Social Media Recruiting: A Complete Guide (With Examples)

Here’s some tips and tricks to get you started on recruiting through social media.

Written by Bailey Reiners
Social Media Recruiting: A Complete Guide (With Examples)
Image: Shutterstock
Matthew Urwin | Jul 16, 2024

Despite the potential to connect with and recruit millions of candidates, many companies still haven’t embraced social media recruiting, and those that have often operate without a cohesive strategy. This article will walk you through everything you need to know to turn social media into a powerful recruiting tool


What Is Social Media Recruiting?

Social media recruiting is a recruitment strategy that combines elements of employer branding and recruitment marketing to connect with and attract active and passive candidates on the digital platforms they frequent.

Recruiting the best talent takes much more than posting a job to your careers page and waiting for the candidates to roll in. To connect with the best people you have to go where they go, and these days that means social media.


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Benefits of Social Media Recruitment 

The main benefits of incorporating social media recruiting into your recruitment process include:

1. Improved Recruitment Marketing

Social media enables recruiters to reach millions of skilled candidates across the globe in seconds. In fact, about 90 percent of job seekers use LinkedIn, 57 percent use X and 42 percent use Glassdoor. Traditional mediums like billboards, newspapers and events don’t offer the same immediacy or scalability that social media does. They also don’t provide built-in tracking that collects the data you’re most interested in, like page views, engagement and followers. These resources will also better inform you of which platforms are performing well with your audiences so that you can continue to focus and tailor your social media recruiting efforts.

2. Narrower Audience Segments 

Each social media platform has its own audience and culture, providing you with the opportunity to get granular and take the right message to the right people at the right time. For example, companies looking for candidates located in cities and who have a college education will likely have more success on Facebook and YouTube. 

This also means you’ll have to get creative when crafting your pitch, as a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. But the extra work is worth narrowing the applicant pool early in the recruiting process and spending more time focusing on the best applicants

3. Wider Media Options 

From the written word and compelling imagery to video and interactive content, there’s no limit to the content you can create in your social media recruiting efforts. It’s important to keep in mind that different content will perform better on certain platforms, so you’ll want to do some research to figure out what resonates best with your target candidates. Still, it’s OK to create a great video for Facebook and repurpose a clip of it for Instagram or take an image from the video for X.

4. Enhanced Employer Branding

Around 84 percent of job seekers factor an employer’s brand into their decision to apply for a job, and about half of candidates would refuse to work for a company with a poor reputation. Social media is an excellent resource to promote your employer brand to potential employees who may not be looking at your job descriptions.  

5. Broader Recruiting Reach 

Unless you’re one of the few companies lucky enough to have candidates lining up for your jobs, it’s imperative that you reach as many potential candidates as possible. The more qualified candidates you reach, the greater your odds of making a great hire. Social media recruiting can help you: 

  • Provide tailored information to reach passive candidates who aren’t currently looking for a job and may never have heard of your company.
  • Personalize communication by reaching out to individuals on social media via direct messaging or comments to spark a conversation without coming off as spammy.
  • Target niche personas and industry experts with paid advertising opportunities on different social platforms.

6. Deeper Insights Into Candidates

The traditional resume may be great at summarizing a candidate’s professional background, but it offers little insight into who they actually are as a person. Social media recruiting allows you to develop a more comprehensive understanding of candidates, including their personality, interests and mutual connections.

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How to Create a Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Your social media recruiting strategy will change plenty over time as you learn and evolve. That said, these eight basic steps for creating or revamping your social media recruiting strategy can serve as a strong foundation to build upon. 

1. Research Competitors and Candidates

Figure out what platforms are most popular among your competitors, pinpoint the type of content they create for each platform and how that correlates to engagement. On the flip side, research where your candidates are spending time — perhaps you’ll discover an untapped resource for talent acquisition

2. Create Candidate Personas

Establish candidate personas for the roles you are looking to fill. Know what personality traits will add to your company culture and balance that with the qualifications necessary to be successful in the role. Analyze areas of recruitment your company struggles most with and prioritize that in your strategy. 

3. Set Goals

Set measurable goals to benchmark and optimize your recruitment strategy over time. Figure out exactly what you want to accomplish with your social media recruiting strategy that you haven’t been able to do with traditional tactics. 

4. Determine and Measure Metrics

Make sure to track recruitment metrics. This will help you determine which platforms and strategies yield the highest quality candidates in the shortest time frame. Pick the metrics that relate directly to the goals and know how to effectively measure them. 

5. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

Depending on your industry and target personas, you may need to branch out to more niche social media platforms to reach the right candidates. Consider using a social media management tool to organize your efforts and simplify analysis. 

6. Allocate Tasks Among Team Members

Your company is a group of people that collectively make up its culture and employer brand, and they can be your brand ambassadors. Create a calendar and designate different people to create content and connect with prospects.

7. Provide Training and Guidelines 

Maintain a cohesive voice that is a true reflection of the company’s brand and mission. People use social media for a variety of purposes, so make sure to create some guidelines so that employees understand the goal at hand and create content with that in mind. 

8. Optimize Over Time

Sit down with your team periodically and review the metrics, goals and results of your social media recruitment strategy. Assess your strengths and weaknesses and adjust your resources and efforts to better meet your future needs.

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Top 6 Social Media Recruiting Sites

Tailoring your efforts to each social media platform will improve results and maximize your investment. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular ones — and how you can connect with candidates on them. 

1. LinkedIn Recruitment

As the original professional social network, LinkedIn offers an unparalleled overview of a candidate’s work history. It also provides insight into their interests, endorsements and referrals.

Start conversations with personalized messages introducing yourself and your company. Comment, like and share industry content to gain attention and authority. Follow, endorse and write recommendations for talented individuals to build rapport. Ask for referrals and introductions and reciprocate the favor. 

LinkedIn Recruitment Examples

2. TikTok Recruitment 

TikTok’s video platform is home to more than 1.5 billion active users, making it one of the most popular social media platforms. In addition, U.S. adults aged 18 to 34 are more likely to use the platform than those in older age groups. 

The best way to connect with candidates on TikTok is to create a video. Many companies have taken to highlighting specific employees’ daily routines and responsibilities on the app.  

TikTok Recruitment Examples

  • Chipotle cashed in on promoting its work opportunities on TikTok. It shares perks of working at Chipotle — some of which include learning how to cook and getting educational costs covered by the company. Chipotle also links to its careers page in its TikTok bio.
  • Intuit employees make informative TikTok videos and connect with TikTok users who ask questions on the platform. One example is this employee sharing a bit about their role and the perks it offers.

3. Facebook Recruitment 

Facebook may not be a dedicated professional network, but its sheer size makes it an indispensable resource for recruiters. Its casual atmosphere can shed some light on an individual’s personality away from work, and it provides countless ways to find and connect with candidates. It even offers a job board.

Follow and interact with prospective candidates. Join or create groups relevant to the positions you’re looking to fill. Create and share content to promote your company and employer brand. Promote recruiting and networking events. Start chats on Messenger. And, of course, post openings on the Facebook job board. 

Facebook Recruitment Examples

  • Accenture uses its Facebook to highlight employees’ career journeys and share job openings for similar opportunities.
  • Sprout Social’s Facebook is a mixture of resources for companies to help them improve their employee advocacy practices, employee spotlights and industry insights. Sharing industry knowledge and resources helps potential candidates understand the company’s product and priorities. 

4. Instagram Recruitment

Instagram’s visual format has become hugely popular with Millennials and Generation Z. These generations are the two largest in the workforce right now and many of them find companies they are interested in through platforms like Instagram. 

Curate a variety of visual content that captivates your audience’s attention and encourages them to follow the company page. Engage with people of interest by following, liking and commenting on their content. Participate in trending topics by posting related content with appropriate hashtags. Host Q&A sessions with the Stories feature either live or with their infinite library of stickers. 

Instagram Recruitment Examples

  • Salesforce uses its Instagram account to showcase employee interviews on what motivates them, share reels and videos from company events as well as funny videos on work culture.
  • Microsoft’s #microsoftlife on Instagram is a compilation of posts from employees sharing their experiences and the company showcasing some of its work and office culture. Creating a hashtag that employees can easily attach to their posts allows candidates to see testimonials from real people on their own accounts.

5. X Recruitment

X is known for being short and sweet. That brevity isn’t a bad thing, though, as X has become a go-to source for news and events.

Search for relevant hashtags to join conversations and attract like-minded candidates. Like, comment and follow to engage with candidates. Repost and share timely information. Pin relevant posts to keep them visible on your profile. 

X Recruitment Examples

  • One way to recruit easily on X is to put a jobs link right in the company bio, and UPS does just that. UPS’s X account highlights employees and their stories through hashtags like #UPSers and #ThankAUPSer.
  • Some companies like PepsiCo have created X accounts specifically for their recruitment efforts. PepsiCo’s jobs account highlights company achievements, employee resources and testimonials.  

6. YouTube Recruitment

About 44 percent of internet users prefer to learn about a product or service through video. And when it comes to video, YouTube is the undisputed heavyweight.

Create great video content tailored to your prospective candidates. Don’t forget to repurpose videos from the company website and other social media channels

YouTube Recruitment Examples

  • HeadSpace covers all aspects of their company — from employee testimonials to customer appreciation letters, perks and benefits and the overall work culture.
  • Zendesk uses its recruitment videos to emphasize its remote and hybrid work opportunities as well as what the company builds and how it operates.  


Social Media Recruiting Best Practices

Let’s walk through a few tips and best practices for recruiting on social media.

Create an Editorial Calendar 

Producing creative content every day can be time-consuming, frustrating and feel like more effort than it’s worth. Simplify the process by creating an editorial calendar with daily themes to refer to when creating content. It’s also OK to switch things up — the calendar is not set in stone. 

Get Team Members Involved 

Get everyone at your company involved in the recruiting process and your results will skyrocket. Arm them with some pre-produced content to make things even easier. 

Send Direct Messages to Candidates 

Start conversations with candidates through one-on-one messaging, but don’t lead with a hard sell. Create a personalized message expressing your interest in the candidate, and be sure to include specific information about the individual so they know you are serious and aren’t spamming. 

Comment on Candidates’ Content

Odds are your prospective candidates are sharing their own thoughts and opinions on social media, which is the perfect opportunity to start a conversation. Don’t be afraid to respond directly to content they’ve posted and encourage them to direct message you to continue the conversation. 

Start a Group Discussion 

LinkedIn and Facebook feature thousands of industry-specific groups, which can be fertile ground for motivated recruiters. Asking a question or sharing an opinion can spark a discussion and expose you to hundreds of potential candidates, in addition to posting your jobs. Contribute to these groups in a meaningful way and you’ll always be welcome. 

Shout Candidates Out

Tagging potential candidates in a company post or replying to them on X can start a conversation that others may join, bringing traffic to both the company’s and the candidate’s social profiles. 

Livestream an Event or Conference 

Livestream an event in your office or conference at which you’re presenting. Host Q&A sessions for viewers to learn more about your company and ask questions that your team can respond to in real time. Share a behind-the-scenes perspective of life at your company. 

Take Full Advantage of Hashtags

A hashtag’s relevancy — and the number of people following it — will vary by platform. Likewise, broad terms can get lost in the mix while overly specific terms may have no following. Keep brand-specific tags consistent across platforms, and always research a hashtag before using it. Make sure trends related to the hashtag align with the company’s mission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Social media recruitment is the process of connecting with passive and active candidates through social media platforms. This includes researching and networking with potential candidates, posting job openings and sharing company content to boost an employer’s brand in the eyes of candidates and job seekers.

The ideal social media platform depends on the types of candidates companies want to attract and the content they want to create, among other factors. Popular platforms recruiters use include LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube and TikTok.

While there’s no exact number for how many recruiters make hires through social media, social media platforms play a crucial role in the hiring process. According to a 2020 Harris Poll survey, about 70 percent of employers use social media to screen applicants and 67 percent use it to research potential candidates.

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