In a recent group accountability call with club members, I was asked how to really leverage social media to help recruit your next new team member. In this blog, I share the advice I gave in the group call, regarding social media recruitment.
Social media recruitment for accountants
I don’t know any small accountancy firm owner who looks forward to using a recruitment agency when they have a vacancy. Given the severe shortage of accountancy talent in the UK, there's also no guarantee that a recruitment agent will actually be able to find you a decent new member of staff. This is where social media recruitment comes in. You can use many of the same tools that recruiters do to help you find your next team member.
When it comes to social media recruitment, the best websites to help you find your next new qualified or semi-qualified new team member are LinkedIn and Facebook.
What needs to be done BEFORE you use social media to recruit?
It’s important to have the basics covered before you start spending time, money, and energy to using social media recruitment. These are:
- An up-to-date website that demonstrates to potential new members of staff that your firm is a great place to work
- A good quality role description, so anyone interested in the vacancy will have a good understanding of it involves
- Your own personal LinkedIn profile and company LinkedIn profile is filled in, up-to-date, and feels welcoming for any potential new members of staff
- Your staff know that you will pay a referral fee for anyone they introduce to the firm who is good enough to interview. You will also pay a referral fee if they then go onto become a member of the team
How to use Facebook as a social recruitment tool
There are 3 different ways to use Facebook to find new team members. Luckily only one of them will cost you money, or require the services of a digital marketing professional.
The simplest way (which will be significantly helped if you pay your staff a referral fee for a successful hire) is to ask your members of staff to post up on their personal Facebook profiles about the vacancies at your firm. You can make it even easier for them by posting your vacancies on your firm’s Facebook page and asking staff members to share your post.
The next way to use Facebook will take a bit of research. Facebook is now stuffed full of local community groups. Whether it is “Shout out Calne” or “Ampthill.info” there are lots of these groups. So get searching for your local groups and join them. Once you are in the group ask the group admin by a private message whether it is OK to post up about your job vacancy.
And finally, the last way to use Facebook is to create sponsored posts. This is where you may like to use a Facebook advert specialist. The aim here is to construct a compelling advert about your vacancy and share it with people who are local to you and have some interest in accountancy. Whether by being in a group for accountants or liking an accountancy institutes page.
How to use LinkedIn as a social recruitment tool
LinkedIn is a really powerful search tool for people and there are some free ways to use it to recruit. To really use it properly for recruitment, you should upgrade to a business premium account.
Before you start using LinkedIn as a social recruitment tool, you need to get your own house in order. Does your own LinkedIn profile make you and your firm seem like a good place to work? Does your firm’s LinkedIn page make it seem like an interesting and nice place to work? These are the two places that any potential members of staff will check you out, so it makes sense to have them fully optimised.
Once you’ve done this you may wish to change the start of your professional headline on your personal LinkedIn profile to “We’re Hiring”.
Now it’s time for you to become your own recruiter. A great way of doing this is to do a search on people who identify as accountants or who work in accountancy within your local area. This will bring up a reasonable list of people. You can, of course, do a connection request with potential suitable hires, and then start a conversation about whether they know anyone who would be interested in your vacancy. My preferred route is to send them an Inmail. It just seems more professional and people are less likely to take offence if you start a conversation with “do you know anyone…?” The golden rule here is not to ask the person you are talking to directly whether they are looking for a new job. It’s to ask them whether they know anyone who may be interested in a new role.
Share content and view profiles
There are some great ways to get your profile seen on LinkedIn without using Inmail. How about doing a search for potential new hires using a free automated tool like Dux-Soup? This allows you to "view"up to 100 LinkedIn profiles a day. The thinking is about 10% will then come back and look at your profile. This then gives you the excuse to get in contact. Of course, if your professional strapline says “we’re hiring” at the beginning, they may be more likely to initiate a conversation with you.
If you don’t want to use an automated solution like Dux-Soup, the next best way is to get busy and active on your own LinkedIn account. Get sharing content and stuff that shows that your firm is a great place to work. Ask your staff to engage with these posts and slowly but surely LinkedIn will amplify your reach. It’s not just about you personally broadcasting content. Another way is to comment on other people’s posts. This is a great way to get people to look at your profile.
Like Facebook, there is always the option of paying for some sponsored content on LinkedIn. Once again, I would recommend talking to someone who understands and properly uses LinkedIn for this kind of stuff.