We hear a lot of ‘hacks’ and best practices about recruiting and sourcing on social media.
Find passive technical candidates on GitHub!
Engineers like to post on reddit!
Graphic designers are on Instagram!
Find creative talent on Pinterest!
And while all these statements might be true – it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be using your resources to comb through the abstract social networks, set-ups and algorithms to build your teams. Does it work sometimes? Sure, so does walking onto a city bus and asking if anyone wants to join your business as a python developer – sometimes – but you’ll have to ride a lot of buses.
The question should never be “Is it possible?” but rather “Is it realistic and scalable?”
Recently someone posed the question, “What about recruiting on TikTok?” and I couldn’t help but think, “What about it?“
Unless you’re willing to throw a decent amount of money at influencers to help push your job openings – you’re really going out of your way to MAYBE find a handful of candidates. And are they the candidates you WANT?
Think about the hard to fill jobs right now. What comes to mind? Construction, transport [truck drivers], public service, hospitality, nurses, retail workers, whatever role you have open – to name a few. So, real talk – are you finding those candidates on social media? Are truck drivers creating TikToks to showcase their skills so they can alert recruiters and companies to the fact that they are #opentowork? Or are your recruiters creating TikTok video job ads?
It’s a question of intent. What is the intent of the users of the social platform? When you ask users to do something outside of the intent, the conversion rate drops…. A lot. If you use Indeed as a baseline, candidates on a job board (according to Appcast) complete recruiting applications at a rate of 5.27%. On Facebook, the highwater mark is 1.6% conversion rate for retail. Why? Because the intention of the user on that site, disrupting that intention garners a much lower outcome. How many TikTok users are on the platform to find their next great role in construction? What about the passive candidates like the techies? Are they posting videos showing themselves catching a vibe to be your next great team member?
I bet you know the answer.
The Targeting Gap
With 1.3 billion users on Instagram, 1 billion on Tiktok and 444 million on Pinterest – you can’t afford to advertise to them all. And targeting is sketchy at best for employment purposes. Most people don’t have their work listed in their interests or are watching how to improve your excel skills. Figuring out the targeting is a massive challenge….except on github and stackoverflow where developers openly share what languages and projects they are working on, even if they aren’t sharing their identities!
Can vs. Should
I can eat an entire large pizza in one sitting. That doesn’t mean that I should.
The same goes for your sourcing attempts on TikTok and Pinterest and even Instagram. If you’re looking for influencers to push your clothing brand – sure. You’re a dance studio that wants your routine to go viral and attract people to join you as new students – great. You’re building a team of truck drivers for long hauls – probably not.
Applicants vs Branding
There is an exception here – branding. Where you might experiment is with the idea of branding your company, a great place to work, on these various sites provided that the message makes sense on the medium. If you run an employment branding video of the reasons its great to be a trucker for your company – without a specific job you are targeting – you may find you have great success.
Have you had success sourcing candidates on TikTok? Send me an email and let me know and we can feature your expertise on a JobSync recruitment marketing roundtable.
For the last few years Lex has been helping HR Tech organizations, recruiters, and thought leaders grow their audiences. Her early career consisted of dabbling in sales and account management. She even helped register rare breed pedigrees for agricultural firms. Feel free to ask her about it sometime. She currently resides in Florida with her husband, daugher, and dachshund.