December 3, 2013

Social Media Recruiting: How Can it Help Your Business?


Social media recruiting is a technique many successful businesses use. Are you engaging with potential employees on social media?

If you’re not, you may be missing an important opportunity to connect with some of the best and brightest young workers. More qualified workers than ever before have turned to social networking as a way to establish a connection with current and potential employers. In fact, a 2012 survey from Jobvite shows that 90% of employers rely on social recruiting.

If you’re not using social networks to recruit qualified workers, you may miss finding some talented individuals. In this post, we explain some of the ins and outs of social media recruiting.

What is social media recruiting

Social media recruiting means using one or more social networks to engage with prospective employees. Savvy managers are following (or friending, depending on the network) potential staff members. The social networks can be a great place to find your next employee.

One key to finding good employees through social networks is to build a positive relationship with each prospective employee. When the time comes for them to find work, they will already be familiar with your company.

One of the biggest benefits of using social networks for recruitment is that they are fairly inexpensive to use. You can set up a basic profile on most social sites at no charge. So, the main cost is the time your recruiter spends online interacting with your network.

Checking a prospective hire’s social media site can also help you to weed out potential problem employees before you hire them.

Where to look for employees on social media

What social networks should you turn to for social recruiting?

The answer varies depending on what type of employee you hope to attract. The truth is that you may not want to limit yourself to just one social network. Here’s a brief overview of four of the most popular social networks and a quick description of who you’re likely to find on each of them:

Facebook. You might wonder who is on Facebook. The answer is nearly everyone. While Facebook may have started in 2004 with college students, older generations have also adapted to the social networking tool. The age of the typical user is now approaching 30. It is also the largest social network with the most users.

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a corporate recruiter’s dream, but small businesses can use it too. Many people treat their LinkedIn profile as an online resume. However, don’t expect to find the same kind of casual user posts here that you see on other social networks. Search for potential employees by specialty.

Twitter. Twitter is a unique social sharing site because it limits posts to 140 characters. (Although there are utilities to help users share longer posts and pictures.) Users tend to be younger and favor the use of mobile devices.

If you’re hiring creative or technical team members don’t overlook the many social portfolio sites such as Dribble and Behance.

How to Engage Prospective Hires on Social Media

Now that you know where to look for potential hires online, you need to interact with them in order to build a relationship. Here are three ways to engage job candidates:

Comments. Leave longer comments on information and posts shared by your social media contacts. Don’t forget to answer them if they respond.

Shares. Share articles and posts about your company, but also on non-company related topics that are of interest to your potential hires.

Recognize achievements. If the candidate shares achievement information (such as a graduation, job promotion, or award), be sure to congratulate them.

LinkedIn allows you to post jobs for a monthly fee. LinkedIn also has special tools for recruiters. Facebook has the Social Jobs Partnership that lets job hunter search for jobs by category.


Have you used social networking as part of your recruitment process? We’d like to hear about your thoughts and experiences.