Social media marketing. Lead generation. Social commerce. These are buzzwords and phrases we hear all too often – and unfortunately, most marketers struggle to define what they all mean. Most recently, the concept of “social selling” has gained traction in the staffing industry as it relates to recruiting and hiring strategies. However, while this concept has become widely known, many sales teams struggle to implement successful social selling techniques that get results.
In a recent playbook from Crushin’ It in Staffing, Brynne Tillman and Troy Owens from LinkedIn B2B marketing firm RevGrow, joined us to discuss the power of social selling on LinkedIn. They discussed how the buyer’s journey has significantly changed, making it critical to adapt your talent acquisition process to attract candidates to your opportunities. What’s important to understand is that social selling and traditional customer service protocols still go hand-in-hand, even when executed within the context of emerging technologies. Perhaps this quote says it best:
“Social selling expands on the old-age basics of getting to know your customers and meeting their needs.” – Jon Ferarra, the founder of Nimble LLC
While the evolution of social media has certainly changed the way in which we communicate, the age-old principal of customer service remains the same. To be successful, you must know your consumer and what they want.
In other words, social media is simply another channel to implement traditional sales tactics with a modern-day twist. However, because of the nature of social media, sales professionals must know how to navigate the many functionalities of sites like LinkedIn, one of the most popular professional networking channels of today. And, even with access to thousands of prospects, it can become overwhelming and downright exhausting to capture the attention of your audience on social media. As you get your sales team up to speed, here are some key social selling strategies that can be used to recruit candidates on LinkedIn.
- Know Your Target Audience.It’s nearly impossible to be successful at social selling if you don’t have a clear idea of the type of audience you’re trying to reach. For example, if your job is to place candidates in healthcare jobs, you’ll want to identify prospects with the specific credentials and skills you’re seeking. Having a candidate profile in mind will allow you to effectively search for prospects with relevant qualifications, allowing you to narrow down a defined list of target prospects to contact. In addition to identifying prospects by their individual profiles, you can use LinkedIn’s search function to filter through candidates by using a variety of criteria, such as location, job title, company, and mutual connections.
- Demonstrate Your Credibility and Value.
Because candidates are exposed to so much online content on a daily basis, you must give them a reason to connect and become interested in what you have to offer. This starts with making your LinkedIn profile visually appealing in the form of your headshot, banner image and text. For example, does your headshot present you as a warm and welcoming professional? Is your profile’s banner image reflective of your staffing firm’s mission and brand? Most importantly, does your profile summary describe how you strive to help others? For example, if you specialize in placing IT professionals in temporary jobs throughout the U.S., you’ll want to make this clear in your profile’s summary, job description and skills section. Demonstrating your value and specialization – and why candidates should engage with you – will be instrumental in your ability to effectively “sell” to candidates and spark a meaningful conversation.
- Bring Communication Offline.
Once you’ve established your credibility and articulated your value to candidates in an exchange, it’s important to take the conversation offline whenever possible. As discussed in the podcast, you can accomplish this by incorporating a scheduling tool like Calendly into your outreach. This will give candidates a user-friendly link to easily schedule calls with you, eliminating the need for back-and-forth exchanges. What’s most useful about Calendly is that you can block off your time based on “calls with prospects” and “calls with candidates,” which can be a great way to manage communication with your two different audiences. Regardless of your approach, having an ability to sustain ongoing engagement with candidates is critical to ultimately sealing the deal.
Is your sales team prepared to harness the power of social selling?
As sites like LinkedIn continue to dominate the recruiting space, it’s never been more important to equip your team with the skills and knowledge they need to utilize social selling practices. Implementing the strategies above in your approach to recruiting is the first step. We would love to talk with you and share more insights we have learned. Contact us today.