Hello Sailor! Naval-inspired manoeuvres on social media could solve your staffing woes.

by Sarah Fairley

Friday, August 21st, 2015

PR agency offers tips on navigating the choppy waters of online recruitment

Social media for recruitmentTRYING to recruit the right staff for a business can bring an unwanted sinking feeling.

Being courted by recruitment agencies feels a bit like being circled by sharks – with the painful bite in the eye-watering fees. But handling the process yourself can also leave you struggling against the tide, swamped beneath wave after wave of applications and CVs.

Meantime, many business owners and managers will have experienced the pain of meeting an accomplished interviewee who seems the answer to your prayers – only to appoint them and be hugely disappointed.

Then there’s the frustration of wondering if you let the really good candidates get away; a bland CV or passed-over application meaning you missed a rising superstar in the making.

Does any of this sound painfully familiar? If so, you might be among the growing numbers of businesses turning to social media in an attempt to ease the recruitment woes.

Onlline content strategy from Scottish public relations agency Holyrood PR in EdinburghCertainly job hunters know that social media is a powerful tool to help them find and land new jobs. LinkedIn is the most obvious choice, as a platform which built its reputation as a job connector. However, artful wannabes can also get clever on Twitter, Facebook and beyond.

Respected research firm Aberdeen Group found that a whopping 73% of 18 to 34 year olds found their last job through a social media network so, if you haven’t already, it’s time your company started incorporating social media into its recruitment process.

If you’re still not convinced that this new-fangled technology really is worth a look, think again – one of the best examples of social media recruitment actually dates back to 2007, making it virtually prehistoric in social media terms.

The case in point involved the Royal Navy and eight years on it still offers superb, valuable and actionable insights for any business looking to make social media recruitment work for them.

In the case of the Senior Service, the navy realised the bulk of its new recruits were young men in their late teensRoyal Navy use social media for recruitment and early 20s and predominantly from Scotland and Northern Ireland. When they scratched a bit deeper it became apparent most of those young men were enthusiastic users of the once-popular social network, Bebo.

They believed that it takes a sailor to recruit a sailor, so paid members from different sections within the Royal Navy to set up Bebo pages and used them to promote life in the navy – all with the aim of encourage people to apply.

These Royal Navy employees communicated with thousands of other Bebo users, holding conversations, answering questions and giving an authentic insider’s view of life in the seafaring wing of Britain’s military machine.

The result? One of the most successful years for recruitment for the Royal Navy as they hired more than 4000 people.

What made it such a success? Planning. Many businesses jump straight into using social media for recruitment because it is something their competitors are doing. However, to get the best results it pays to carry out basic research into which platforms your target audience are most likely to use.


IPublic relations is a jigsaw made up of different PR services.t’s not only recruitment that social media can be used for. Check out this case study showing exactly how award-winning social media services drove a huge spike in business for a Scottish restaurant.


It is vital to hit the right tone with potential employees on social media in order to give them a real flavour of what it’s like to work for your company.

Remember how cheated you felt when you took on that slick interviewee who turned out to be the opposite of how they sold themselves? Well that cuts both ways. There is no point in presenting a false version of your company.

Using Bebo for social media recruitment Through its clever Bebo campaign the Royal Navy provided a genuine, unvarnished and ultimately invaluable insight into what it was like to work for them.

Another lesson is not to look at social media as nothing more than a giant free job board where you can post your vacancies.

The Royal Navy understood the importance of cultivating two way relationships with potential talent, encouraging potential recruits to ask question and interact with serving personnel.

Of course the best way to use social media to your advantage for recruitment is to build up your own business profile, making sure that it is a vibrant and up to date representation of your business.

By showcasing your best work, featuring happy customers and clients, celebrating the achievements of your staff and highlighting the things that make you a brilliant place to work, you’ll soon find that you turn into a talent magnet.

Better still, you’ll find that doing it properly doesn’t just attract the best job applicants – it could bring you a stream of new business leads as well.

Think social media could help your recruitment process?

Need some help or inspiration on how to effectively use social media in your recruitment process? Give us a call on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the contact form below and we will get right back to you:

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Private: Sarah Fairley

Sarah Fairley delivers an impressively wide suite of digital services to clients of Holyrood Partnership, the leading public relations agency in Edinburgh. At every stage her focus is on making sure that content shared on blogs, YouTube and social media platforms like Twitter and LinkeIn delivers real business value to clients of the Scottish PR agency.

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