5 Rules for Social Recruiting Success


There are over 1 billion active users on Facebook and 300 million people on LinkedIn, so it’s no surprise that the majority of recruiters are leveraging social recruiting to find candidates. Social media is arguably the most powerful sourcing tool available to modern recruiters, who can identify, evaluate, and engage candidates directly and proactively, all at a low cost to your organization. In fact, a Forbes article declares 2014 to be “The Year Social HR Matters,” identifying the connection between a strong social media strategy and grabbing top talent.

You likely already know the importance and benefits of a social recruiting strategy. But before diving in, it’s important to consider these 5 tips in order to set up your company, and your candidates, for long-term success:

Social Recruiting Rule #1: Develop A Strong Hiring Brand

It’s important to have a strong hiring brand and visibility on social platforms. If you are evaluating a candidate based on his or her online presence, it’s likely that they will do the same.

Collaborate with marketing to make sure that your company has an updated Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn page, and that they include posts that demonstrate your company’s culture. More and more, HR teams are taking ownership of companies’ social media profiles and contributing to their blogs to reflect company culture and to attract candidates.

Create brand visibility by participating in online conversations related to your industry. Join LinkedIn networks, engage in a Twitter chat, or start a Meetup group. This will help establish thought leadership in your space and attract high-quality candidates who are already involved in these online communities.

A great candidate experience can also contribute to a strong hiring brand. Treat your candidates like customers. Be sure to call and arrive promptly, be respectful of a candidate’s time, and always respond to an applicant.

Social Recruiting Rule #2: Build A Referral Channel

Quirky’s Director of Talent, Jason Medley, says “I’m 100% convinced that the future of Quirky’s talent lies within the network of our employees.”

Getting everyone involved in the recruitment process helps you tap into the networks of your current employees. Amy Zuckerman, a recruiter at Lyft, encourages hiring managers to get the organizations’ key influencers on board with a referral program. It doesn’t hurt to have an incentive program - and is well-worth it! If your entire organization is invested in talent acquisition, they are likely to share openings on their social profiles.

Many applicant tracking systems make it easy for employees to share openings and contribute to the hiring process in meaningful ways. They also help hiring teams manage a referral program and track candidates coming in from current employees’ networks.

Check out our post “3 Steps to Building an Employee Referral Program Your Employees Love” for more details on how to get started.

Social Recruiting Rule #3: Have A Strategy

It may seem obvious, but is a step that many recruiters overlook. Before you begin social recruiting, sit down to consider whom it is that you’re trying to reach.

Simply posting a job on your company’s Twitter feed isn’t going to help you find the best candidates. If you know the specific skills, expertise, or background required for the position you’re trying to fill, you can leverage filtering tools to help surface the right profiles. Are they more likely to be on GitHub, Quora, or LinkedIn’s Digital Marketing group (with over 490,000 members)?

In addition, try using hashtags to reach the right people. Hashtags allow you to reach users beyond your personal networks and provides a targeted stream of content. Career Enlightenment shared “50 Hottest Twitter Hashtags for Job Seekers,” but don’t stop there. Hashtag the skill (#javascript, #nodejs, #contentmarketing, #SEO, or #sales for example) to reveal a stream of people with these terms in their profiles or updates.

Social Recruiting Rule #4: Don’t SPAM!

If you learn one thing from this post, here it is: don’t SPAM people! According to an MRI Network survey, it’s still a candidate-driven market. This means that you still have to do your best to be genuine and authentic when reaching out to candidates; no shortcuts allowed.

Copy-and-pasting the same LinkedIn InMail is never acceptable in the world of social recruiting. It’s ineffective and detrimental to your company brand. Peter Clayton, a thought leader in HR and recruiting, offers some advice on his blog. The key takeaway? Make it personal. Even the hottest, growing startups have low response rates when their messages to candidates lack personality and personalization.

Social Recruiting Rule #5: Think Like a Marketer

Your social recruiting strategy will evolve as you determine what practices best suit your company’s hiring needs. Like a marketer, you should leverage the tools at your disposal to test, monitor insights and improve your pipeline.

Greenhouse makes it easy for you to see what channels are providing the best quality candidates, not just the highest volume. Tools like Entelo and Gild also help recruiters by aggregating candidate data based on their social profiles and online activity. What’s more, they will provide you with candidates that are likely getting ready to enter the job market.

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Candidate Sourcing