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How to Use Social Media to Recruit and Hire

5 min read

Online recruiting is all about finding quality candidates and making connections with them. And social media is where people hang out online to express ideas and interact with each other.

According to GlobalWebIndex, the average internet user has more than 5 social media accounts. People go to these different communities to share what’s on their mind and converse with like-minded people. Like a town center, social media sites have become the focal point for online interaction.

Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and a handful of others offer recruiters a tremendous opportunity to connect with candidates – many of whom would never be found through traditional sources.

Most companies use social media to recruit candidates but not all are doing it successfully. In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of social media recruiting and some ways you can connect with talented people online.

How to recruit on social media

Every company should develop its own unique social media recruiting strategy. Here are a few basic ideas your company can use to get started:

  • Participate in the right conversations. The key to recruiting on social media is to cut through the noise and find the right people. Being active in LinkedIn groups and using hashtags are great ways to get your job openings in front of candidates you want to apply. For example, #devjobs or #NYChiring can help you reach the right candidates on Twitter.
  • Take a soft approach and promote your culture. Social media recruiting goes beyond posting open roles from company accounts. You should also share content that shows your company is a great place to work so you can organically attract candidates. People love talking about companies with unique cultures so this type of content often gets a lot of shares.
  • Don’t overlook the niche networks. Sure, everyone and their parents are on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter these days. But you can find specific candidates by perusing niche networks and forums. For example, developers are sharing knowledge on GitHub and StackOverflow. Marketers are bouncing ideas off each other on Moz and Warrior Forum. And your next great leader may have just provided a thought-provoking answer on Quora.
  • Involve every employee. You likely have some social media power users in your workplace. Encourage your entire staff to share openings and, in general, be an evangelist for your brand on social media. Some companies have strict social media rules but allowing your employees to talk about their work experiences in a responsible manner can pique the curiosity of a potential candidate.  
  • Help your recruiters grow a social media presence. Corporate accounts can only accomplish so much. Individual recruiters can make person-to-person connections with candidates but should first know social media best practices and use their accounts on a regular basis.

LinkedIn recruiting tips

Out of all the social media networks, LinkedIn is of course the best one for recruiting. Nearly everyone with an established career has a profile on the “World’s Largest Professional Network.”

You can use the site to attract active candidates and connect with passive ones. Here are a few tips for getting started at LinkedIn recruiting.

  • Fully complete your brand page. A completed company page shows up in LinkedIn search results and gives you the opportunity to showcase your company culture. Job searchers will find the page, see your openings and learn everything they need to know about your organization.
  • Use filters to find the right candidates. Since there are so many people on LinkedIn,  recruiters are able to use filters to find potential candidates. For example, you can search by location, current and past company, years of experience, and a number of other factors that help you zero-in on candidates who check all the boxes.
  • Reach out with a personal touch. Experienced and talented people hear from a lot of recruiters on LinkedIn. Don’t copy and paste the same message to everyone you try to connect with. Instead mention what about the candidate caught your attention and makes you think they would be a good fit for your company.

The benefits of social media recruiting

The idea businesses can recruit and hire using social media is no longer a gimmick. It’s now a vital channel for sourcing candidates and promoting company culture. Here are some benefits of using social media in your recruiting efforts:

  • Reach the elusive passive candidate. Social media is the best way to find and connect with passive candidates. LinkedIn is essentially a directory of professionals organized by industry, company, job title and a number of other categories.
  • See talent and passion firsthand. Many people use social media to make it known they love their career. You can find passionate people and learn what amazing work they’ve done and creative ideas they have.
  • Get resumes details without a resume. On LinkedIn, and to some extent Facebook, you can view a person’s complete work and education history. You’ll know if a candidate has the experience the role calls for before you reach out to them.
  • Find a great culture fit. Social media allows you to learn what a person’s hobbies are and even conclude what sort of personality they have. You can find candidates who are skilled and will also be a good fit for your workplace.
  • Filter out bad candidates. Some people behave poorly on social media. You can determine if a potential candidate has a bad attitude by seeing what they share online.
  • Save money. Unless you promote job openings through paid campaigns, social media recruiting is completely free.

Create a social media recruiting strategy

What works for one company, doesn’t always work for the next. Create a social media recruiting strategy that makes sense for your company and the roles you’re hiring for. Make it an extension of your broader recruiting and social media strategies so your entire company continues to operate like a well-oiled machine.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our blog post “How to Use Social Media to Aid in Your Search for Employees

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