Looking to Hire? Develop a Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Social Media Recruiting Strategy

You probably use social media for marketing your small business. You may use it in your personal life to keep in touch with friends. And you probably rely on social media to build business connections.

But unless you also use a social media recruiting strategy to look for potential employees, you could be missing out on some fantastic job candidates — candidates that big companies are going to snap up.

Why Use a Social Media Recruiting Strategy?

Compete with Bigger Companies

Big businesses and executive recruiters are turning to social media in droves as a method of finding qualified job candidates. Two-thirds of human resources managers in a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) say their organizations have found new hires through social media in the past year.

Find “Passive” Job Candidates

Most small business owners can attest that finding skilled, qualified workers seems to be getting harder and harder. Many good employees aren’t actively seeking new jobs (these are called “passive” job candidates). Instead of wading through stacks of irrelevant resumes, and limiting your search to whoever chooses to apply for your job, a social media recruiting strategy enables you to actively find and reach out to people with the exact skills and experience you’re looking for.

Connect with High Quality Employees

A whopping 87 percent of HR professionals in the SHRM survey say it’s somewhat, or very important, for job seekers to have a social media presence on LinkedIn. Nearly as many (83 percent) believe it’s somewhat, or very important, for candidates to have a presence on professional or industry association social networking sites. The savviest employees are more likely to consider a strong social media presence as an essential part of their career development.

Which social media sites work best to find qualified hires? While LinkedIn is the primary source of new hires, used by 57 percent of respondents in the SHRM survey, nearly one-third also found employees through professional or industry association social networking sites, and 19 percent found them via Facebook.

When viewing a candidate’s social media profiles, keep these things below in mind.

Social Media Recruiting Strategy Tips

Look for a Complete Social Profile

Profiles that are up-to-date, detailed and thorough typically reflect the same attitude toward work. Incomplete profiles, or those whose last accomplishments were several years ago, may reflect someone who is not keeping their skills current.

Look at Their Connections – Are They Valuable?

More connections are not necessarily better. Candidates whose connections are smaller in number, but more directly related to their jobs, industry or career path may be more focused. Also pay attention to the types of groups the candidate is involved in on social media, and how active they are in contributing to those groups.

Check Their Recommendations

Number, variety and depth of reviews and recommendations help paint a fuller picture of a potential candidate. Look for someone who has recommendations from a wide range of people throughout their career — not just from one job.

Is Their Online Presence Professional?

Seventy-three percent of HR respondents in the survey say it’s important for public social media content to be professional.

Run a Background Check

Last, but not least, remember that social media can also be used to create false profiles. Never rely solely on information in a social media profile or LinkedIn resume. Always conduct a background check (if relevant to the position) and contact a job candidate’s references before making a decision.

Hiring Image via Shutterstock

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Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.

4 Reactions
  1. In Sweden a new type of recruiting company started some years ago, relying only on social media activities and referral marketing. It will be interesting to see how the HR dept. will become social…

  2. The great thing with social media is that you finally have the means to reach out to potential candidates. You are no longer left waiting for who is coming. You can reach out to potential candidates and give them an offer.

  3. Social media levels that playing field Rieva. Anybody can play with the big boys if they do things intelligently. Thanks for the smart share.


  4. Interesting reading with a view almost exactly two years on from when this post was first published… building relationships with micro-influencers having become an increasingly important part of social media marketing outreach: your post references this!