A few months ago, I was asked if I could help a building company to recruit new staff using social media. Of course I could! I reviewed their existing social media output (non-existent) and website content to see how to promote the business and attract, as the business manager had put it, ‘the best’. The business wanted to grow and improve their reputation online.

I’m not familiar with the construction industry so I did a few Google searches to see what works best for that particular industry. I found that there is a skills shortage and so building companies now have to make themselves stand out from the crowd to make sure that ‘the best’ apply for their vacancies. Previously, most recruitment in the construction industry was done via word of mouth but that didn’t guarantee quality. So now, a little bit of thinking outside of the box is required to reach the right quality of applicants.

Their website didn’t mention staff or ‘working for us’ at all and so any applicants who clicked through from the advert to the website wouldn’t know what benefits were offered or what working for this particular company was like. I say to clients, if you have a website – use it! There were no photos of staff/management or the office, and the website, in my opinion, sold the construction industry rather than the business itself.

I recommended that a ‘working for us’ tab was added to the website. That would offer the opportunity to add photos/videos of the team, and highlight what benefits and opportunities were available so that applicants could make an informed choice about whether to apply or not. Quality applicants may be looking to work their way up within the company or want to feel valued within the role, instead of just being another pair of hands.

I explained that posting a few ads on social media wasn’t going to work effectively and a combination of social media and website was necessary. With the website in its current form, prospective applicants would get the impression that the business didn’t value its employees. They needed to recruit due to a number of ‘disgruntled’ employees leaving. A swift turnaround was necessary to combat the negativity before word of mouth spread.

I had a number of meetings with the manager but in the end I wasn’t selected to do the work. However, their social media hasn’t improved, still no mention of staff on the website and they are still in the process of recruiting. I guess they are sticking to the unreliability of word of mouth. I was happy to learn more about an industry I haven’t worked in before though so I can take something positive from the experience.