Auto Service World
News   March 27, 2019   by Adam Malik

Using social media to attract talent

McDonald’s is taking on a new route to attract employees. The aftermarket could take a few notes on drumming up interest among young people.

The fast-food restaurant chain is accepting applications via Snapchat during a one-day virtual hiring event on March 27. Using the Snapchat app, applicants can use a unique lens to film a 30-second video explaining why they want to work for the Golden Arches. The video, called ‘Snapplications,’ is then submitted to McDonald’s Canada’s hiring portal.

“We wanted to offer a convenient and flexible application process to attract more young people through our one-day virtual hiring event,” said Stephanie Hardman, chief people officer at McDonald’s Canada. “From youth applying for their first jobs, to experienced candidates, Snapplications is a new and exciting way for people to kick-start a career at McDonald’s Canada.”

Snapchat is a multimedia mobile app that allows users to create ‘stories’ by recording videos and shooting photos that disappear after 24 hours. Users can also chat via live messaging within the app. It’s popular with young people, making it an ideal tool for McDonald’s to attract potential employees. More than 12 million users in Canada access Snapchat daily and more than 80 per cent of them are Millennials.

For jobbers and repair and service shops, however, a similar exercise may be futile. McDonald’s is a brand that few can match in terms of recognizability, and is a common employer of younger people. However, presence on social media is essential for the aftermarket to garner attention and grow awareness while portraying itself as a viable career to this cohort.

Building a presence

When asking people about social media presence, specialist recruitment consultancy firm Robert Walters found almost 95 per cent of responders had some sort of presence online. But when asked what social media sites their company is on, more than 20 per cent said none.

Of note, 70 per cent said they were on LinkedIn. While this is important to know, for an industry trying to attract young people, companies need to target social media channels where young people are – notably, apps like Snapchat and Instagram. A company that doesn’t have a Facebook profile by now has utterly missed the boat and is playing catchup at this point. Nonetheless, companies can use Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook to lead potential employees to its LinkedIn page where a more professional experience can be had by the applicant.

In order to have success in social media channels, experts recommend having a bit more fun in order to connect with your audience. Young people, for example, want an emotional connection to your company. This can be done by showing off your unique work environment or the type of work done in the business.

On Twitter, NAPA is regularly interacting with people who are not directly engaging with them. Its social media account finds your average person tweeting about their car, from road trips to check engine light frustrations to breakdowns, and responds to the tweet.

It’s not always about directing the user to NAPA’s website to sell them something. If a user tweets about how much they love their car, NAPA will send a high five, thumbs up or hearts emoji. The idea is, when the user thinks about auto repair, the company will be first to jump in mind. And if someone were to be looking for a job and see an opening with the company, they may remember that positive interaction.

Video is the best way to engage with an audience because it shows more than a photo can. Jobbers and shops can do Q&As – think of common questions that are asked that could be answered quickly – or tutorials on simple tasks, like changing wiper blades, or why a certain product is essential for a vehicle. In such a visual field, there are plenty of opportunities at the shop and jobber level.

For suppliers where a typical office setting might be more of the norm, a trip to the warehouse or factory where parts are made might make more sense. But overly polished videos might be a turnoff as those can come across as an advertisement. Save those for LinkedIn or YouTube. You’re better off with using your phone to record the happenings.

A popular video series here on AutoServiceWorld is EyeSpy, where technicians send us photos of the head-scratching things drivers do when they attempt DIY fixes. Think of all the visual things in your business that would be fun to share with an audience – but remember that quality is important. Don’t overshare or post for the sake of doing so.

Build a community. Give them something to talk about. Latch on to social media trends.

Remember that it will take time. But you might find that one person who wants to learn more about car repair, selling parts or has a skill that your business otherwise needs.

Go after your audience, rather than wait for them to find you.