4 Ways to Expand the Reach of Your Job Posting (and Go Viral)

August 11, 2015

You’re in dire need of some new candidates for an open position. You dream of seeing your job posting go viral (Gangnam Style video, step aside) and attracting dozens -- wait, who are we kidding, hundreds -- of new applicants. What does it take to make your dream come true?

The Devil is in the Details

Promoting open positions is a form of content marketing. If you want your job posting to be shared and promoted, these four specific activities can make a big difference:

1. Personalization & High-Touch Outreach

Many recruiters build a job posting, throw the link up on their company’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn feeds, and then sit back and wait.

Good content marketers know it takes a bit more effort than that.

What you need to do is personally email 25-50 relevant people and explain how important this job is to the company and ask if they’d be willing to share it in their feeds.

Make sure you don’t send an email blast. Nothing sends the message, “I’m trying to take the easy way out,” more than that kind of generic communication. It’s better to customize each email to the person so they know you took some time to reach out to them. You will be far more likely to get them to share your job posting on their feed if you do.

Who should you contact? Fellow employees, managers, other recruiters, and even past candidates you’ve worked with. The more diverse group you can target, the better the reach. [Be sure to check out this article explaining why you should invest in building your own recruiter brand to improve your reputation with the people you reach out to.]

2. A “Wait, What?!” Headline

Don’t title your job posting with a boring position title. You need to get readers at “hello” by saying something disruptive, such as, “WANTED: Customer-Service Obsessed Tech Junky.” Or, “Are YOU The Fun-Loving Sales Magnet We’ve Been Looking For?”

To get noticed, you need to engage the candidate with a strong headline that makes them want to click to learn more. Plus, that interesting title makes for great content for them to pass along in their social media feeds. The more intriguing your headline is, the easier it is for them to want to push it out to their friends, family and colleagues so they look cool for sharing it.

[However, it’s worth mentioning that when it comes to SEO -- how likely your job posting is to be discovered in search engine results -- a more conventional title may work better. That’s because people are more likely to search for a “Customer Service Specialist” than a “Passionate Customer Success Ninja.”]

3. David Letterman-style ‘Top 10 List’

Any time you can depart from the boring job description format so many companies default to, you can increase your chances of getting the posting to go viral.

A great way to do that is create a “top ten” list of funny, quirky, or passionate traits the right candidate needs for the job. The more original, the better. This is your opportunity to reveal your company’s talent brand to the world.

Sophisticated job seekers don’t apply on a whim. They do their homework and choose carefully. An original and engaging top ten list could be just what they need to decide to apply. [For more on this subject, this article explains how to turn job postings into job stories for better response rates.]

4. Give Thanks & Praise (A LOT of It)

Monitor all your social media feeds closely and be sure to tweet, like, comment, and respond with huge amounts of gratitude to everyone who shares your job posting. The individual thank you will go a long way. Plus, their followers will see your timely response and be impressed with your follow through.

Remember, It is not a One & Done Process

Expanding the reach of any type of content, especially a job description, takes consistent, timely and creative promotion.

Putting your job out there one time on social media isn’t enough. You need to do it frequently at different times of the day on each social media platform.

Why? You never know who is logged on and will see your job posting on any given day. The old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind,” applies here. If you don’t keep putting yourself in front of the talent, they won’t help you go viral. You’ve got to be seen to be shared.

However, remember – keep your communication clever and creative not spammy.

* image by Psy -- Gangnam Style video

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