Instead of simply posting job openings, we use this space to highlight the great work happening at Hillels around the world, where students are engaged students in Jewish life, learning and Israel. As a result of all this, hired, we have completely changed our outlook on how social media functions for our organization.
In the spring of 2012, Hillel’s Human Resources team set out to play a more active role on social media to help us better recruit for Hillel, share job listings, tell our story, and grow our presence online. Under advisement from our new Digital Media Manager, Monica Herman, we worked to define strategies we could use in the social media space. We quickly realized that it had to be about conversations. While this seems natural on our personal Facebook accounts, it’s actually something that can get lost in organizational social media. Followers want to be engaged in the conversation with your organization, not just reading posts, no matter how fabulous what you have to say may be.
We determined who we wanted to hear from, and what we wanted to talk about. For Hillel’s HR team, that was job seekers, former and current Hillel professionals, graduating college seniors and graduate students, potential professionals, partner agencies, placement professionals, and the wider Jewish community. That’s a LOT of constituents and a lot of different messages! We have found that, when we tell our story through the voices of those we impact, many of our stakeholders join the conversation in meaningful ways. They get to tell their story through the lens of Hillel. The organization is no longer the only voice, which is a good thing! Showcasing your organization’s diverse population and encouraging your people to share improves relationships and communication for everyone.
For example, we launched a blog post series highlighting why our professionals love what they do. This forum enables them to tell their stories and share what resonates with them about their jobs. The professional benefits from great PR for their local Hillel and provides them with a platform to talk about their journey and what their career means to them. We know our stakeholders enjoy hearing directly from someone on campus about how they are making an impact or working through an issue. Colleagues also share these stories with their own networks, and comment on their peers’ experiences. In addition, from an HR perspective, potential job seekers can learn from these posts how they could fit into an organization like Hillel, and even contact the professional directly to learn more. Far better than the HR recruiter posting 10 reasons why it’s fun to work at Hillel, right?
We identified the specific social media channels that were better suited for different types of conversations than others. Originally, we used Facebook to post every new job as they came up. Now, we use a dedicated Twitter profile for that, and direct active job seekers there for real-time updates on what’s new. We also follow job-hunting resources and share links, tips and strategies on the interview process and how to manage a job search. Updates from @Hillel_Jobs are also shared with the broader Hillel Twitter account, @HillelFJCL, raising visibility to a broader group of stakeholders. Using LinkedIn we explore the benefits of working for Hillel, and share and discuss relevant articles and trends in the job market and hiring practices. Candidates can also find me, a real face, in case they’re interested in learning more.
With this new social media strategy in place, we’ve broadened our presence across multiple channels. Hillel's Facebook page engages directly with students, parents, professionals, partner organizations and supporters. Instead of simply posting job openings, we use this space to highlight the great work happening at Hillels around the world, where students are engaged students in Jewish life, learning and Israel. As a result of all this, we have completely changed our outlook on how social media functions for our organization.
We don’t have all the answers yet, and there’s much more that we will learn around this, but we’re excited to be engaged in the conversation! We’d welcome a discussion about what’s working for your organization and what challenges you’re facing around this issue.
Aviva Zucker Snyder has been the lead Talent Recruiter for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life since 2009, after starting her career in Jewish student life, and later as the Executive Director at University at Albany Hillel from 2002-2008. You can find her on LinkedIn, where she spends a lot of time networking. When not online or on the phone, she’s either training for a half marathon or running after her almost-5 year old, Noa.