Recruiters are spending more time than ever on social media, according to the results of a recent Dice survey. That being said, social media enthusiasts often find it difficult to measure and justify hefty investments in brand building and sourcing activities across multiple platforms.
A monitoring tool could be the answer. The most popular tools let you listen to your audience, engage them and analyze the results, and many vow to make life easier by aggregating activity and data from several platforms. But with over 100 tools on the market, how can you select the right one?
“It’s important for recruiters to measure activity and actions and how they translate into candidate flow,” said Mary Foley, talent search specialist with Progressive Insurance. “We wanted a tool that could measure views, shares and the percentage of people who view our company profile and subsequently click the ‘apply’ button.”
Here are some things to consider when selecting a social-media monitoring tool:
- Understand your goals
Know what you want to measure and accomplish before you go shopping for a tool, Foley advised. For example, do you need multi-language capabilities? Would you like to monitor mentions and schedule content releases? Do you want to involve your tech team in your outreach? Is efficiency a priority? Consider a location-based tool if you want to track your penetration into specific geographic markets.
- Which networks need monitoring?
Because each tool supports different platforms, you may need multiple tools and strategies to monitor activity across the entire Web, close functionality gaps or to track specialized platforms such as GitHub, Stack Overflow or SlideShare. For instance, Foley uses Bitly, but she also uses Twitter’s native analytics platform to monitor profile hits and source new candidates by viewing her followers.
- Reporting requirements
Do you want to share data and reports across the enterprise? Is integration with other systems and platforms vital? Do you need to analyze historical data? Do you want to compare the strength of your brand to specific competitors? Will canned reports do, or do you want customized dashboards? Some tools are better suited to recruiting than others.
Here are a few popular options for recruiters:
Foley uses Bitly to track impressions and changes in follower count after each post or profile change; content posted mid-morning on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons generates the most views, especially among tech pros. She also uses its URL shortening tool to maximize space in posts and tweets.
Sprout Social’s Smart InBox consolidates messages and lets you respond or delegate that task to another team member, according to Jim Conti, the firm’s director of talent. Recruiters can track hashtags or keywords and weigh in on conversations about upcoming tech conferences or the latest software release. You can also schedule and publish content across several social channels with a single click. And its new brand advocacy tool, Bambu, extends your reach by letting you share content with your tech staff, who then spread the word across social media.
Hootsuite is the most robust tool on the market, according to Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify Talent, an employment-branding firm that has a business relationship with Hootsuite. Hootsuite offers free, professional and enterprise versions, which makes it “accessible to anyone,” he said. And its column-based dashboard layout and geo-located search option are ideal for recruiters.
Schmidt also recommends Radian6, due its user friendly interface and the fact that the software can determine profession and education level and other demographics, as well as integrate with CRM systems.
Social Mention is a popular option among recruiters, because it monitors over one hundred social media sites and aggregates user-generated comments. It also measures influence in terms of strength, sentiment, passion and reach. And best of all, it’s free.
Dice’s Open Web social recruiting platform is a great way to source tech candidates since it aggregates data from more than 130 social sites. Social monitoring tools like the ones mentioned above can supplement your sourcing by increasing efficiency and tracking the success of your social efforts.