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Social Recruiting: A How-To Guide

Ilinca Draganescu


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What’s that? Your HR director is saying you and your team need to start “doing recruitment marketing” and you have no idea where to start? Let us ask you one question, how’s your social media presence doing?

social recruiting is a crucial part of any recruitment marketing campaign.

If you’re like most recruitment professionals we talk to, you probably said something along the lines of either “it’s doing fine, I think,” or “what social media presence?” Seeing as how social media forms the backbone of any solid recruitment marketing (RM) campaign, it’s crucial that you get this sorted before you go any farther down the road of developing a full RM strategy. 


Social recruiting, simply another way of saying social media recruitment marketing, is the practice of using social media platforms of all types to spread your employer brand message, hype your job listings, and interact with your candidates both active and passive. If RM is the strategy, then think of social recruiting as the field guide.

Social Recruiting: The Why


This may seem like a daunting task, especially if your company or HR team have never had a social media presence. Don’t worry, we’re going to present a set of best practices, tips, and tricks to get you started. But before we get to any of that, we want to be sure you have a firm grasp on just why we think social recruiting is so important in today’s job market.

Full-featured audience targeting capabilities


Nearly 90% of recruiters report hiring via LinkedIn. Ever wonder why that platform is so good for recruitment efforts? Yes, it’s true that professional networking is the stated reason for its existence, but that in and of itself isn’t the reason for the site’s overwhelming success in this sphere. It’s down to the robust set of targeting tools recruiters have access to. And LinkedIn isn’t the only social site to include such a toolset, though it is the one most specifically designed for hiring.

Comprehensive metrics


Every HR manager in the world loves metrics. They want to be sure the time, energy, and budget they’re pouring into a campaign is paying off in better hires and shorter time to hire. Most social media channels offer built-in metrics dashboards, so you can see exactly which campaigns are reaping what rewards right there on the site. As a bonus, many also offer API connection options, so you can also import this data right into your ATS or other HRIS systems for deeper analysis.

Meet potential candidates where they are


People spend a lot of time on social media. Worldwide, more than 3 billion people are active users of one of the big 4 platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). This means there’s a pretty good chance that your next great hire is out there right now, conversing with friends, asking companies questions about their office culture, and generally being a great candidate. You’re looking for passive candidates, remember, so meeting them where they already spend their online free time makes it more likely you can catch them in a talkative mood.

Multimedia options abound


Visual posts are 40x more likely to be shared by the average social media user. So if brand reach is one of your goals, listen up. When it comes to spreading the word, there is literally no better way than to cultivate a robust social media presence and using it to interact with your audience. Over time, you will grow your follower base and they will gladly assist by sharing your awesome pictures, infographics, and videos.

Continue the conversation


People crave one-on-one interaction, even through their screens. So with a stated goal of engaging potential candidates, there is nothing more powerful than a regular posting schedule followed up with human interaction. Keep it professional (match your company version of that, of course), keep it in brand voice, and keep it entertaining and you’ll have a ready pool of awesome talent ready to come on board as soon as you post a relevant opening.

Social Recruiting: The How


A quick caveat before we dive in here: every company, and every HR department, has different needs. That means your specific situation, and therefore mileage with each of these recommendations will vary. OK, let’s get into it!

Set a strong foundation


Social recruiting, like RM overall, is a long-game. Don’t expect your talent pool to fill up in the first 6 months of your presence being online. In fact, depending on your precise starting point, it may take a full year or more to really see returns on your investment of time and energy. Don’t be discouraged, setting a strong base of tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram stories will set you up for incredible success once you are able to start building up from that foundation.

Speak with an authentic brand voice


When you did your target audience research (which you did, of course), you probably also developed an idea of how to speak to that audience so as to ensure your message resonated. That data, combined with the established brand voice used in your other media, advertisements, and job descriptions is what constitutes your authentic brand voice. Keeping this consistent across media channels is critical to establish and maintain trust on the part of your potential candidates.

Candidates = consumers


Keep in mind that RM is an off-shoot of inbound marketing. Therefore to reap the most bang for your buck, treating your candidates like consumers is key. Companies go out of their way to cater to their audience, offering great customer service at every stage of their customer journey. It’s your job to do the same along your audience’s candidate journey, from first contact all the way through conversion to happy new hires.

Automate where appropriate


RM automation is a growing segment of the business world, take advantage by implementing a solution that lets you pre-schedule your posts to go online on regular days and times. People love consistency. Also, look for one that lets you respond in-channel from right there on the same dashboard to cut the time involved in checking each channel separately. This will keep your time investment to a minimum to still see the benefits of engaging with followers.

Pay attention!


Social monitoring, or social listening, is the final critical piece of the social recruiting puzzle. What good are all of your witty status updates and well-produced employee testimonial videos if you never respond to comments or questions from your audience? While you’re at it, spend some time seeing what people are saying about your company outside of the conversations you’re involved in. This can help mitigate complaints and actually strengthen trust in your company when you respond to someone out of the blue. Just remember to stay in voice and keep it civil.

Final Words


The above set of practices were designed to get you and your social recruiting efforts up and running. That said, we understand there was a distinct lack of concrete steps. So in the interest of you being truly prepared to go out and fill your talent pool, here are our top 5 concrete actions you should take now to get started with your RM and social recruiting practice:


  1. Craft a well-documented strategy on day 1


  1. Develop candidate personas so you know who you’re targeting with your content


  1. Pick the right channels, not everyone is on every channel


  1. Post regularly and frequently to grow and maintain engagement with your audience


  1. Monitor your KPIs and metrics regularly, and adjust as needed

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