'As a recruiter you are always looking for people. And so to the places where they can best be found. That's why we quickly said: we have to do something with social media. Our target group spends a lot of time every day on it and makes less and less use of traditional media. That is why we created corporate accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in early 2015. But soon a question arose: what are we going to do with it?"
André Schuijl, founder and owner of Job-Xion Vakmensen, is a fast-growing company that uses the Social Shift in two ways: to find candidates for clients and to reinvent themselves over and over again. Just like all temporary employment agencies, JobXion links the right candidates to outstanding vacancies, in this case in the world of construction and engineering. The recruiters also 'hunt' continually on electricians, installation engineers, carpenters and concrete carpenters: all professionals who currently have the work for picking. JobXion also offers 'working and learning' projects, partly to recruit candidates at the earliest possible stage.
Target audiences better
'Until 2015, we tried to reach our target groups via traditional media and meet and greets,' Schuijl says. 'For example, we advertised a lot in newspapers and on the radio. In addition, our vacancies were, of course, also on our own website and on the websites of the well-known online vacancies. "That went really well. The candidates reported "automatically" and no campaigns were needed to recruit them. However, the labor market has changed enormously in recent years. This forced us to come up with ways to better reach our target groups. From that moment on, we started thinking better about the possibilities of social media.'
Increase brand awareness
In the first instance, JobXion mainly used social media to generate more name recognition. Schuijl can still remember the first post of his company: "That was a message about our move to our new business premises. An underlying strategy was not there yet. We were findable online and occasionally shared a photo or news report ... that was it. I suspect that our approach at the time led to more candidates, but I do not know for sure. We did not yet measure at that time.'
'We have to be where our target group is located'
Schuijl gained more and more confidence in the power of social media. That is why he encouraged his marketing staff to occasionally post vacancies and nice messages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, there was no question of real regularity or a continuous flow of messages, let alone a strategy. Tót Schuijl was given the advice during a dinner to tackle it structurally and to call in external expertise.
Help from students
The bureau that Schuijl contracted employed dozens of marketing communication students. They came to their customers on location to support them with the use of social media. 'These students were advised by professionals from a distance, but of course they already had a lot of knowledge of online channels. After all, students have grown up with social media and use it a lot. "The latter is a prerequisite for success, Schuijl has noticed in the course of time. 'You have to feel a certain amount of freedom to deal with those channels. If it is not your nature, you must leave it to others. Preferably internal, but external is also an option.'
'We have brought about a change and thus enormously increased our future perspective'
More communicative communication
The new approach worked: the creation and sharing of messages was tackled much more structurally. In addition, Schuijl and his colleagues started to think more strategically with the students about the use of social media. "What kind of messages are we going to share? When can we do that best? But also: how can we reinforce our image with other content, for example about our clients and the projects in which we work with them? " Schuijl: 'Call it a half Social Shift; we made the step to the campaign part later.'
Advertise on Facebook and Instagram
The marketing staff of JobXion quickly got the hang of the trick themselves. That is why Schuijl decided to stop with the external help of the students. Yet he continued to seek support, but then in another area. 'At the end of 2016 we started advertising on Facebook and Instagram under the guidance of a professional partner. This started with the promotion of vacancies for a specific target group in a defined region. That went pretty well, but there was also a lot better. For example, we had little insight into the results and the vacancies were not yet mobile-friendly. "Schuijl laughs: 'For example, candidates had to fill in those endless registration forms and upload a CV. But that is all too complicated when you are on your smartphone. We had taken good steps with these campaigns, but it could be even better.'
More targeted method
With the aid of the social media company, JobXion switched to a more targeted method. This meant, among other things, that the job areas and the 'working and learning' propositions all received their own mobile-friendly landing pages. With targeted advertising campaigns, candidates were then directed to those specific pages, an approach that JobXion still uses.
'That worked fantastic,' says Schuijl. 'We succeeded in reaching our target groups much better, more often and more focused. In order to keep on scoring, we continually scaled up the content and appearance of the advertisements and landing pages. We always moved and deepened in the target group. Which pages do they like? On which photos do they keep 'hanging'? And which tasks do they like doing best? Our marketing staff thought about everything, also about the "general" content. But actually we thought it was a shame that we did not use the knowledge of our other employees.'
Social recruitment campaigns
That is why Schuijl and his people have taken a different approach since the beginning of 2018. From now on, all employees will be involved in the social recruitment campaigns: the Social Shift in optima forma. All teams are now thinking along and recruiters are working more intensively with the marketing department in their search for new candidates. "In fact, our recruiters have actually become marketers themselves," Schuijl says. 'They now have their own budgets to advertise on social media. They decide for themselves which vacancies are interesting and what should be placed on a landing page. So you can say that the profession of recruiter has really undergone a change with us thanks to social media. All employees are becoming brand ambassadors.'
However, every week an external campaign manager comes to support the recruiters with the technical aspects of the recruitment approach. With him they also discuss the results of the campaigns and see where things can be improved. Schuijl: 'It's nice to be in contact with someone who knows a lot about it. Moreover, our employees can continue to focus on their own work.'
Continuous in transition
The social media adventure is, as far as Schuijl is concerned, typical of the permanent transition in which his company now sits. 'You often hear it, but in my profession we experience it every day: the changes follow each other at lightning speed. The trick is to continue to anticipate on this. That’s what we do: we grow year after year, with social media as the most important vehicle. They enable us to stay in close contact with our target groups. And if their behavior changes, we adjust immediately. That is a must if you want to keep growing. And that is also possible, because we have the knowledge and experience, but especially the mindset that is needed. Because social media is not a matter of making some nice messages. It is constantly trying, adjusting and measuring. And try again, adjust and measure. Just like business actually.'
The time that applications automatically rolled in is really over. It is also no longer sufficient to place vacancies on the well-known job boards. Schuijl: 'We have even reached the point where I wonder whether we should invest in vacancy banks at all. I prefer to recruit all our candidates via social media. Who would have thought a few years ago that I would say that? I had never heard of "targeting", but now I can no longer imagine that we are not doing it."
In addition, Schuijl has invested considerably more in employer branding. 'The shortage on the labor market is enormous. So you have something special to choose candidates for you. With content about ourselves, about our clients and about our projects, we show that working here is great. "Actually the opposite way, because in the ideal Social Shift 'general' content and campaigns go hand in hand with each other. 'True,' confirms Schuijl, 'but it was: i have to see it to believe it. I wanted to get hard results with the vacancies before I would spend money on other content. We also had the luxury that we could. Thanks to the enormous tightness, it has to be both now. So that’s what we do.'
Future perspective increased
This is how the Social Shift always puts JobXion in motion. 'The coming years will show where our ceiling is,' Schuijl concludes. 'Do not react to your candidate within a day, for example, but within an hour? I think it is possible, through a smart combination of social media and WhatsApp, for example. Provided you have the right strategy and have the mindset for it. One thing is certain: social media have brought us a lot in a short time. In scope and result, but also in the way we approach our profession. And although we naturally continue to learn, tinker and refine - every day - I am already quite proud of what we have achieved so far. We have realized a major change and therefore greatly increased our future prospects. Let that growth come!"
The most important learning points of JobXion:
- "Make your recruiters marketers. Facilitate them by training them, presenting them with a good strategic plan and giving them their own budget with KPIs. Then you bring knowledge and reach together optimally.'
- 'Make it as easy as possible for candidates to register. Refer to your social media for special landing pages, which are fully equipped for registration: clear, without distractions and with a striking call to action.'
- "Make sure that social media does not remain a trick, but cause a change in mindset. The world is changing fast and you have to be where your target group is, even if it is very new and exciting.'