Tick Tock: Amplify Social Recruiting Results with Optimal Timing

200255412-001Recruiters are constantly communicating with potential candidates, and any recruiter will tell you this is incredibly time consuming. In fact, the average recruiter spends three hours every day sourcing candidates – including time spent recruiting on social networks. With sharing job openings and reaching out to candidates on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, knowing when candidates will be active is key to creating interest in your job openings and starting to communicate with potential candidates. How can recruiters maximize their efforts and get better recruiting results by being intentional with the timing of their social media communications?

Identify where candidates are active

Where will you post your job updates? Katrina Collier, a speaker and trainer on using social media for recruitment, points out the need to research before you post. “Before they begin, recruiters should work out which social media sites potential candidates are on, where in the world they are recruiting, what kind of topics would interest these people and go from there,” Colliersays.

Although LinkedIn is the obvious choice for recruiters, Google+ is also a natural fit for recruiters thanks to its focus on developing in-depth user profiles, including job titles and specific companies. One article explains, “[T]he ‘Circle’ function within Google Plus has strong potential for use by recruiters, as they can share [open] jobs with highly specific groups of professionals and not clutter up their main social stream with job postings, as they are forced to with Twitter.”

Schedule posts at optimal times

If you schedule your social media communications for times your target audience isn’t active, your posts may go unnoticed. One important factor to consider is geography. “If you live in New York but recruit techies from Eastern Europe, you’d need to share technical news and insights at 3 am to get their attention on the morning commute,” says Collier. “Now you don’t really want to be doing that in real time, do you?”

PREMIUM CONTENT: Highest bang-to-buck direct hire and temporary recruiting tactics

Wondering what the optimal times are for the various social networks? Here are some guidelines to follow:

Twitter: According to ERE, most people use Twitter between 1 and 3 pm and 7 and 9 pm. Recruiters may have more luck reaching their audience of potential candidates by being active at that time, too. Another tactic is to schedule at the end of the hour, when professionals might have a chance to glance at their social media between meetings or as they return to their desks.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the most popular professional social media site, with the most activity occurring between 7 and 8:30 am and 5 and 6 pm. Recruiters can use Hootsuite or other social media management tools and schedule messages to post at those times to maximize visibility. Typically, overnight hours are the worst time to schedule posts; however, if you have an international audience you may want to keep their time zones in mind. Getting into the daily life of your audience is valuable to help you pinpoint their downtime or short snippets when they might have a few minutes to interact.

Google+: Most people log onto Google+ between 9 and 11 am. Recruiters can either schedule time into their workdays to log onto Google+ at that time of day or again use a management tool to post.

Facebook: Facebook is a great place for your recruiting firm to do a little self-promotion – you might include awards won, your latest accomplishments and post engaging content from leaders. You can also use status updates to discuss industries that have job openings or certain types of candidates you’re currently seeking. Most people use Facebook on weekdays, 6 to 8 am and 2 to 5 pm. Facebook also has a built-in scheduling tool that you can use to schedule updates right within Facebook.

You can also be intentional about posting on your different social sites at different times of day or days of the week to see if you spot any trends. Perhaps your audience is on Facebook at times different than the majority of the population, or maybe they like LinkedIn posts with photos or tweets written in a certain style or voice. Try a few variations and see how they perform and support your recruiting efforts.

Break up job posts with scheduling tools

Social media isn’t just another place to broadcast job openings. “Social media is a place to be, well, social!” says Collier. “Though there are variances in how social each platform is, it’s crucial that recruiters break up their job posts with valuable content.” Collier recommends gaining trust of potential candidates by easing into conversations and breaking up content, posting six or seven pieces of content per each job post, with content spread out evenly.

“Scheduling tools enable this,” she says. “With scheduling tools you won’t look like a job spammer. You can spread out your updates throughout the day to catch the attention of a wider audience. And you’ll save a ton of time because you can stack them up in the morning over your coffee and they’ll work hard for you all day.”

There is pressure to perform in recruiting, Collier notes, and a recruiter’s desire to fire off a large number of job posts at once is understandable. However, building relationships – both with an individual recruiter and with an agency – is vital to a recruiter’s success with candidates. “In social media you need to balance your social sourcing – finding people online – with your social employer branding – attracting people to your company via social media – with the aforementioned job posts. With scheduling tools the reality is far less overwhelming.”

Recruiters are busy, juggling various communications, interviews and tasks. Timing communications so they get into your prospective candidates’ news feeds at a certain time can help you amplify your message and reach your audience more effectively for success.

Learn how recruiters can best harness the power of social media with 6 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Engage Their Social Channels.

MORE: Does social media work in staffing?

Phil McCutchen

Phil McCutchen
Phil McCutchen is marketing manager at Bond US.

Phil McCutchen

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