While visiting clients in San Francisco last week I had a great conversation about social media and how social media can be an outstanding tool to hire design talent.

*BTW, this is one of the things I love about designers, they are open to robust conversations and are genuinely curious about other points a view!

Anyway, as I was defending my point “Social Media can help hire” I realized a lot of other firms might be interested in how to use social media to increase engagement with potential employees.

Below are a few big ideas to keep in mind if your firm is thinking of starting a social media recruiting effort.

Know how to show up

Participation as a human, not a robot

While this may seem obvious, it is not.  Many firms, and even other recruiting agencies, think recruiting on social media is about posting jobs.  While posting does have a place a successful plan needs more.  In today’s market, potential employees want to know about an employer’s culture.  “What is it like to work at your firm?”  is the CRITICAL question you want to help potential employees answer.

Share your culture, don’t promote it

You are talking to humans, many humans, on social media.  Think of it like this.

You are at a bar, watching the Mariners, Padres, etc., and someone sits down next to you.  After some small talk your new friend shares she is an Architect.  Would you:

  1. Hello.  My name is David Brown and I am Principal at XYZ.  XYZ is a leading Healthcare design firm with offices in San Francisco and San Jose.  We work across California and have been awarded several awards for our work.  If you have some time I would like to share our open Project Architect role in our San Jose office.  Do you know Revit?
  2. Really, I am also an Architect. I work at XYZ firm.  What project type do you work on?

I am not sharing the answer, you should know it!  The lesson?  The interactions you have on social media should be a conversation.  Share, listen, reply.

Know where to connect

To have an effective social media recruiting plan you need to interact on many platforms.  Of course, Facebook and Twitter are a must.  For designers, Instagram is also a great visual platform.  LinkedIn and Pinterest are also great ways to connect.

Don’t forget to also participate on the site focused on the Architecture and Interior Design industry.  Architizer, Archinect, Archilovers, and Archh.com are some good ones.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

The design world is fortunate to be a visual world.  Share photos of you work every chance you get!

Get everyone involved

Senior Leadership sets the example

To be effective, your social media recruiting plan should include all employees.  If your firm has a marketing/communication team, use them to set tone, develop ideas, and even set schedules but any effort that only lives in Marketing, or even worse an outside marketing/PR firm, will not be as successful as one driven by in-house staff at all levels.

The interactions need to be genuine.  Start with senior leadership and work out to the rest of the firm.  Leadership understands the brand, the corporate culture, and how to share both in the best light.  Let them take the lead and set the example for the rest of the firm to follow.

Keep it professional, and positive

This may be obvious but it is worth developing a few guidelines for a social media recruiting campaign.  I am developing another post to go deeper into this topic.  The bottom line, give employees a small set of rules, be professional, positive, etc. but little restriction on how they follow the rules.  Again, it is important to be genuine.

Inspect what you expect

Understand the difference in a like, tweet, retweet, mention, heart, and favorite

First off, understand the language of each of the sites you are using.  Using your voice while participating in the language of the platform will increase your success.  Once you know how each platform interacts you can set your goals.

Use the metrics programs of the sites you use

Most, if not all, social media platforms have some sort of metric tracking program.  This is an easy way to understand the impact your social media efforts are having and if you are reaching your goals.

Regardless of what your firm uses to track efforts it is critical to have a plan, with targets, and measurable activity.  Some general goals are:

  • Likes, shares, hearts, retweets, etc.
  • Hit on your firm’s website from your social media pages
  • Resumes Received from social media
  • Candidate hired from social media

As with anything, starting is half the battle.  I have helped several clients develop the basics of a plan and worked with them over time as they improve their system.  Regardless of how small or how robust the program became over time, starting was the biggest factor for success.

So, go out there and get started.  Good luck!