You’ve found a perfectly good candidate, but after one look at their social media profiles, you’re moving them to the “no” pile.

Admit it: You’ve done this before.

In fact, one in five recruiters have turned down a candidate due to their social media presence, according to a March 2017 YouGov report.

But what if, instead of looking at what candidates were doing wrong on social media, you took an in-depth look at what they were really trying to say? If you understand what candidates are looking for in a company and what their job search struggles are, you’ll better understand how to attract the best talent for your team.

This is where “social listening” comes in. Traditionally, social listening has been used by marketers to understand key consumer insights so they can create impactful marketing strategies. In today’s job market, recruiting is much like marketing. So, let’s take a look at how you can bring social listening to your recruitment strategy:

1. Get to Know People — Not Candidates

Resumes and cover letters can only give you a limited picture of a candidate — and they’re often pretty boring to read, if we’re being honest. Social media accounts paint more vibrant pictures, giving candidates faces, personalities, and relatable interests. This information is important, both for attracting candidates and determining cultural fit.

Look at your target candidates as people. What commonalities do your ideal candidates share? Do they have similar interests, home lives, or hobbies? Are they fun-loving? Determined? Always offering someone a helping hand?

Once you have a grasp on who your candidates are, you can tailor your recruiting strategy accordingly. For example, if you notice your candidates tend to be very sociable, you may want to promote your team-oriented environment. Highlight how much your company values teamwork in job descriptions, and share  pictures of your team working and having fun together on social media.

2. Listen to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Reviews

Social media is, in some ways, the best thing that ever happened to recruiters — and, in some ways, it is the absolute worst. Sure, social media helps us get to know candidates better, but it can also be used to ruin a company’s reputation.

Pay attention to the reviews and comments people post about your organization — and about the hiring process in general. What candidates say about employers, job searches, and recruiters will give you hints about how you should alter your hiring process to meet their needs.

For example, many sales candidates talk about their frustrations with the lack of pay transparency from recruiters and employers. Therefore, you knows this is information you need to incorporate into your recruitment messaging in order to rise above your competitors.

3. Find Candidates’ Comfort Zones

Sales employees have high-stress jobs. In order for candidates to trust recruiters with their futures, they need to know that a company has strong management and peer support systems. These candidates often want learning and development opportunities, too, as the sales field is always evolving.

Find your candidates’ comfort zones. What kind of support will they need from your company? Candidates’ ages, years of experience, and even family situations can give you some insight here. Strengthen your outreach efforts by preparing solutions to your candidates’ most common struggles.

Karyn Mullins is president of MedReps.com. Connect with Karyn on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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