What Is Social Media Recruiting?
Social recruiting, also called social hiring or social media recruiting, is the use of social media platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn to hire new talent in your organization.
A study by CareerArc showed that 92% of employers use social networks to hire talent, and 86% of job seekers use social media to search for and apply to job openings. This shows that social media can be a valuable resource for helping you find passive and active job candidates.
So, instead of relying solely on traditional methods like job boards and newspaper ads, you can maximize the power of social media channels to broaden your search for potential employees.
How Does Social Recruiting Work?
Companies create profiles or pages on social media networks to attract quality candidates with social recruiting. Companies may showcase their corporate values, mission, work culture, and value proposition with these profiles. This way, they can get the attention of prospective candidates who may want to work with the company and whom the company might want.
Each social media platform offers a unique space for recruiting. For example, LinkedIn, popularly regarded as a professional network, allows you to create a business profile to share detailed listings (see the Hubspot example below). The platform also allows you to look for individuals with impressive work experience and skill sets.
With a platform like X, you can also spread the word about job openings. When you tweet about available positions, interested people can easily apply. Other users can also retweet or share your job posts with their followers. Here's an example:
Facebook and Instagram also allow you to share a glimpse of your company culture. Prospects within your audience can see what it’s like to work at your company, making it easier to appeal to their interest in working with you. Here’s a good example on Slack’s profile:
Social recruitment doesn't end with sharing job posts, though. Job seekers also get involved in the process when they follow, or connect with your company's profiles across various social platforms. These job seekers can also showcase their skills and experience on their profiles so recruiters can easily spot them.
Social recruiting works like a big online job fair where companies and job seekers come together on various social channels. You can complement the use of these social platforms with third-party software to manage and support these social media recruitment activities.
3 Advantages Of Social Recruiting
Now that you understand the social recruiting process, let’s see some other advantages of social recruiting.
Wider Talent Pool
Social recruiting opens you up to a vast talent pool. While traditional recruiting methods may be limited to local or industry-specific job boards, social media platforms have billions of users worldwide.
Facebook alone boasts 2.95 billion active users monthly. This provides access to a diverse and global audience, not to mention the amount of active users on platforms like LinkedIn and X.
With social media platforms, companies can find candidates with a broader range of backgrounds, skills and experiences. This can also contribute to finding the perfect fit for your job openings.
Social recruitment is a game-changer when it comes to managing your recruitment budget effectively. It can lead to remarkable cost reductions, potentially cutting your recruitment expenses by as much as 50%.
This significant saving is mainly because posting job openings on social media is either free or comes at a much lower cost compared to advertising on specialized job boards.
Research also agrees that social media may be a more cost-effective approach to hiring talents than other recruitment methods.
When you constantly churn out interesting and valuable content to boost your employer brand for recruitment, getting more Instagram followers, X shares, or LinkedIn comments is easy. So, in the end, your content becomes visible to more people, namely the members of the networks of those who followed, shared, or commented on your content.
Also, search engines like Google and Bing can rank a well-optimized social media profile. For instance, a Google search for Starbucks brings up the company's LinkedIn and X profiles among the search results.
This boost in online visibility can, in turn, make your social hiring process easier. That’s because you no longer have to explain much about the company to prospective employees. They’ll already know a lot about you.
3 Key Challenges Of Social Recruiting
As beneficial as social recruiting is, there are also some challenges you may want to look out for. They include:
Legal And Regulatory Compliance Concerns
One significant challenge of social recruiting is making sure you're following social engagement guidelines that have been put in place. For instance, in the course of letting candidates apply for your job opening on social platforms like LinkedIn, you may gain access to the personal information of your applicants.
Different countries and regions have their laws about how personal data should be handled. For instance, there's the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for Europe. To ensure compliance, you want to communicate with applicants that the data they share with you will only be used for recruitment purposes. You also want to ensure the personal data you get is secure.
You also need to comply with the social media platform's community guidelines or risk getting your account taken down. For instance, Facebook bans hate speech. You probably have other team members manning your social platforms for recruitment. All you need is one person posting something discriminatory (which, for some reason, they might have thought was funny at that time), and you can earn a strike from Facebook.
To resolve this challenge, always reiterate your social media guidelines for legal and regulatory compliance to your team members.
Getting Employer Brand Message Across
Getting your employer brand message across can be difficult if you're posting for two different types of audiences–potential employees and potential customers–on the same social profile. Potential employees won't understand your employer value proposition if your social media presence primarily revolves around selling your products and services. On the other hand, if the profile is focused on hiring, customers will have difficulty knowing your brand message.
Let’s say you manage to maintain a balance of posts for each type of audience. There’s still that chance your posts for prospective employees (and potential customers, for that matter) won’t be seen by your target audience. After all, they won’t take the time to look for your employer brand posts amid that sea of posts for potential customers.
The good news is, it's pretty easy to address this challenge. Create separate social media accounts–one for your customers and another for your employees and hiring activities. This is the strategy Salesforce adopted:
Just ensure you maintain your brand consistency across both social media profiles on the same channel. A trusted social media marketing agency can help you ensure this brand consistency even across the other social platforms you use.
Sourcing Passive Candidates
Passive job candidates are not announcing their search for a job. These candidates are either looking to transition from their current place of employment or simply want to switch career paths. They're not actively searching but are open to opportunities they consider attractive.
To reach such candidates, you may need to get creative.
One way to attract passive candidates is by creating a strong employer brand that portrays your company as a remarkable workplace.
Passive candidates may discover your company by scrolling through their social media feeds. You can lure them in by highlighting the benefits of working with you. Why not emphasize your competitive compensation and career advancement opportunities for a specific position? These employment benefits won't just attract candidates, they can also improve employee retention since they show existing personnel they don't have to look for better opportunities outside the company.
5 Effective Social Recruiting Tips To Attract Top Talent
Now that we've discussed how to harness the benefits of social recruiting and how to navigate its challenges, let's explore five foolproof tips to help you attract top talent.
1. Tap Into The Right Social Media Platforms
When recruiting on social media sites, start by choosing platforms where your ideal job candidates will likely spend their time. For instance, if you're looking for tech-savvy folks, platforms like LinkedIn, X, or Reddit might be the right place to go. If you want creatives, then Instagram might be where to look.
How can you tell the right platform for your recruitment efforts?
You can start by creating a detailed profile or candidate persona for the role(s) you intend to fill, or even existing roles within your company. Typically, ideal candidate personas will include details like the candidate's roles, behavior, and social media preferences.
With a persona like the above, you'll better understand which social network to find your preferred candidate.
You can also use social listening tools like HootSuite or Mention to search for specific topics relevant to the job roles you may want to recruit.
For instance, if you’re looking to hire a web developer, searching for the term “web developer” across various platforms will help you discover which social network is a predominant hub for web developers online.
Additionally, you can search for job vacancies similar to what you need. This will help you see where other organizations are seeking similar talents, and you can go there.
2. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
Show job seekers your best side. If your social media profiles are incomplete and dull, you might turn away potential employees. You need your social media profiles to look their best and showcase the best of your company as an employer.
That means you should have a well-organized social profile. You should also infuse captivating visual content into your social media posts. Elevate your social recruiting efforts with compelling employer branding by sharing interesting posts about your company values.
Check out PWC's social media profiles on Instagram and X:
You can also include links to your career website on your social media bio so that it's easy for prospects to find. Overall, passive or active job seekers should be able to tell what your organization is about and the solutions you provide by visiting your social media page.
3. Leverage Employee Advocacy
Your current employees may be your best advocates for attracting quality talent to your company.
So, encourage your workforce to share job opportunities on their personal timelines or social media profiles. This gives more visibility to your job post and encourages candidates who know the employee to apply. According to a Nielsen study, people are generally more likely to trust recommendations from friends or family. Employees who share job openings essentially recommend those job openings.
In the example below, Jon Colman, Hubspot’s content design lead, reposts a job vacancy, helping the company reach more potential candidates:
In some cases, employees may personally know people who match the requirements for your job openings and may share your vacancies as direct messages on social media.
Also, urge your employees to give feedback about their experience at your company. This is a great way to engage them and, at the same time, attract potential candidates. Here’s an example of positive employee testimonials on Zendesk’s LinkedIn profile:
Zendesk also has a “life at Zendesk” hashtag that Zendesk and its employees use to share experiences of working at the company.
If you want to leverage employee advocacy, ensure employees understand your social media policy and guidelines. For example, they should know the language to use in their company-related posts.
Employee advocacy is even more powerful when you genuinely care for your workforce and ensure a positive employee experience. In such cases, you may not even need to persuade employees to say nice things about your company. Like Semrush in the example below, recognize and appreciate employees for their work. This may earn you a nice shout-out on social media.
It's not a bad idea to spice things up by adopting an employee referral program and rewarding employees for candidates who come through their referrals. You could give incentives like gift cards or vouchers for every successful referral.
You can make the referral process easier by creating a link that employees can simply share with their networks. You can also draft a pre-made social media caption that employees can share with their audience.
4. Use Targeted Advertising
Use targeted social media ads to promote your job openings. You can target potential recruits based on interests, demography, or even previous interactions with your company. It all depends on what you’re hiring for.
For instance, if you’re looking for a data analyst, you can target a specific audience based on interests like statistics, data analytics, and data visualization. Targeted ads like these can also help you capture the attention of passive candidates who are active users on specific social networks.
Be sure to optimize your ads. Use engaging visuals and ensure that your job requirements are clear and straightforward. Add a clear call to action like “Apply Now” or “Learn More” to prompt action from interested candidates.
Here’s an example of a targeted job ad on Facebook:
Link the ad to your careers page, or a dedicated landing page for the job you want to fill. Your landing page should have a detailed job description and tell prospects enough about your recruitment process to help them get started.
You can use AI templates if you need help fleshing out a thorough job description. Just specify the role and company name, and provide a few details about the company.
Consider testing different ad formats, copy, and targeting options for the best results. Then, stick with the one that works best for your audience.
5. Engage With Candidates
Beyond posting jobs and running ads, engaging with potential job candidates on your social networks is also effective. Think of it as nurturing a potentially beneficial relationship.
Don't hesitate to respond when candidates engage with your content by leaving a comment. This will help to reduce any form of friction that's likely to affect how they perceive your company.
Sometimes, candidates may indicate an interest in working with your company. You can find posts like this using social listening tools. When you do, respond with a link to your careers page like Shopify does in the example below:
Sometimes, you may put out job posts, and interested candidates may ask for clarification in the comments or through a message. Be ready to provide them with the information they need.
Additionally, you may stumble on the profiles of potential applicants who share valuable content on social media. It’s okay to engage with them as well. You can simply like what they have posted or leave a positive comment.
Remember, the goal is to be warm and approachable so that candidates feel free to apply at your company.
A solid social media recruiting strategy allows you to tap into the vast pool of potential candidates on social networks. Social recruiting is more cost-effective than traditional methods like print advertising or a listing on job boards.
But you need to know social recruiting tips to generate the best results. You learned these tips from this article.
Tap into the right social platform. This should depend on the roles you want to hire for and how you intend to portray your employer brand. Also, optimize your social media profiles so that they’re attractive to ideal candidates.
Remember to leverage employee advocacy by getting your workforce involved in your social media recruitment process. Use targeted advertising to reach a specific audience on social networks. Finally, engage with candidates. You want to nurture a warm and potentially productive relationship.
Now, you're ready to find qualified candidates for your job openings on social media. All the best!
Owen Jones is the Senior Content Marketer at ZoomShift, an online schedule maker app. He is an experienced SaaS marketer, specializing in content marketing, CRO, and FB advertising. He likes to share his knowledge with others to help them increase results.