Social Recruiting: The Complete Guide to Long-Term Success

One of the most popular forms of attracting top talent and sourcing for open job positions is through social media recruiting, or commonly called “social recruiting.” It’s become one of the most effective ways to find qualified candidates, but also to showcase your company’s work culture or “employer brand” organically.

Let’s Get Started! No matter if you’re new to social recruiting or…

…if you’re in the process of amplifying recruiting efforts at your company, this guide will cover all the essentials you need to know about social media recruiting and why it is valuable to attracting top talent.

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Introduction: Social Recruiting Definition

Ready for the deep dive into social recruiting? Start the journey below.

The definition of social recruiting is really quite simple, so we won’t need to spend much time here. But, it’s exactly what the two words represent: using social media to recruit and attract job candidates for available positions.

Commonly, the social media channels used for recruiting are the use of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This is along with your company’s other recruiting options like posting on the company website and job listing websites.

And social media platforms continue to grow, which is exactly why it makes recruiting and building relationships with candidates so easy (and necessary). We put together a nice comprehensive list of social media statistics, but here is just a snippet:

  • Close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media. (Statusbrew)
  • LinkedIn has more than 610 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. (LinkedIn)
  • Facebook still reigns as the most popular social media network with 79% of internet users in the US logging on the site. (Pew Research Center)
  • 326 million people use Twitter every month. (PR Newswire)

II. The Benefits of Social Recruiting

Social recruiting is a must have for brands and by not using these social outlets, your company is missing out on connecting and attracting the best talent.

Social recruiting makes it easy to reach more potential candidates and showcase why people should work for your company. Below are some of the major social recruiting benefits.

Target your perfect job candidates – Instead of waiting for people to apply, your recruiters and HR team can start to reach out, connect, or share content about your company to build an online relationship and get your target people to see your company’s job positions.

Reach passive candidates – Many people might not be really actively looking for a new job and won’t be active on job boards or your website career page. However, social makes it easier for people to see the cool things your company is doing, the work environment, and open jobs can be enticing.

Saves your company money – Hiring and replacing employees who quit or are let go is expensive! Paying for ad placements to be seen on the top of job boards or even paid social adds up fast. And there is no guarantee any of the candidates seeing these placements are a strong fit.

“As stated in a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, hiring an employee in a company with 0-500 people costs an average of $7,645.”

Show off your company culture – while social recruiting is used to connect and share open jobs, it’s also the best place to showcase your work culture, aka your employer brand. Having cool benefits, company initiatives, promotions, and a place other employees love to work is incredibly attractive to outsiders. It quickly opens the gates to people inquiring about working at your company or flocking to applying.

Shortens hiring time – Just like saving money, shortening the hiring process and getting the right people in the job is crucial. For the company you work for, and of course, for your recruiting progress. You can quickly engage and communicate with hires, build a more personalized relationship, easily screen their work history, and learn about their interests and personalities.

III. Essential Social Recruiting Strategies

In order for your company and HR team to be successful, there should be some social recruiting strategies you stick to. Of course, your company and recruiters may have some variations to the strategies, but these will set the foundation for success.

Organically build your online reputation – Build the brand up that everyone sees, talking about, and one that everyone wants to work for. This means showing the workplace vibes, how employees work together, company initiatives, etc. Don’t spam audiences or your target candidates with just job openings, it won’t be appealing enough.

Additionally, keep all the messaging and emotional branding consistent online. It can take some time, but your company’s brand will start catching on quickly.

Involve employees on social media – An incredibly growing and effective strategy is getting other employees involved in social recruiting. The concept is called employee advocacy, which many organizations are adopting a program to help build employer brand and drive recruitment.

Employees are the face of the brand and are the most trusted resources about their company. You’ll need a social media policy in place and employee advocacy program to make sharing/reporting a breeze.

Encourage employees to share honestly on social media about the company culture.

Related: Learn How Atkins Global Used Employee Advocacy to Boost Social Recruiting. Download the Case Study.

Be active in multiple social media platforms – The big three social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) are strongest when it comes to social recruiting. But that does not mean you should ignore some of the others like Instagram, Pinterest, Snap, or some other growing platforms to showcase your employer brand.

Each platform has a unique audience of what resonates and works, but it gives your company an opportunity to leverage more social spaces. Always fill out your profiles in detail and keep the brand messaging aligned, but you can experiment with how you approach social posts.

Don’t abandoned social media ads – A big piece to social recruiting, is being able to easily reach people organically. But this also takes time and sometimes you need the extra push. This is where paid social ads can be a great addition.

Yes, costs are rising and advertising doesn’t always mean great leads for your recruitment team. But there are some great targeting options and it can help your company amplify reach. If you have some budget, it will be worth activating some ads each month to go along with the other social recruiting strategies.

IV. Key Social Recruiting Statistics

Nothing convinces people more as to the value of social recruiting than with some data. Below we’ve pulled out some of the interesting stats we think you’ll benefit from knowing.

  • 79% of job applicants use social media in their job search. (Glassdoor)
  • Job seekers rank social media and professional networks as the most useful job search resource compared to job boards, job ads, recruiting agencies, and recruiting events. (CareerArc)
  • Recruiting via social media is growing with 84% of organizations using it currently and 9% planning to use it. (SHRM)
  • A study from the Aberdeen Group revealed that millennials are changing social recruitment practices: 73 percent of millennials (18-34 age group) found their last position through a social media platform. (CareerProfiles)
  • 80% of employers say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates. (Betterteam)
  • When asked which employee-shared content consumers found most relevant, recruiting rose to the top: 30% of consumers find job posting useful. (EveryoneSocial)
  • In a survey from Monster, 65% of respondents would consider a new job opportunity if they heard about it through a personal connection in their network. (Monster)
  • Employee referrals have the highest applicant-to-hire conversion rate – only 7% of applicants are via employees but this accounts for 40% of all new hire hires. (Jobvite)

The above statistics are of course only a snippet of data that is out there. We put together a larger list of social recruiting statistics here that you can dive further in.

V. Social Recruiting Mistakes

Okay, now that you have a lot of the goods down on why social recruiting is awesome, there are also a few mistakes your company and teams can make.

But don’t worry, It happens as nothing is completely full proof!

However, if you are aware ahead of time of the social recruiting mistakes, you have a better chance of avoiding these issues or catching on much faster to correct them.

Failing to be authentic:

People are already bombarded with content and messages from big brands. Competing with them is not going to work and recruiting departments that use their social feeds just to blast out jobs is not very effective.

Use social recruiting to make an authentic connection with candidates, not just posting open jobs. You want to start an online dialogue and start a relationship, without spamming them career pages. You’ll find people are more receptive to your content and brand.

Not having a social recruiting strategy:

Like any other company initiative, you need to go in with a plan. There should be the overall plan adopted by your recruiting team and there can be individual strategies for specific recruiters.

It doesn’t need to be overly complicated or take months to create. Instead, it should analyze why you are recruiting on social , what you plan on sharing and why, and what you are measuring for ROI of your social recruiting efforts.

Not monitoring your branded social mentions:

People hashtagging, tagging you, or just typing your brand name in general text online should be monitored too.

This gives you insights on what people are saying (good or bad), who is talking about your brand, how often your brand is being discussed online (is it growing?), etc.

It’s a great way to interact with those talking about your brand, put out any employer branding fires if that were to happen, but also start engaging with those in a personal way.
You can this on social media accounts and places like Glassdoor.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

Not having quality content:

Having the right content for social recruiting is critical as it’s what can attract people to your company and the brand. This means everything from blog content, videos, cool visuals, work culture content, user-generated or employee-generated content, etc.

It doesn’t need to just be open careers. But it is important to know what kind of content will best appeal to candidates you want to attract. Add thoughts and copy to what you share to show your personality and that you are human.

Lastly, your content must be quality. You don’t need to post 25x a day trying to stay at the top of the feeds.

Not involving other employees:

While your social recruiting strategy might be owned by HR or recruitment teams, that does not mean they are the only ones that should be involved. Certainly, it is more of their responsibility to take ownership, but other employees can and should be involved too.

Recruitment teams only have a reach so far, yet other employees have untapped networks of potentially great candidates. Giving others the ability to share some HR or employer branding content can be extremely impactful in growing the talent reach.

This is where employee advocacy for recruiting becomes essential.

VI. Additional Social Recruiting Resources

Congratulations for making it this far in this in-depth guide on social recruiting! Hopefully, you have learned a lot of the essentials and how valuable social media can be for hiring top talent and building a trust employer brand.

If you are interested in starting a social employee advocacy program for recruiting and employer brand, our team is ready to show you more and other companies using our platform fall various HR needs. Schedule your demo here.

Lastly, before we complete this content, we thought it was worth sharing with you some additional resources and content that will be useful to expanding your social recruiting knowledge.