Tips and Strategies for Social Recruiting

© Shutterstock | Milles Studio

This article explores the growing practice of social recruiting, the benefits that accrue form social recruiting, various tips and strategies for successful social recruiting, as well as the mistakes to avoid making when employing social recruiting.


Social recruiting is fast gaining popularity. Its popularity is undoubtedly driven by the millions of existent candidates profiles on social platforms. Linkedin alone has over 430 million profiles and around half the world’s population is on Facebook and Twitter and that is even prior to looking at these platform’s younger counterparts; Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine.

Through social media platforms, recruiters and human resource personnel can access thousands, if not millions, of qualified candidates for their organizations, either for free or at an extremely low cost. Note also, social media platforms are networks rather than databases, which provides unprecedented opportunities for you to get recommendations, find candidates, and attract them to your organization.

However, remember that as much as these platforms seem advantageous, they are susceptible to misuse. This is because of an almost unrestricted use of the platforms. Spamming candidates and gazumping are some of the ways the social platforms are misused. Therefore, recruiters need to figure out the best approaches to social recruitment, not just as a matter of ethics but as a matter of practice. Recruiters are the custodians of their organizations and when your organization acquires a reputation of malpractice in social recruitment, candidates start running.

The main agenda of social recruiting is finding the right candidates at the right time. For this purpose, organizations cannot stick to a single avenue for social recruiting. Recruiters need to tap into several social platforms in order to increase their chances of finding the best candidates as well as the most suitable platform for the organization. In emphasis, it is important to keep in mind that every social media platform has its own demographic and for this reason, you should carefully consider the audience that you are targeting prior to deciding what platforms to use for recruitment purposes.

Regardless of what platform you use, there are some universal benefits for using social recruiting.

[slideshare id=39659172&doc=naed-social-media-recruiting-140929105034-phpapp02&w=640&h=330]


As mentioned above, social recruiting has been gradually on the rise and has transformed from a temporary and rare trend to a very established practice in businesses today. From an employment point of view, social recruiting could be considered a rich source of talent, especially where you are looking to fill professional positions.

In order to tap into this very viable pool of talent, employers ought to embrace social media as a tool they employ in their recruitment strategy. What, besides having access to a vast pool of candidates makes social recruiting such a beneficial tool? Let us explore.

  • Social Recruiting is Cheap. The establishment of an employer’s presence on social media platforms is affordable even for start up businesses. Social recruitment is extremely cheap especially in comparison to traditional methods of recruitment. As a matter of fact, setting up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts is free for any business.
  • Online Community. Social media helps your organization create an online community of potential candidates and employees. Once a person follows your organization on Twitter or likes you on Facebook, you increase your organization’s exposure. Social media helps in educating people about your business and in creating a community of loyal supporters. Even where a person turns down an opportunity to work for your business, they could easily notify other qualified users they know about the position, which will lead you to your end goal; recruitment.
  • Passive Candidates. There is one lesson to be learnt from the talent gap that is currently prevalent in some job markets. This is that employers also want to engage candidates who are not particularly looking for jobs, candidates who are possibly employed in other organizations. Sites such as LinkedIn can assist you in identifying qualified candidates and if you are lucky you may find an individual who was already looking to venture elsewhere in employment, or to otherwise influence them to join your organization.
  • Better Quality Hires. There is a trend/perception emerging in business that the best candidates are found on social media. This perception results from the fact that candidates that are sourced from social media platforms are more technologically aware and are, in all likelihood, more familiar with emerging trends. These candidates are more up to date with the times in comparison to candidates who are stuck in traditional methods of job searching.
  • Time-Saving. Since social recruiting fosters faster communication, the approach saves your business a large amount of time during the hiring process. ‘Time is Money’ and every bit of it counts. Social recruiting saves your organization a lot of time by pulling in candidates much faster than traditional methods of recruitment.
  • Your Organizations Perception. Prior to taking up a job offer, most people these days, in world where social media is so popular, will be concerned about the reputation and popularity of your organization on these platforms. Therefore, using social recruiting improves the perception of your business substantially in the eyes of potential candidates.

Going by all the above reasons, social recruiting should be something to include in your business recruiting approaches.


Personalize your Approach

I am sure it comes as no surprise that with social recruiting you will always interact with individuals you do not know personally; individuals you know nothing about. However, if you interact with each individual person in a thoughtful manner, in a manner that appeals to them as an individual, you will never go wrong. Follow and connect with potential candidates that are in your field of interest, listen to them and learn from those conversations in order to create a stronger connection with each individual.

If you are connecting with a person on a personal level; taking the time to understand them, being mindful of their time and attention, you will forge a strong relationship. With this personalized approach, you are guaranteed to grow a close-knit community and significantly increase your chances of recruiting the best talent out there. Remember, people will always be inclined to work with the people they like; the people they feel they have a connection with.

Build on Your Content

The content that is alluring to your consumers isn’t necessarily the content that will be alluring to your potential candidates, learn how to make this distinction. The content you need in social recruiting is the kind that primarily sells jobs and not just products and services. What kind of content do you need to put out to attract candidates?

You could include Employee testimonials. These can be acquired by interviewing you current employees and letting them express themselves as honestly and authentically as they can about their work experience at your organization. The more potential candidates get to hear real life experiences the more they will be convinced that your organization is the best one for them.

This will also create a feeling of transparency between you and your candidates. With such testimonials, you are boldly making a statement that you have nothing to hide and your employees can attest to the excellent quality and conditions of their employment.

Utilize your Time

A crucial aspect of social media success is involvement and this is more so for social recruiting. It takes a major investment of time to build a social media community filled with talent. In order for you to target your efforts and make the most of your time, you can opt to ask the people in your growing community from all your social media platforms what channels they primarily use in job searching.

In addition to this, you can also gather information on what some of your best performing competitors are doing in their social recruitment effort that is making them so successful and if it is convenient for you; borrow a leaf from their book.

Showcase your Organization’s Value

This is not to say that you shouldn’t talk about your organization’s achievements, but don’t make it the primary subject of your content. Potential candidates will be more interested in knowing what your organization stands for. Candidates will be more attracted knowing that you have a vision for your organization before they can invest themselves in it.

In addition, candidates want to know on what values and culture your organization runs its day to day activities. For example, let us assume that your organization’s mission statement shows that you are inclined to charity; you should include information on the charity work you are currently involved in or have been involved in.

Be Authentic

As a recruiter I am sure you are looking forward to meeting honestly genuine and authentic candidates. As such, you should also be willing to extend this courtesy and present yourself as authentically as possible.

When it comes to social recruiting, remember that the most important thing is the relationships that you form more than the approaches that you take. Therefore, do not shy away from using your authenticity.

The reason for this is that, once you unapologetically embrace your authenticity as well as that of your organization, you will attract the sort of candidates that are similarly authentic and, hence, the best matches for your business or organization.

Share Fascinating Stuff

‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Therefore, ensure that you regularly share trending bits of news and topics of general interest with your following. This will promote activity on your organization’s platform and help to curb monotony, boredom, and loss of interest.

The small talk that results from these bits of news in most occasions spawns bigger more meaningful conversations, which will probably lead right back to your organization. Therefore, do not be scared of a little diversion. Remember, in order to forge even stronger relationships with people, it is important to interact with them in a manner that transcends work or business. People like to feel valued beyond what they can do for you.

Center your Attention on Substance

As much as it is okay to sneak in bits and pieces of interesting and unrelated information to your audience, do not forget to focus on substance. That is the substance of the potential candidates you are interacting with; do not forget your primary agenda was finding quality recruits.

Consider each potential client and how they are connected in the social media platforms and beyond. Ask yourself if the candidate is actually contributing to their field or are they dormant. If they are indeed active and contribute or have contributed to their field, chances are that they will be of just as much value working for your organization.

Get Familiar with #Hashtags (Twitter)

Twitter uses its own platform for social recruiting; proof that it is an excellent platform if they are not shying away from using it. Most recruiters are, however, not taking the time to understand hashtags. It is easy to simply put a ‘#’ at the front of a particular word, however, if you do not understand the reach of that specific tag in terms of geographical outreach and the number of people it is likely to reach then you might just be shooting in the dark.

Your hashtags may simply end up drowning in a sea of millions of other tweet. For example, use tools like Hashtracking or TweetBinder that will help you understand the mechanics of hashtags and, therefore, develop the best working hashtags for you.


Just like any other recruiting strategy, it is extremely important that you establish some measurement systems that will assist you in gauging how well you social recruiting approach is doing. In order to measure the effectiveness of your social recruiting approach you should; track your web pages as referred through social media.

This is the assessment of how many potential candidates are actually ending up on your websites because they were referred there on social media platforms. This way, you can establish what social media platforms are attracting the most candidates and yielding the best results in order to focus your efforts on those.

In addition to this, you should also keep track of the number of conversations. For example, how many of your organization’s job applications were considered and submitted through social media platforms. Getting this number will enable you to determine the ROI from the social recruiting efforts that you have made in a certain period.

If the number you get is significantly lower than you would prefer, then it is time to revisit your approach and see if there is any way to effect an improvement. For example, the number of likes, shares, retweets, follows, comments etc that you get will enable you to determine the kind of posts that are attracting candidates to your platform and which kind posts are receiving minimal or no attention.


There are various things you need to avoid if you are going to successfully implement social recruiting as a strategy for your business or organization. The following are the things to avoid when using social recruiting:

  • Failure to do your Homework. Not taking the time to do your homework can be detrimental for your social recruiting endeavors. Failure to do your homework and flying blind will yield minimal or low quality results for your organization. For example, assuming that suitable candidates can be found on every social media platform. Take time to understand your target audience and on which social platforms these people are prevalent prior to commencing your recruitment efforts; otherwise, you may end up wasting a lot of time and effort to no avail.
  • Don’t lose Focus. It is a mistake for social recruiters to set up numerous organization pages, for example, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc but lack focus in any. By all means open up all these pages for your business but don’t forget in which social platforms your target audience are mostly found and focus most of your efforts on those ones. If your target audience is receiving insufficient content from you on the platforms that they appear because you are dividing your time amongst even the most irrelevant platform, you will not reach your maximum potential in social recruiting. You may even be unable to reach viable candidates at all.
  • Failing to Build Relationships. Even where you don’t realize instant results, do not quit just yet. Do not make the assumption that your online community is simply lying around waiting for that job opening. Social media platforms avail an opportunity for you to grow your brand’s identity and build a trustworthy relationship. When the perfect time comes, you will in a position to use the relationships formed to recruit exceptional talent.
  • Not Reviewing Results. Finally, simply making postings on social media platforms and waiting for results is not enough. You need to find out if your approach is indeed working for your business or organization. So, failure in checking the metrics and not looking into how it works for you as you continue to blindly make posts may be unfavorable for you. Checking on your performance will tell you if you need to change tact or if you need to keep doing what you are currently doing.


Businesses today are slowly but surely moving away from traditional methods of recruiting for numerous reasons, such as, to keep up with the times and to reap the benefits that accrue from social recruiting. Traditional methods of recruiting relied heavily on means of finding potential candidates that were expensive, ineffective, and time-consuming, which made them a lot less efficient than social recruiting.

In addition, with traditional methods it was much harder to understand or interact with potential candidates beyond their resume’s and beyond a business context. Traditional methods of recruiting, therefore, denied the recruiter the chance to create a meaningful connection and build a relationship with the candidate, which would have aided in sealing the deal. Social recruiting enables recruiters to create exactly that, making candidates feel at home and, therefore, increasing an organization’s chance of pulling in candidates.

Evidently, traditional recruiting methods, for example, news paper job postings, are still in use in business. However, they are significantly disadvantages when compared to social recruiting. The relationship between talent acquisition and pulling in candidates can become quite harmonious if you only followed the tips and strategies presented in this article. You may choose to ignore social media and social recruiting but I assure you that both elements are not going anywhere soon. In fact, social recruiting will keep growing in popularity, possibly to a point where traditional methods of recruiting will become almost obsolete.

Remember also that opening up social media accounts on every social platform is not enough. If you are going to employ social recruiting, it is the effort, time, and strategy you invest that will determine your level of success in attracting candidates. Your social recruiting strategy ought to feature in your overall social media marketing strategy. By applying the above tips to assist you in your social recruiting endeavors, you will be placing yourself in a much better position to reach potential candidates and ultimately employ the most qualified of the lot.

Comments are closed.