The Essential Guide To Using Social Media For Recruitment

October 29, 2020

Over 92% of companies now use social media for recruitment. However, simply having channels is not enough. To compete for top talent, organizations must optimize social recruiting through targeted content, employer branding, employee advocacy, and analytics.

The Essential Guide To Using Social Media For Recruitment

As millennials and Gen Z now dominate the workforce, adapting digital recruitment strategies is a must for attracting top talent. Social media has radically transformed hiring over the past decade, with 92% of companies integrating social platforms into their talent acquisition process. However, many organizations fail to harness their full potential. Beyond basic job promotions, social recruiting requires an optimized presence across preferred channels, employee engagement programs, data-driven targeting, cohesive employer branding, and tailored multimedia content. Companies that master these elements transform social platforms into efficient, high-quality recruitment pipelines tailored to modern talent preferences.

With Gen Z and millennials requiring digital-first, authentic brand experiences, an impactful using social media for recruitment strategy is mandatory for building candidate pipelines and succeeding in the modern hiring landscape. 

What is social media recruiting?

Social media recruiting refers to using various social media platforms to connect with potential job candidates. Recruiters leverage the power of platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and more to source, engage, and ultimately hire quality talent. The main goals are to build an employer brand, distribute job postings, identify both active and passive candidates, communicate with prospects, and drive them to apply for open positions.

Using social media for recruitment
Using social media for recruitment

The rise of social media in recruitment

Social recruiting has risen exponentially over the past decade. A recent survey found that 92% of companies leverage social platforms as part of their recruitment strategy. This represents a significant shift away from traditional job boards and print advertising. Recruiters have followed job seekers onto the digital space, adapting their tactics to find, attract, and hire online. 

Social networks provide unparalleled access to professional and personal information that helps recruiters identify and qualify candidates proactively. Their visual nature and interactive formats also allow for meaningful engagement. Additionally, paid tools provide advanced targeting, analytics, and pipeline management. As adoption continues growing, social recruiting is becoming the dominant driver of hiring results across most industries.

Benefits of using social media recruiting

Social media recruiting provides immense advantages compared to traditional hiring methods. As discussed, these include expanded reach, quality hires, efficiency, and branding. However, simply having social media pages is not enough. Organizations must learn how to optimize these platforms to achieve the full suite of social recruiting benefits.

Reaching passive job seekers

Passive job seekers refer to those not actively looking for new roles but open to considering the right opportunities. They make up mainly of the global talent pool. Still, traditional job ads only reached active seekers. Social platforms contain rich personal and professional data that helps uncover “passive” candidates with the right backgrounds. Recruiters can then engage them by promoting positions aligned with their interests, experience, and aspirations. This expansive reach is why social recruiting outpaces legacy channels.

High-quality candidate acquisition

According to a CareerArc study, 86% of job seekers use social media in their job search to search for relevant opportunities. The professional networks on sites like LinkedIn also allow for precise targeting of qualified, vetted talent within specific industries and peer groups. Recruiters can then leverage these platforms to build relationships with high-potential candidates, rather than waiting for random applications. As a result, social recruiting helps drive more qualified, interested applicants compared to other channels. The outcome is higher quality of hire – social media sourced candidates have significantly lower turnover rates, earning social recruiting the nickname “employee referral 2.0.” In essence, social platforms enable efficient access to vetted passive candidates that better fit open roles and company culture, thus boosting quality of hire and retention rates. Rather than waiting for random applicants, smart recruiters are proactively connecting with qualified professionals on social sites leading to better talent acquisition.

Cost-effectiveness and time-saving  

Compared to job boards and agency-based hiring, social recruiting is extremely cost-effective. Platforms provide free access to millions of candidates. Advanced targeting and analytics help optimize budget spend to ensure ideal visibility and response. This efficiency, combined with quality hires and pipeline management tools, dramatically improves recruiting KPIs like time-to-fill and cost-per-hire. Studies show social media recruiting decreased average non-management, salaried position time-to-fill by over 20 days.

Employer branding

A strong employer brand is vital for engaging today’s candidates. Today, job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying. Social platforms provide unmatched reach for that brand through company pages, employee advocacy, influencer marketing, and sponsored content. Recruiters broadcast authentic employer identities that align with target audience values—driving more qualified applicants. Platform analytics also fuel data-driven recruitment marketing optimization over time.

How to use social media for recruitment  

To fully leverage social platforms for hiring, organizations must move beyond basic job promotions. Optimizing social recruiting requires channel specialization, employee engagement, brand building, advanced targeting, and tailored content strategies. By mastering these areas, recruiters can transform social networks into candidate pipelines that deliver efficiency, quality, and volume.

How to use social media for recruitment
How to use social media for recruitment

Choosing the right social media channels

The best social platforms for recruiting depend on target demographics and roles. For example, software engineers live on Reddit and GitHub. LinkedIn dominates white-collar hiring. Instagram and TikTok trend with younger generations. Evaluating audience overlap with open positions is critical for channel selection. Common options include LinkedIn for reach, Facebook for volume, Instagram for culture, Reddit for niches, YouTube for engagement. Understanding each channel’s format and audience leads to optimized posting strategies and budgets.

Diversifying your content for maximum reach

While targeting optimizes who sees your content, the content itself must also align with audience preferences to drive engagement. Platform analytics tools reveal the types of posts and media formats that perform best. Common top content includes employee spotlights, career advice, workplace events, behind-the-scenes, live video, and influencer collaborations. Testing various content types is key, as performance tends to vary drastically between industries and audiences. Consistently aligning social content with audience interests ensures the broadest reach and response rates.

Targeting potential candidates effectively 

The most effective social recruiting relies on advanced audience targeting, especially within paid ads. Recruiters must first build a “portrait” identifying key demographics, interests, behaviors, and affiliations of ideal candidates. Platform advertising interfaces then leverage these portraits and machine learning to serve hyper-targeted promotions to matching accounts. Continued optimization based on performance data further refines targeting over time for the best results. Ultimately, refined targeting is the key to efficient candidate pipeline velocity through social channels.

Transforming employees into “Communication ambassadors” 

Forward-thinking recruiters activate current employees as brand ambassadors on social media. Many candidates distrust company career pages and ads. Comparatively, they heavily value insider employee perspectives. Through initiatives like employee advocacy programs, recruiters empower workers to share career content across their personal social channels. This authentic promotion helps drive more qualified applicants from within target talent networks. Activated employees deliver better results than any external influencer or paid campaigns.

Building a strong recruitment brand on social media

Beyond promotion, having a cohesive and consistent employer brand across major social channels attracts ideal candidates. This requires defining and broadcasting your values, culture, and employee value proposition visually. Strategies include showcasing team member stories, running hashtag campaigns, covering company events, and monitoring review sites. The goal is owning your narrative across the candidate journey’s touchpoints—driving interest, consideration, and conversion. Recruitment rests on your employer brand’s strength on social media.

In summary, using social media for recruitment delivers exponential benefits compared to other hiring methods. These include reduced cost-per-hire, faster pipelines, higher quality of hires, expanded reach to passive candidates, and impactful employer branding. As modern talent flocks online, organizations must continue optimizing their social presence through analytics, employee advocacy, influencer collaborations, and multimedia content creation. Companies failing to adapt their recruitment marketing strategies risk losing out on digitally-savvy Gen Z and millennial talent. The data shows that recruiters who embrace the power of social platforms will dominate the hiring landscape of the future.  Talentnet’s outsourcing services leverage the power of analytics, employee advocacy, influencers and multimedia content to attract digitally-savvy passive candidates. Contact Talentnet today to get ahead of the competition and dominate tomorrow’s hiring landscape.

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