply’.
- Save money; recruitment fees can be very expensive, but being on social media is free. I’d never suggest you use social media alone for recruitment, but you may find that throughout the year you are able to spend less on recruitment if you start to get good traction with recruiting via your social channels.
- Reach people who aren’t actively looking for a job. If you only post your job on recruitment sites, then you’ll only attract those who are ready to make a move. By creating great social media content which showcases your business as an awesome place to work, you can grab the attention of someone who is simply feeling a bit fed up or looking for a change. Get them hooked early in their job search journey by making yourself look like a desirable employer.
- Attract people out-with your industry. If you are working with a recruiter, they are likely to know all of the top candidates within your industry. But what about talented individuals looking to make a switch? They may be less likely to be approached by recruiters, particularly if you are using an industry specific recruiter. By promoting your role on social media, you can make it clear that you are seeking candidates from all walks of life, and that you welcome applicants from a variety of backgrounds. Disclaimer: not all recruiters! Some are brilliant and will spread the net far and wide.
So how do you do it?
There are several elements needed to create amazing recruitment content on social media. My advice is to try to convey the culture of your workplace through your social media posts and try not to sound overly desperate for staff (even if you are!)
Eye-catching well-designed imagery
All you need for this is a decent phone camera and a subscription to an easy to use graphic design platform such as canva.com which costs £10.99 per month. Canva has plenty of recruitment template designs meaning all you do is choose your favourite and slot in your branding. Some include a space for a photo; the personal touch can be very powerful. Maybe you have photos of contented staff working in a relaxed environment?
Location and Sector Specific Hashtags
Vacancy specific hashtags are great e.g. #hospitalityjobs #GlasgowJobs but you should also research the types of hashtags that potential employees might follow. For instance, if you are looking for chefs, use #chef #cheflife #instafood.
Perhaps you have a bar in a student town and many of your staff are students? Don’t be afraid to jump onto local student hashtags. For instance, if you own a bar in a university town such as Stirling, you might want to use the University’s instagram hashtag e.g. #igstiruni, to get your posts noticed by young people in the area. Even if they aren’t looking for a job, it could lead them to your Instagram account… and then to your bar for a drink!
Involve your employees in content creation
Ask your current staff if you can take photos of them at work. Ask them to give you some quotes about why they like working for you. Most importantly, ask them to share the content. People love seeing themselves on company accounts, it makes them feel good about themselves! So posting images of your staff can really help reach their networks as they will usually share the post.
A word of warning… only involve your staff if you have a social media policy in place which sets out what is and what isn’t appropriate for your employees to say and do online in relation to your business. This keeps you safe and lets you employees know where they stand.
Job Seekers Groups
Share your posts to job seekers groups within the social channels. A quick search on Facebook and LinkedIn should lead you to industry specific and location specific recruitment pages which allow you to post vacancies.
If you would like to go a step further, look for community support groups which often have a weekly or monthly vacancy thread. For instance, I am a member of the ‘UK Fundraisers’ group on Facebook; every month the admins create a new job thread so that all the vacancies are collected together in one place. This is a great resource for both charities and job seekers alike.
Ask your customers to share
So simple, but we often forget this! While the ‘please share’ request is usually ignored on a sales focused post, the same isn’t true for recruitment. Your followers will view sharing your recruitment posts as helping others, so they are much more likely to do it. You can even get specific with this, such as asking people who live in certain locations to share it or asking them to share it within particular communities. You may have followers who are in private Facebook or LinkedIn groups similar to those described above, who will share your post to that group for you.
Use content marketing which is aimed at potential staff. By this I mean not all of your recruitment posts should be ‘please apply’ posts which are equivalent to a ‘sale now on’ post. We all know that when speaking to your potential customers, content with a softer, less sales like message, showing the benefits of your services and products are best for increasing engagement. Apply this principle to your recruitment campaigns. Let jobseekers know that you are a caring employer and that working for you is fun and rewarding.
Have you put a staff member through cocktail training course or lifeguard training? Put up a photo of them holding their certificate. Did you host a wine tasting evening to help your staff get to know the new drinks menu? Posts a photo of your staff having a merry old time! You can also ask questions to research what makes a good employer (more on this below).
Ask your Audience
Not sure how to reach the right candidate? Not sure why people would want to work for you? Then ask! This is a great way to start a conversation on your social media channels and get some useful advice on recruitment from your target market. It will also make you look like you really care about your staff and want them to be happy in their role. Check out the example below.
Using your social media to help you recruit staff should factor into your overall marketing plan. The posts should be consistent with everything else you are posting. If recruitment is one of your goals for social media, ask yourself the following question every time you create a post ‘what would a potential staff member think of this?’ In other words, be wary of ‘the customer is always right’ rhetoric, instead show support for your team in your posts. People respect business owners who look after their staff.
Need some support? Find out more about my social media services.
Katie Mullen Digital Marketing, putting the passion back into your business communications