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.
Social media recruiting takes a little work to get right, but when well executed it represents a powerful advantage. This article will walk you through everything you need to know to get started.
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.
Social Media Recruiting Statistics
- Almost half of all Millennials and Gen Z workers have applied to jobs they found through social media.
- 92 percent of employers use social networks to find new talent.
- 21 percent of hiring managers said they would not consider a candidate without an online presence.
7 Benefits of Social Media Recruitment
We’ve broken down seven of the main benefits of social media recruiting to help you better make a case for employing social media recruiting in your strategy.
Discover 16 strategies you need to evolve your recruitment efforts today.
1. Boosts Recruitment Marketing Efforts
There are a variety of mediums and sources you can utilize for your recruitment marketing efforts, but social media can take your efforts to the next level, reaching millions of skilled candidates across the globe in seconds.
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. Helps Tailor Your Recruiting Efforts
Social media platforms provide myriad options for reaching specific groups of people, allowing you to target the candidates most suited for your roles. Narrowing the applicant pool early in the recruiting process will let you spend more time focusing on the best applicants.
Each 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. This also means you’ll have to get creative when crafting your pitch, as a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works.
3. Creates a Variety of Content
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.
Also, just because you create a great video for Facebook, doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose a clip of it for Instagram or take an image from the video for Twitter.
4. Promotes Your Employer Brand
Sixty-nine percent of job seekers say that a company’s reputation is a critical factor when considering a new job. So critical, in fact, that 84 percent of people who are currently employed say that they would consider leaving their job if another company with a better reputation came calling. Social media is an excellent resource to promote your employer brand to potential employees that may not be looking at your job descriptions.
5. Increases Your 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. Simply put, the more qualified candidates you reach, the greater your odds of making a great hire. Social media recruiting can help you:
Reach passive candidates who aren’t currently looking for a job and may never have heard of your company by providing them information tailored to their interests and expertise.
Personalize communications efforts 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. Helps Connect You With Connect Candidates
Today, 37 percent of the workforce are passive candidates. Though they may be open to new opportunities, they aren’t actively looking which means traditional recruiting methods will be virtually useless. Social media recruiting allows you to get your roles in front of millions of candidates that you would never reach otherwise.
Even better, because social media is both so broad and direct in the audiences it allows you to reach, you can connect with specific audiences on an individual level, lending to a more personalized experience for candidates.
7. Helps You Get to Know Candidates Beyond Their Resumes
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.
8 Steps to Create a Social Media Recruiting Strategy
Building out your social media recruiting strategy is a crucial next step. Your strategy will change plenty over time as you learn and evolve, so you don’t need to worry about getting it perfect at the outset. Getting started is more important than getting it perfect. Keep in mind that every company has different needs, and there’s more than one way to succeed with social media recruiting.
Here are eight basic steps for creating or revamping your social media recruiting strategy.
1. RESEARCH COMPETITORS and CANDIDATES
Start by figuring out what you’re up against. 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, you should also research where your candidates are at — perhaps you’ll discover an untapped resource for talent acquisition.
2. CREATE CANDIDATE PERSONAS
Before you can effectively recruit, you need to 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 what areas of recruitment your company struggles most with and prioritize that in your strategy.
3. SET GOALS
You know who and where, now you need to establish 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
Before you get too engrossed in the likes and follows, make sure that you’re also tracking recruitment metrics. This will help you determine which platforms and strategies yield the highest quality candidates in the shortest time frame.
Some key performance indicators to consider are time, cost and source of hire, referral rate, offer acceptance rate and social engagement. Pick the metrics that relate directly to the goals and know how to effectively measure them.
5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Depending on your industry and target personas, you may need to branch out to more niche social platforms to reach the right candidates. You may also want to consider using a social media management tool to organize your efforts and simplify analysis.
6. DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Don’t go it alone. 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. TRAIN YOUR TEAM
While you want to relay the voices of individual employees, it’s important to 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 will 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. From there, you can find your strengths and weaknesses and adjust your resources and efforts to better meet your future needs.
Top 6 Social Media Recruiting Sites
From major players to niche networks, there are countless social media platforms out there, making it easy to connect with just about any type of candidate. With so many options, it’s important to remember that your social media recruiting strategy should not be a one-size-fits-all approach.
Tailoring your efforts to each platform will improve results and maximize your investment. To that end, here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular platforms to get you started.
1. LinkedIn Recruitment
Why You Should Use LinkedIn for Recruiting: With more than 15 million active job postings, LinkedIn is a go-to for most recruiters, but a refresher never hurts. 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.
Who’s on LinkedIn: 810 million global professionals — including more than 185 million in the United States — across hundreds of industries.
How to Connect With Candidates on LinkedIn: Start by connecting with and following prospective candidates. 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.
Companies Using LinkedIn for Recruiting
Google uses LinkedIn to highlight accomplishments from employees as well as share resources for candidates to use. Some of Google’s popular resources include tips for interviews, informational events and employee testimonials.
AT&T shares life milestones of their employees on LinkedIn, from announcing promotions to celebrating growing families. The company has created the #LifeAtATT so that prospective candidates can easily follow along with current events and employee news.
2. Facebook Recruitment
Why You Should Use Facebook for Recruiting: Facebook may not be a dedicated professional network like LinkedIn, 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.
Who’s on Facebook: Facebook has more than 2 billion global users, including 207 million in the United States.
How to Connect With Candidates on Facebook: The options are just about endless here. 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.
Companies Using Facebook for Recruiting
Accenture uses its Facebook to highlight employee’s 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 lets potential candidates understand the company’s product and priorities.
3. Instagram Recruitment
Why You Should Use Instagram for Recruiting: 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.
Who’s on Instagram: More than one billion global users, including more than 200 million in the US. Nearly 70 percent are millennials and GenZers.
How to Connect With Candidates on 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.
Companies Using Instagram for Recruiting
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 post allows candidates to see testimonials from real people on their own accounts.
4. Twitter Recruitment
Why You Should Use Twitter for Recruiting: With its 280 character limit, Twitter is known for being short and sweet. That brevity isn’t a bad thing, though, as Twitter has become a go-to source for news and events. Everyone from celebrities to major companies uses Twitter to engage with people worldwide.
Who’s on Twitter: 330 million global users, including 77 million in the U.S. Twitter supports more than 40 languages.
How to Connect With Candidates on Twitter: Twitter gave birth to the hashtag, so start there. Search for relevant hashtags to join conversations and attract like minded candidates. Like, comment, follow, tweet and retweet to engage with candidates. Retweet and share timely information by live-tweeting and live-streaming. Pin relevant tweets to keep them visible on your profile.
Companies Using Twitter for Recruiting
One way to recruit easily on Twitter is to put a jobs link right in the company bio, and UPS does just that. UPS’s Twitter highlights employees and their stories through hashtags like #UPSers and #ThankAUPSer.
Some companies like PepsiCo have created Twitter accounts specifically for their recruitment efforts. PepsiCo’s jobs account highlights company achievements, employee resources and testimonials.
5. Youtube Recruitment
Why You Should Use Youtube for Recruiting: If you’re one of those “back in my day” types you may want to look away: when given the option between text and video, 72 percent of internet users choose video. And when it comes to video, Youtube is the undisputed heavyweight.
Who’s on Youtube: 2.6 billion global users.
How to Connect With Candidates on Youtube: This one is a little more straightforward. Create great video content tailored to your prospective candidates. Don’t forget to repurpose videos from the company website and other social media channels.
Companies Using Youtube for Recruiting
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.
6. TikTok Recruitment
Why You Should Use TikTok for Recruiting: TikTok’s video platform is home to one billion active users, making it one of the most popular social media platforms. Ninety-two percent of TikTok users take some form of action after seeing an ad on the platform.
Who’s on TikTok: TikTok’s one billion users are growing everyday with an average of eight new users joining every second. The biggest age group of the platform is 20 to 29-year-olds, making up about 30 percent of the platform.
How to Connect With Candidates on TikTok: Similar to Youtube, 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.
Companies Using TikTok for Recruiting
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.
Social Media Recruiting Best Practices
We’ve covered some high level ideas, but now it’s time to get a little more specific. 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 even feel like more effort than it’s worth. Trust us, it’s not — but it is crucial to be consistent. Simplify the process by creating an editorial calendar with daily themes to refer to when creating content. It’s okay to switch things up — the calendar is not set in stone.
Get Your Team Involved
You are not an island, so don’t recruit like one. 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
Regardless of your platform of choice, you’ll be able to send candidates one-to-one messages. This is an excellent way to start the conversation, 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 Candidate’s 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 (just don’t be creepy or generic) 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, but make sure to do more than just post 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 @reply on Twitter can start a conversation that others can chime in on, bringing traffic to both the company and candidate’s social profiles.
Livestream an Event or Conference
When it comes to the digital world, video is now king. This opens up a world of possibilities for social media recruiting. 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 perspective of life at your company.
Take Full Advantage of Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the best ways to connect with specific audiences, but do your due diligence before getting started. A hashtag’s relevancy — and the quantity 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 whatever trends related to the hashtag align with the company’s mission.
Discover 16 strategies you need to evolve your recruitment efforts today.