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The Summer Brand Camp worklab on managing social media at the franchise level was full of excellent advice and best practices. Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) Director of Sales Sheryl Coyne-Batson moderated a wonderful session with panelists Jonathan Brewer (Director of Awesome, BTC Revolutions), Kristen Colby (Sr. Director of Marketing, Front Burner Restaurants), Adriana Scarcella (Talent & Community Manager, Chili’s Grill & Bar), and Courtney Martinez (Sr. Manager, Franchise HR, DineEquity).

The panel discussed social media strategies from a corporate perspective. Then we broke into worklab groups, and got some great tips from participants.

We covered so much ground that I’ve broken this session into two different blogs. While this blog focuses on how corporate works with franchisees on social media issues, you can click here to read about the social media recruiting trends that were discussed.

What’s your top social media recruiting tool?

The corporate team at Front Burner Restaurants starts working with franchisees on recruiting 8-12 weeks before a new restaurant opening. Facebook is the #1 recruiting tool at the Twin Peaks, Velvet Taco, and Whiskey Cake brands. Image is very important, especially at Twin Peaks. The team uses Facebook extensively to source and interact with prospective employees.

What other mediums do you use?

Our participants were quick to note that the most effective posts are visual. So, they supplement their Facebook posts with lots of pictures and videos to get people excited. They also want their own employees to tell their story, and the brand’s story as much as possible.

Sometimes sponsored posts are used. They’ll also email the sponsored post link to candidates (the customer audience) with a link that directs them to a mobile-friendly page to apply at.

How does social media support your recruiting brand?

As with any other type of marketing, it’s important to keep posts fresh and relevant. The most authentic stories are the ones that people tell spontaneously.

Tell us your biggest recruiting tricks.

Although the session focused on social media, many of these tricks are low tech, and all are fairly easy to implement:

  • Use your employees as advocates for your recruiting brand
  • Implement a referral bonus program
  • Have team members take and post first day selfies
  • Crowd source unhappy employees at competitor’s restaurants
  • Leverage the team members’ networks

The Takeaway

At HR Virtuoso, our clients have confirmed that recruiting works best when it’s a mix of high and low tech solutions. If it’s done right, social media recruiting is a lot like old school grassroots recruiting. You can use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other tools to identify great candidates – or steal them from your competitors.

Don’t forget about the power of grassroots recruiting, too. We have clients who have staffed completely off of recruiting cards and flyers without a single posting. Social media recruiting requires diligence and a consistent brand theme. This is where the marketing and HR worlds truly collide.

One final word: no amount of recruiting will work well if you don’t offer candidates a simple and easy way to apply. If you’re still asking people to fill out applications from Monday – Thursday from 2-4 you are losing untold numbers of candidates. We launched HR Virtuoso so franchisees could have a simple, affordable recruiting tool that they can manage across different brands that they own. Most franchisees have strong operational experience, but they’re not always as good at recruiting and managing social media. Help your franchisees out by making them aware of tools that can supplement their social recruiting efforts.

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