Social recruiting (also known as social hiring and social media recruitment) is a method of using social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn to advertise jobs, find talent, and communicate with potential recruits about company culture.
We’ve reached the point now where social recruiting isn’t just a novelty - it’s a must-have for any successful recruiting strategy.
A full 94% of professional recruiters network on social media and use it to post jobs to an extensive community. And 59% of employees say a company’s social media presence was part of the reason they chose their workplace.
Our step-by-step guide below will help you learn how to use social media as a recruiting tool, making it easier to bring in high-quality applicants that stay in their positions longer, and improve your hiring process. We’ve also got tips to help you improve employer branding and social recruiting examples.
How to Get Started Using Social Recruiting for Hiring:
- Create social media accounts specifically to recruit with.
- Get employees involved in sharing posts on social media.
- Use LinkedIn to find potential recruits.
- Share your employer brand with photos on Instagram.
- Use Facebook insights to study your audience.
Social Recruiting Tips:
1. Host a live Q&A via Periscope to meet applicants.
Periscope allows you to set up a live video stream from your phone anywhere you can connect, and give others access to that live stream. Besides Q&As, you could also use Periscope to share your company culture with potential applicants by broadcasting company events or a live video stream of your workplace.
- Download Periscope on your phone.
- Promote your Periscope Q&A.
- Make sure you’re set up right on launch day.
- Get familiar with the controls – You’ll want to set these to make it easy for the widest audience to participate, so share location, allow anyone to view and comment, and share to Twitter.
- Do a practice run.
- Broadcast! – Watch for questions to appear in the lower left corner of your screen and answer them.
Developing a Social Recruiting Strategy:
A social media recruitment strategy looks at your goals and the big picture. The main goal is hiring through social media, so plan out each step, from how applicants will first hear about your company via social media, to how they find an open position and apply. It's very similar to a sales funnel.
2. Optimize your LinkedIn company page for search.
LinkedIn uses the text you write when you create your account to help people find you, and Google uses text from LinkedIn pages to decide where they’ll show in search results.
- Write a brief main message – When your company page shows up in search, Google only shows the first 154 characters, so focus on what you want your message to be.
- Fill out your description – All of this is searchable text for Google, so you’ll want to include keywords people would use to find your company in search, and you may need to balance it out with social media marketing needs - not just recruiting.
- Lastly, fill out the “Company Specialties” section.
Check out our article on how to post a job to LinkedIn.
3. Get employees to help share your culture.
The people who form your company are in the best place to share company culture authentically on social media. To help them get comfortable talking about your brand, create a social media policy. You can find some great tips for creating a social media policy here.
Once you’ve got a company social media policy in place, it’s time to use the most authentic social recruiting resource tool you have - your team. Encourage them to share honestly on social media about what your workplace culture is like.
4. Monitor social media for brand issues and opportunities.
There are several tools out there that can help you monitor social media presence for opportunities to connect with employees and potential employees, look for relevant content to share, and look out for problems.
We think one of the easiest to use is Hootsuite. Here's how to get started.
- Register with Hootsuite and add your social accounts.
- Create basic streams to monitor – In Hootsuite, click “AddStream.” For each account, you’ll see a list of instant options.
- Create custom streams in Hootsuite – Click “AddStream” then “Search.” Create searches for all your branded hashtags, including your brand name, industry influencers, and topics that will be interesting to your audience.
5. Create easy employer branding videos to share.
If you spend any time checking out social media branding for large enterprises, you’ll notice they have a lot of videos. This probably sounds like something you need to hire a professional to do, right?
Turns out the powerful little cameras on our phones, combined with the right light and sound, can produce surprising results. Watch this short video from Wistia – you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with just a phone and the right techniques.
6. Make passive candidates and social recruiting work for you.
If you’re using social media to recruit, you’re going to end up with a lot of passive candidates, people who weren’t actively looking for a job. There’s considerable research that says passive candidates don’t fare as well as active ones.
So, if you’re considering a passive candidate, try to find out what is motivating them to consider your position. Are they passionate about the work? To avoid hiring candidates that don’t adapt, present them with an accurate picture of what it’s like. Don’t sugar coat the job.
7. Attract candidates to your employer brand with Instagram.
Sharing on Facebook isn’t what it used to be. These days, it’s pretty hard to get attention on Facebook without paying for it. Instagram, on the other hand, has the highest user engagement of any of the top social media, with about 10X more than Facebook and 100X more than Twitter.
That’s 10 - 100 times more clicks, likes, shares, etc., per post. It’s a great place for building your employer brand, especially with the future in mind, as 67 percent of its users are under 29.
8. Learn about your Facebook audience to improve.
You can use Facebook’s own, built-in insight tools to learn what content is getting traction on your Facebook page. If you created a Facebook page just for employer branding this will give you data specific to people interested in employment, rather than your company’s general followers.
9. Use social recruiting software.
Sometimes the easiest way to streamline all of the recruiting that you do through social media is to make use of a software program that can simplify the process.
You can use social recruiting software to sync all of your company's social media accounts, schedule posts, automate responses, and more. Popular social recruiting software platforms include:
Social Recruiting Companies:
Social recruiting companies are recruitment firms that specialize in social recruiting. These companies take the legwork out of social recruiting by using social media on your behalf to find the best candidates for your open positions.
Social Recruiting Best Practices:
Network and engage with your audience – If you respond to a potential candidate, be personable and start an engaging conversation. You will need to earn their trust and respect, especially if they're a passive job seeker.
Highlight your company culture – Showcase your company at its best by sharing employer branding content, celebratory events, milestones reached, and charitable activities in the community. You'll want to give candidates an idea of what it would be like to work for you.
Share the right mix of posts – If you talk about your company all the time, you might come off as superior or boring. Mix it up by sharing job openings, humorous posts, local news, industry trends, and topics that your audience may be interested in.
Get your staff involved – Ask your employees to share job posts and other content on their social media networks.
Use the appropriate social media platforms – You'll need to understand your candidate persona to determine the best platforms on which to post your job openings. Refer to your employer branding strategy and spend some time on unfamiliar platforms to gauge if they fit in with your culture.
Do you have any social recruiting tools you recommend?
A tool that lets you schedule posts, get metrics, and work with several social media sites at the same time will save you time and help you be more effective. Hootsuite, Buffer, or eClincher are some social media recruitment tools you'll want to check out.
What are some best practices for using social media as a recruitment strategy?
In general with recruiting, whether you're someone using social media to recruit employees or a hiring manager posting to a job board, you'll want to look at things from the candidates' perspective. Why should the best candidates want to work at your company? Why should they want the job you're promoting? Make that your focus.
Beyond that, you'll want to make sure your social media and hiring practices stay aligned - think twice before putting something in a social post that you wouldn't put into a job posting.
Are smaller companies using social media for recruiting?
Yes! It's not just for popular tech companies or big corporations. As the starting price is free, it's often a good way for small companies to try and reach potential candidates on a budget.
Social media really can help you with recruiting. Did you know it can bring in 30-50 percent more applicants?
Hootsuite’s CEO Ryan Holmes says it can dramatically cut the time and costs of social recruitment, and also believes it plays a part in his company’s amazing employee retention rate - they have just 2 percent turnover.