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.

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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.

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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.

Looking to Hire? Develop a Social Media Recruiting Strategy

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.

Looking to Hire? Develop a Social Media Recruiting Strategy

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.

Looking to Hire? Develop a Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Unlocking the Power of Social Media Recruitment

In the quest for exceptional talent, traditional recruitment methods might fall short. However, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for identifying and engaging with prospective employees. Employing a social media recruitment strategy opens up a world of opportunities to connect with candidates who might otherwise remain hidden. Here’s why you should consider incorporating social media into your hiring process and some strategic tips to ensure its success.

Why Social Media Recruitment Matters

  1. Unleash Your Competitive Edge: To compete with larger companies, small businesses need innovative strategies. Social media recruitment allows you to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with industry giants in the hunt for top talent.
  2. Engage “Passive” Candidates: Skilled individuals aren’t always actively seeking new opportunities. Social media recruitment empowers you to proactively identify and reach out to passive candidates with the precise qualifications you require.
  3. Connect with Quality Candidates: A robust social media presence is increasingly crucial for career-oriented individuals. Candidates with strong profiles on platforms like LinkedIn and industry-specific networks often display commitment to professional growth.

Strategies for Effective Social Media Recruitment

  • Look Beyond the Surface: Thoroughly examine a candidate’s social media profile. A complete, updated profile showcases an individual’s dedication to staying current in their field.
  • Evaluate Connections: It’s not just about the quantity of connections. Focus on candidates whose connections are relevant to their industry, job role, or career trajectory. Their participation in industry groups reflects their engagement.
  • Consider Recommendations: Assess the range and depth of recommendations a candidate has received. Diverse endorsements throughout their career offer insight into their versatility and impact.
  • Prioritize Professionalism: A polished online presence matters. Over 70% of HR professionals emphasize the importance of maintaining a professional tone on public social media content.
  • Perform Due Diligence: While social media provides valuable insights, it’s not a standalone source. Always conduct thorough background checks and contact references to validate a candidate’s claims.
  • Leverage LinkedIn: The go-to platform for professional networking, LinkedIn should be a cornerstone of your social media recruitment strategy. Its focused approach allows you to engage with candidates aligned with your industry and roles.
  • Explore Niche Networks: Industry-specific social networking sites can yield targeted candidates with specialized skills. These platforms facilitate direct communication with candidates who share your industry’s passion.
  • Harness Facebook’s Potential: While not primarily designed for recruitment, Facebook’s vast user base can uncover diverse talent. Leverage its advanced search features to identify candidates in line with your requirements.
  • Utilize Visual Platforms: Visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest can reveal a candidate’s creativity and personal interests. They’re particularly useful for roles that demand a strong visual sense.
Look Beyond the SurfaceExamine candidates' social media profiles thoroughly to gauge their dedication to staying current.
Evaluate ConnectionsFocus on relevant connections in terms of industry, job role, or career path.
Consider RecommendationsAssess the variety and depth of recommendations to understand versatility and impact.
Prioritize ProfessionalismEmphasize maintaining a professional tone on public social media content.
Perform Due DiligenceUse social media insights as a supplement; conduct background checks and contact references.
Leverage LinkedInUtilize LinkedIn's focused approach for professional networking aligned with industry and roles.
Explore Niche NetworksTap into industry-specific networks for direct communication with passionate candidates.
Harness Facebook's PotentialUtilize advanced search features on Facebook to identify candidates aligned with your requirements.
Utilize Visual PlatformsExplore visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest for roles that demand a strong visual sense.

Incorporating a social media recruitment strategy can revolutionize your hiring process. It empowers you to connect with candidates on a deeper level and consider factors beyond the traditional resume. By diving into their online presence, you gain insights that help you make informed decisions about the ideal fit for your organization.

Embracing the Future of Hiring

In a world driven by digital connectivity, the realm of recruitment is evolving rapidly. The utilization of social media as a powerful tool for talent acquisition has unveiled a realm of possibilities that were once unimaginable. As you embark on the journey of unlocking the power of social media recruitment, consider it not just as an alternative, but as a strategic imperative to secure exceptional talent for your organization.

With social media recruitment, you’re not merely competing; you’re thriving on an even playing field with larger corporations. The ability to engage “passive” candidates, those hidden gems not actively searching for opportunities, grants you a distinctive edge. These potential employees, whose skills and experiences align with your needs, can be actively sought out, paving the way for growth and innovation.

The connection with high-quality candidates is no longer confined to traditional methods. A strong social media presence has become an essential cornerstone of a modern professional’s identity. By embracing platforms like LinkedIn and specialized networks, you’re tapping into a goldmine of individuals committed to continuous growth, making them valuable assets to your team.

Navigating this landscape requires a strategic mindset. The art of looking beyond the surface, evaluating connections, considering recommendations, and upholding professionalism ensures that your approach is comprehensive. However, social media’s power is not singular; it’s complemented by due diligence. Relying on it solely could be misleading; a combination of social insight and traditional verification is the path to reliability.

Platforms like LinkedIn have emerged as not just tools but allies in the recruitment journey. Through these networks, you connect with talent finely aligned with your industry and roles, transforming hiring into a strategic partnership.

Venturing into niche networks and harnessing the potential of diverse platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest offers multidimensional insights into candidates. The intersection of professionalism and personal interests enriches your understanding and aids in decision-making.

Incorporating social media into your recruitment strategy reshapes your hiring paradigm. No longer confined to paper resumes, you’re peering into candidates’ professional lives, aspirations, and personalities. As you make strides in embracing this innovation, remember that the future of hiring has arrived, and it’s empowered by the digital world’s connectivity.

Unlock the potential, engage with candidates on a deeper level, and pave the way for a future where exceptional talent is seamlessly identified, engaged, and nurtured. Your organization’s success is intricately linked to the talent you bring on board, and social media recruitment is your passport to a world of limitless possibilities.

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!

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