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Using social media for Parliament’s recruitment needs

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Collaboration culture, Community, Social Media, Unity without uniformity

Two people looking at LinkedIn on a mobile

Recruitment has never been more important at UK Parliament, as teams across the House of Commons, House of Lords, and PDS hire people who’ll support us through exciting and challenging times ahead. This includes restoring our buildings, transforming our digital landscape, and deepening our engagement with the public.

Job seekers and social media

In the wider world, social media is becoming an increasingly important channel for recruitment. Research shows that high percentages of job seekers use social media to find a new role, with 73% of 18-34 year olds finding their last job through social media. Other research shows that 57% of job seekers use social media at least once a month to learn more about potential employers.

In response to Parliament's growing recruitment needs and keeping in mind the new trends, the PDS social media team worked with HR, internal communications, and other social media teams to understand more about their challenges, and opportunities to join things up.

We found that there were no standardised processes for how we use social media for recruitment. Whether it's jobs in PDS, the House of Commons, or the House of Lords. Our LinkedIn pages were underused for sharing both vacancies and general updates about what it’s like to work in Parliament.

Internally, there was confusion and frustration about what was best practice. As a result, we were missing opportunities to engage with a larger number of good applicants and to help us attract a diverse workforce.

To try and solve these issues, we wrote a new strategy and created a model for sharing job vacancies for the UK Parliament and PDS social media channels. So here are two things we did as part of that and our results after six months.

Job of the week

On UK Parliament Twitter, we trialled publishing ‘job of the week’ round-up threads. This was to highlight unusual and interesting jobs across the Houses, as well as support Parliament’s growing recruitment needs.

After experimenting with the format, the types of jobs we profiled, and the timing of publishing, we found that threads using striking images and lighthearted emojis published during mid-week evenings get the most engagement. We always finish the thread with a link to browse all our vacancies.

By doing a regular weekly thread, rather than tweeting every single vacancy randomly, there's better audience understanding and expectation. These now drive an extra 400 clicks through to the vacancies webpage and get 100 retweets each week. We’d now like to work with teams in the House of Commons and the House of Lords to see if they could have similar success on their Twitter accounts.

Making the most of LinkedIn

We’ve also done a lot of work to improve the PDS LinkedIn page to make it more attractive to applicants and make sure it better represents PDS values and successes. By updating basics like our branding, header image, and the 'about' section it’s become a more attractive space.

We’ve also focused on a clear content strategy that’s balanced between new PDS blog content and our vacancies. When publishing new vacancies, we write strong calls to action and question formats to encourage engagement, rather than just slapping them up as quickly as we can, and they're often targeted to followers with particular skillsets.

With PDS blog content, we focus on blog posts about career paths, teams that are hiring, and learning new skills. Our HR team and hiring managers are increasingly using LinkedIn to find potential candidates too. After six months, we’ve quadrupled our shares, likes, clicks, and impressions.

There’s still work to do and more joining up of teams to happen to make the most of social media for recruitment. But it’s great to know that we’ve got our social media channels working hard to support Parliament’s recruitment needs.

If you're interested in this work or would like more info, then email Amy Mollett

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