Elements of an Effective Social Media Strategy for Contingent Workforce Programs

With social media playing an increasingly important role in the attraction, recruitment and engagement of contingent talent, it’s no wonder that many MSPs now consider social strategies when evaluating potential staffing partners.

After all, an MSP is only as good as the quantity and quality of professionals it can deliver to line managers quickly and cost-effectively. And now that recruiters have had the opportunity to track the impact of their investments in social media, the results are pretty impressive.

Surveys confirm that social media has been instrumental in reducing time-to-fill, encouraging referrals, identifying diverse candidates and decreasing advertising costs among other benefits.

So how do you know if your staffing partners’ social media efforts are worthwhile? Here are some of the most vital components of a successful strategy as well as some ways that program managers can play a supporting role.

Brand Extension

Brand extension is regarded as a highly effective way to leverage a company’s existing brand equity and reach new audiences. In this case, brand extension occurs when staffing firms have permission to promote a client’s employment brand and logos across social media channels and job postings.

Opportunities to post workplace photos or videos on networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is another way to maximize brand synergies and encourage social sharing and referrals. Assuming that the sharing of images or company name complies with social media policy, this is a quick way to reach hundreds of additional prospects without spending more on advertising.

Best of all, endorsing a client’s innovative culture, cutting edge projects and job opportunities on sites where top contractors hang out online, appeals to like-minded professionals who may end up converting to full-time status down the road.

Consistency and Frequency

Consistency is paramount when it comes to social media. Staffing firms must post daily and respond to inquiries quickly to grow their base of followers and encourage professionals with in-demand skills to apply.

Of course, staffing firms need to do more than post open jobs on their LinkedIn company page or Twitter account – which can come across as self-serving. They need to share relevant, educational and useful content to garner the attention of busy contract professionals and passive job hunters.

Pertinent topics include interviewing tips, on-the-job advice or keys to contracting success.  A true supplier partner has insight into the client’s work environment or hiring process that may resonate with contingent workers and help promote the brand.

Team Effort

Socially adept staffing firms include their entire team in the execution of their social media strategy. For instance, recruiters are allowed to share updates about specific clients or job openings on their own social media accounts and contribute blog posts or participate in online discussions.

Some staffing firms even hold live Q&A sessions so recruiters can answer candidates’ questions and provide additional information about their contract opportunities and client base.

In addition, staffing firm executives demonstrate thought leadership by discussing relevant trends and news on social platforms and they encourage loyalty and high morale by publically thanking staffers, contingents and clients for their support.

Monitor and Listen

If you don’t know what’s being said on social media, how can you respond quickly to complaints or complements or pass along specific suggestions for improvement?

With the right tools and consistent execution, staffing firms can know immediately when a contingent worker says something positive or negative about their experience. And by tracking conversations and mentions across social media, forums and blogs, staffing firms can ensure that contingents have the ability to express themselves without violating a client’s social media policy.

Active monitoring also lets staffing firms gain insights about their followers and uncover new talent sources and influencers while encouraging contractors to share their positive work experiences.

Acknowledge and Recognize

How do you ensure that hard-working contactors know that they are appreciated? By giving them shout-outs on Twitter and recognizing their employment anniversaries and birthdays on Facebook.

Publicly recognizing accomplishments also shines a positive light on your client and increases engagement by creating a sense of community and shared purpose within a flexible workforce. If program managers have feedback or kudos to pass along to our contractors, let us know and we’ll spread the word.

In conclusion, when you consider that 79 percent of job seekers use social media in their search, and that more than half of all recruiters rate candidates sourced from social media as highest quality, it’s easy to see why social media will continue to be an important tool for staffing agencies, MSPs and their staffing clients for the foreseeable future.

Tim DePotter

Tim DePotter is Director, Operations & Quality for eTeam.

About Tim DePotter

Tim DePotter is Director, Operations & Quality of eTeam. His three passions are family, staffing and competitive yacht racing. Tim has served in a variety of management roles during his 20-year career in the staffing industry. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughters and granddaughters or navigating between the Great Lakes and southern Florida.