Often times in social recruiting, the three top networks are treated the same. Recruiters promote new jobs, hoping to access the social network around them. They ask people on their team to share jobs on their networks. As well as tools like Bullhorn, Jobvite, and Zao that are created to sign-in employees for automated job sharing.

However, the
promotion of job pages across the three main social networks in the same way does not achieve the same results. Thus, expectations for what sharing on each network will accomplish should be different.

To highlight this point, we pulled all of the data from traffic to job pages on the Ongig platform during the course of 2013. The data set we looked at was traffic coming from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Furthermore, all of the traffic we looked at was the result of a like, share, or tweet. This will help us better understand what really happens when you’re pushing people to share your jobs online.

The purpose is to understand how to optimize the opportunity when your team is willing to share, and even sign-in for auto-sharing. To optimize your online audience, our data says you should be using each of the top three social sites in a unique manner. Here’s how.

LinkedIn

The number one tool most recruiters mention when you talk about social recruiting is LinkedIn. The interesting thing is that LinkedIn’s main strength has nothing to do with social. The main strength of LinkedIn is to be used as a sourcing tool for Sales and Marketing positions. There’s no better place to go on the web for that
purpose. If you’re sourcing for Hourly, Technology, and University positions you may want to include other sources.

While we know that LinkedIn is a great sourcing tool, the bigger question is…what happens when content is shared in the news feed? As we dig into the numbers, it is apparent that LinkedIn works best when using a targeted approach.

Looking at Ongig’s platform data, we see 7,439 visits to job pages from LinkedIn shares in 2013. 68.45% of this traffic are new visitors to the job page. This is not bad, but as you’ll see, the branding opportunity is not as big as other networks. The good news is that the visitors arriving on the job page from LinkedIn are heavily engaged. For instance, the average time per visit on the job page is 3:46. The more targeted your approach is for sharing on LinkedIn, the better engagement you will get.

We’ve also heard a lot about LinkedIn’s focus on mobile. The company claims that 50% of their traffic will be mobile by 2014, but how much of that traffic actually ends up on your job pages? Ongig is seeing a big surge in our mobile traffic to job pages as well, but LinkedIn is way behind Facebook and Twitter as a driver.

Out of 7,439 visits from shares, only 111 were from a mobile device. This is shockingly low rate of 1.4%. Our sample size is small compared to LinkedIn, but the gap between 50% and 1.4% is enormous. The gap LinkedIn has with mobile job seekers presents a risk for the growth of the company. It seems the professional networking giant is keenly aware of the risk they have in mobile. Looking at our data the worry is justified.

Facebook

You’ve seen the conversation about Facebook as a recruiting tool. We wrote about Facebook’s stickiness with candidates earlier this year. As we look at the data, the key is to understand that your jobs are finding candidates on Facebook not the other way around. Rarely do you see a candidate take to Facebook in search
of their next job. They are much more likely to click on a job that has been shared by a friend, group, or company they “like”. Thus, the job page finds them.

As we look at the data from Facebook shares we immediately see a huge branding opportunity. In 2013, Facebook shares have resulted in 5,428 visits to job pages. The big branding opportunity lies in the fact that 82.55% of these visitors were brand new to the job page. This means that there is an opportunity to introduce your company and what you do to a wider audience of new people. Even if they are not applying, you are getting mindshare with this audience.

Another big surprise with Facebook lies in candidate engagement. We expected visitors from Facebook to come and go quickly with a “window shopping” mentality. We were shocked to see that visitors from shares on Facebook spent an average of 3:54 on the job pages. That many new people spending that much time with your content equals a huge branding opportunity.

While the size of the employer branding opportunity on Facebook was the first thing to jump out, it was nothing compared to the volume of mobile traffic we saw. Of the 5,428 visits to job pages from Facebook shares 2,063 were from a mobile device. When compared to the LinkedIn mobile traffic we mentioned above, this number is astonishing. 38% of all visits from shares came from a mobile device. This gap reiterated the fact that a targeted approach on LinkedIn can achieve better results, while a wide-reaching campaign on Facebook may be more beneficial to your brand as an employer.

Twitter

What to make out of Twitter? You consistently see recruiters tweeting their job descriptions out to the public. They’re likely to assign a hashtag or two as well to try and attract the appropriate candidate. But how effective is it? If you’re just looking to advertise a job, you might as well go buy a lottery ticket. But that doesn’t mean Twitter isn’t effective for recruiting.
During 2013, our platform had 888 visits to job pages from a tweet. This total is obviously much lower than LinkedIn and Facebook. However, Twitter does perform fairly well from a branding standpoint. We can see that 74.65% of the visitors were new to the page.

With the loose connections between Twitter users and followers we expected the number of new visitors to be big. We also expected engagement to be lower due to the nature of Twitter, and this was true. Visitors from Twitter stayed on the job page an average of 2:22. This is respectable, but far lower than LinkedIn and Facebook. In this way, Twitter can be seen as a conversation starter and attention-getter more than a job advertiser.

Looking at the mobile traffic, we see distinct similarities to Facebook. 312 of the visits to job pages from tweets were from a mobile device. This is a rate of 35%. It’s clear to see that job pages are finding visitors in their Twitter feed, and over a third of those are on mobile. The similarity to Facebook is striking, and it also shows the very wide gulf LinkedIn has to make up in driving prospects to your job pages on a mobile device.

All told, the recruiting value of Twitter lies is the conversation. And the more relevant the better. A good example is Square’s twitter handle for their Engineering group. The handle doesn’t talk much about jobs or careers at all, and that’s the beauty of it. You should look at Twitter as a way to create dialogue with prospects, and be prepared to respond in the conversation. This is the essence of passive recruiting.

Our Analysis

Don’t count on your social sharing programs to be an overnight success. You’ve got to set goals, and be consistent in sharing content. You should also set the appropriate expectations with what results you expect from social sharing campaigns. Specifically, don’t expect that you’re going to receive a
multitude of applications simply by sharing.

In fact, the majority of applications coming to Ongig’s job pages are coming from the careers site, job boards, and Google. The primary behavior we see is a candidate doing their research online, then going to the company career site to apply.

Many times, the candidate is more confident that the application will be received appropriately by going directly to the company careers site. Take a look at the sources of the applications you are receiving, and your careers site is likely one of the top sources.

Just because you are not receiving applications directly from the social networks does not mean that they are not effective. You’ve got to place the right expectations on them, and tailor your approach.

After analyzing our data, the recommendation we’re making is to utilize sharing on the 3 major networks in the following ways:

LinkedIn – Targeted search and selective sharing.

The network is best used in referral campaigns, and messaging to candidates in a specific vertical, location, and/or job category. There is a deluge of jobs being shared on LinkedIn, so make sure you are getting as granular as possible. This raises your odds at higher engagement. The downside of aiming wide on LinkedIn is that there is a lot of noise around jobs, and the content behind those jobs is typically dull. Be relevant and you’ll be engaging.

Facebook – Wide-reaching employer branding campaigns. 

It’s clear to see that the network is perfect for bringing attention to your company and jobs at a high-level. People who may never have heard of you will be taking a look, and it’s highly likely they’ll do so on a mobile device. Don’t count on Facebook for driving applications. Count on Facebook for driving your brand. It may start with friends of your employees, and expand as their friends begin liking and sharing your job pages and other relevant content.

Twitter – Creating conversation with passive candidates.

The data shows that it is harder to get a click and create engagement by sharing job pages on Twitter. Your company can be better off by sharing content that is useful to your candidate audience, and creating a conversation that will attract prospects. Twitter is most effective when you respond quickly to questions or comments. You may also develop a unique hashtag where the conversation can be centered.

Jason Webster

Jason Webster is a social recruiting enthusiast and co-founder of Ongig, a platform that creates shareable, visually-appealing job descriptions. He has spoken at multiple social recruiting events, where his passion for candidate experience is the primary topic. Connect with Jason and Ongig on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

by in Social Recruiting