In this article on social media strategy development, we explained why simply having a presence on social media and posting at random won’t help you stand out from the crowd. But social media is about more than brand awareness and employer branding. It can also be a useful channel for recruitment.

Recruiting via social media, also known as social recruiting or social hiring, describes recruitment marketing processes performed on social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. It allows recruiters to advertise vacancies to a wider audience or reach out to their network to re-engage existing contacts.

In this way, professional social media platforms make it easier for you to fill open positions. But how can you build an extensive and relevant network on the various social media channels in the first place? The trick is to raise awareness by positioning yourself as an attractive employer.

Strategic Considerations

One of the first strategic considerations you’ll need to make is deciding which channels you want to use to position your company. Consider who your target candidates are, who is already part of your network, and what formats you are going to publish content in. As with any social media strategy, you’ll need to be creative in order to make your content and employee value proposition stand out.

It’s about more than just your recruiting posts – you also need to create and publish other content regularly. Involve your network, interact, and respond to comments and messages. This keeps engagement high, making your audience more responsive to your recruiting efforts.

Benefits and Challenges in Social Media Recruiting

There are many benefits to using social media strategically for recruitment. However, there are also some pitfalls to avoid. 

The war for talent is fierce, and it’s only getting more competitive. This is where social recruiting can help. Most people are active on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok every day in their private lives. These channels can be a great way to reach a larger audience if you adjust your content accordingly. On the other hand, professional social networks such as LinkedIn are better suited to more formal content, including studies, industry trends, and insights related to your field.

Another important benefit of social media is that it offers a personal, casual environment in which you can address potential candidates directly. In paid ad campaigns, you can set filters to target suitable candidates, saving you time and money and helping you fill vacancies faster. Recruiting software can help you manage ongoing campaigns and maintain an overview. It can also help you manage the candidate experience with candidate funnels and automated responses. This is especially important if multiple managers and employees are involved in the recruiting process. Quick responses, fair assessments, and a well-defined process will show your company to be a professional, reliable employer.

There are many passive candidates on social media. These are people who are not actively looking for a job but might still consider an open position at an attractive employer. By sharing your job postings on social media, you can reach these passive candidates and expand your talent pool considerably. In addition to candidates forming an opinion of your company in advance, you can also assess the suitability of a candidate on social media by viewing their profiles. 

Posting jobs on social networks also allows you to reduce costs, even if you assign some budget for advertising. In comparison, posting jobs on job sites can be less effective and far more costly. In fact, the entire recruitment process is faster and more efficient via social media. You can simply arrange a short video call to get to know potential candidates and quickly evaluate whether they will be a good fit. In a later meeting, managers from the relevant team can join the process to assess whether the candidate has the necessary knowledge and skills. If this also fits, then voilà – you have found the right person for the job!

To stand out as a company and attract the right candidates, you need to be clear about exactly what you want to communicate on social media and what you don’t. Besides the content itself, the tone of voice you use plays a vital role and determines whether you’ll successfully grab the candidate’s attention. To build trust, ensure that you post on your social media channels regularly – an empty, inactive social media channel can make a negative impression.

It’s also important to remember that everything you post is public and can quickly go viral. Mistakes and unfavorable statements can significantly damage your company’s reputation. Whoever you choose to manage your social media communication, make sure they have experience in managing social media channels and corporate communications. It is not a side job, but a role that demands strategy, knowledge, and skill. 

Step-by-Step Guide for Social Media Recruiting

Now that you know what social recruiting has to offer your company and how to avoid the risks, it’s time to take action. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you start on the right path.

  1. Plan a strategy: Collaborate with experts to plan your social media strategy. If you don't have any employees with knowledge in this area, it may make sense to outsource this key task.
  2. Select your channels: Every social media channel you use will require time, knowledge, and resources. You should consider this when making your selection. Another vital point to think about is the age and preferences of your target audience. This also helps determine the content you create and the language you use, as well as the channels you should prioritize.
  3. Define roles and responsibilities: Once you have developed a strategy, it’s time to put it into practice. Assign clear responsibilities so that everyone knows their role and how they can contribute their expertise.
  4. Define the style of communication: You should communicate in a way that appeals to your target candidates while aligning with your strategic goals. Once you’ve defined your communication guidelines, make sure you stick to them.
  5. Maintain a career page: Your careers page and your website in general should look attractive to candidates. These pages make the biggest impression on candidates and can influence their decision on whether or not to apply.
  6. Create a content plan: Fill your content plan with posts that are interesting to your community. This helps you position your company as a thought leader and an attractive place to work. The content must be relevant to your field and provide valuable insights for your audience. 
  7. Expand your network: Recruiters should continuously maintain and build their network. Creating a talent pool increases the number of options for people to contact when you need to fill a vacancy.

Communication is the key to success when you operate on social media as a company. Create a consistent presence, share new and exciting content, and interact with your network regularly. This will take your talent search to a new level and put you ahead of the competition in the war for talent.