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The Ultimate Recruiters Guide to Using Social Media to Source Candidates in 2019

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Using social media to find candidates

When it comes to sourcing candidates and finding the best fit for your business, there’s one place you can’t ignore: social media.

Think about it: you ultimately need to go where people already are, and – with over ⅔ of U.S. adults on Facebook and 3.196 billion people using social media in general – that place is on the social networks.

That said, using social media to source candidates is no easy task, and – like with any recruitment strategy – it can be easy to get off course. That’s why we’re breaking down how to get it right and get started.

Why Social Media

First thing’s first: why social media. Unlike other recruitment channels, social media is:

Fast-paced and low-priced (or even free): you can reach passive candidates or qualified individuals that aren’t on your job board of choice by getting on their social media feed.

A great place to involve employees: Most people today don’t trust advertisements or “official” sources to tell the truth. Your company may say that they offer great benefits and an enviable work culture, but if people don’t hear it from real employees, they don’t believe what you have to say. Social media is a great place for your employees to break the ice and build that trust, giving users a “behind the scenes” look at your company or encouraging prospective new teammates to reach out with questions.

A place to connect with brand-loyal prospects: Have you ever been scrolling through your social media and seen a notification that your favorite magazine, clothing store, etc., is hiring? Even if you are totally unqualified for the position, you probably think Wow, it would be so cool to work there. Well, safe to say that you’re not alone. As a business, then, social media is the perfect place to connect with people that already love your brand and, hopefully, add these people to your team.
The perfect place to spot red flags: Do any of your potential candidates every weekend? Do they post comments that are unprofessional or unacceptable to your company culture and standards? While candidates can hide their more unsavory behavior on the regular job boards, it’s much more difficult for them to do so on social media – which makes it a great place for you to really see if prospective candidates are going to be a good fit for your business.

A great environment to attract passive talent: Research shows that classic ads on a job board or an organization’s website lead to a smaller candidate pool because they only attract active candidates. Social media, on the other hand, attracts everyone.

Overall, then, social media provides a unique and fruitful environment to source candidates and get your business on the right track.

But what social media channels should you use, and how can you best exploit each of them?

Which Social Media Channels Should You Use

On average, the typical internet user has 5 social media accounts – which means there’s a lot of places to get in front of the eyes of your potential candidates. That said, not all social channels are created equal, and they don’t all give you the same opportunity to connect with potential candidates.

Our frontrunners? LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

While LinkedIn has long been the go-to as “the professional social network,” – with 92% of recruiters claiming to have made at least one hire on the platform- all of these options have their pros and cons, and you should choose your network(s) based on your business, your goals, and the position available.

In general, here’s how to think about it:

LinkedIn: As a professional network, LinkedIn is the most obvious social network to find highly qualified active and passive job candidates, and it still works today. In fact, jobs posted on LinkedIn receive more views from potential candidates than those on Facebook and Twitter combined, and these posted jobs garner twice as many applications per job advertisement in general.

LinkedIn at a glance:

✔Content: thought leadership content (news, blogs, product information, testimonials).
✔Frequency: 2 posts/week
✔Audience: Both passive and active candidates
✔ Interesting features: Professional search – can put job postings, resumes.
✔ Downside: There are more recruiters than job searchers, meaning you may only be getting access to a small slice of the whole candidate pool.

Facebook: More job seekers are actually active on Facebook than LinkedIn. In fact, while LinkedIn has 94% of recruiters on the network, it only has 36% of job seekers – while, with Facebook, there are 65% of active recruiters and 85% of job seekers. That means that it’s a hugely untapped opportunity to find qualified talent.

Facebook at a glance:

✔Type of content: Engagement content (text, photos, videos, links)
✔Content frequency: Minimum 3x per week
✔Audience: Everyone
✔Interesting features: Reviews and Messenger, both of which lead to great engagement and user-generated content
✔ Downside: It can get costly

Twitter: A lot of recruiters today still don’t use Twitter today because they’re not sure how to incorporate it into their broader recruitment strategies. That said, Twitter is an immensely searchable social media platform, meaning that you can find qualified candidates by following hashtags, locations, or RSS feed. This can make it easier for you to pinpoint candidates and get your message out there to be found.

Twitter at a glance:

✔Type of content: Microblogging, limited characters, and videos/GIF, links to blogs, events
✔Content frequency: Daily or 2x/day
✔Audience: Everyone
✔Interesting features: Search functions
✔ Downside: A lot of noise and difficulty finding quality candidates

Instagram: This is the biggest wildcard on the list, and it isn’t typically a go-to platform for sourcing candidates. That said, with over 100 million new users year over year, it’s really a great place to sell your brand and make your company more personable, friendly, and engaged with potential candidates – all of which can help improve brand loyalty and make candidates pick you over the competition.

Instagram at a glance:

✔Type of content: Visual and video
✔Content frequency: Daily
✔Audience: Almost half of Instagram users are millennials, making it a powerful tool for companies that are recruiting that demographic.
✔Interesting features: Instagram Stories and Instagram Live lend themselves to behind-the-scenes, informal content and exciting offers or announcements.
✔ Downside: Not a direct recruiting tool

Overall, keep in mind that social media shouldn’t replace your other recruitment strategies, but instead supplement them and provide a parallel effort for finding passive or previously unreachable candidates (which are often the best matches).

So, now that you know the where, let’s dive into the how.

The How: Creating Your Social Media Recruitment Strategies

No matter what, it’s important to start by knowing who you’re talking to and what they want to see.

That means creating your candidate personas and optimizing your content, hashtags, and keywords to speak directly to those people. Now, this is a lot easier said than done and creating inaccurate personas can really take your social media presence off course and lead to low engagement and wasted efforts.

Step 1: Creating Effective Candidate Personas

Candidate personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal candidates. Their purpose? To help everyone on your team truly step into the shoes of the people that you’re speaking to so you can understand what makes them tick and why. This, in turn, will help you target your content and create engaging information that anticipates your candidates’ interests, concerns, deal-breakers, and excitement.

That said, most people create their personas by looking at themselves or simply guessing – and this doesn’t work. Instead, you have to conduct surveys, send out forms, do online research, or conduct direct interviews with the people that already work for your company (or even people that looked at your company but passed). What are you asking them? Well, their demographic, gender, and age group, of course, but that’s not the important part. You really have to go into the why and understand their:

Motivations: What are they looking for in a job? What are they trying to accomplish and what’s amazing to them?
Job hunting process: What kind of research do they typically do when job searching? What do they see that attracts them to a company or, conversely, totally turns them off?
Keywords: What keywords are they using during their search and why?
Priorities: Do they value a work-life balance? Do they want a place that will encourage personal growth?
Deciding factors: What are their deal-breakers or their all-in deciding factors?
Fears or perceived barriers: What is the holdup that is keeping them from following through with a specific company?

Once you create these personas, curate content specifically for each of them and don’t let yourself get off track.

Step 2: Choosing Your Platforms and Your Plan

Now, we already broke down the basics of each social media platform and the different things that each has to offer as part of your recruitment strategy. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be using all of them – you should choose which platform you utilize based on your company culture, your internal bandwidth, your candidate personas, and your biggest recruitment goals. A tech company with offline personas that was a big paycheck, for example, may be better off on LinkedIn than Instagram, while a fashion company with a hugely active fanbase may thrive in Instagram and Facebook’s interactive, visual environments. So, evaluate those for factors and choose accordingly.

Then, decide your content mix and your schedule.

Content Mix

Your content mix – aka the variety of content that you choose to post on each channel – depends on both your candidate personas and the social media platform that you choose, but it includes things like:

  • News/Customer/influencer features
  • Contests and giveaways
  • Questions and Answers
  • Job search posts
  • Inspiration
  • Education
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Community events
  • And more

And make no mistake, you do need to include all kinds of content, even if you’re just using the platform for recruitment purposes. Why? Candidates want to know what they’re signing up for, and they want to feel confident that a company has the values, education, knowledge, and perspective that they’re looking for. Which means they won’t be convinced if all they see are job search posts.


Lastly, define your schedule. While there are general guidelines regarding the frequency, time, and content of your posts, this will involve a certain degree of trial and error – you just have to see when your audience is active, engaged, and interacting with your posts. That said, the rule of thumb is:

Facebook: Minimum 3x per week
Twitter: Daily
LinkedIn: 2 posts/week
Instagram: Daily

Besides that, the key is consistency. People come to expect certain posts from your company, and consistently meeting those expectations and delivering high-quality, interesting content will develop your relationships and keep your audience coming back for more.

Get Started With Recruiterly

Recruiterly can help you quickly and easily create, streamline and automate your outreach for flawless social media execution using our social media scheduler and our marketing dashboard.

The Social Media Scheduler

With the Recruiterly social media scheduler, you can create and schedule content – including reviews, videos, blogs, images and quotes – that will be automatically shared across your connected social media profiles (that you choose), which can save you tons of time every week. Schedule however you want, and maintain complete control over the type of content, the day, and the time of your posts.

On top of that, the tool allows you to:

  • Build your social media brand
  • Build your online reputation
  • Create an SEO-optimized profile
  • Use ratings and reviews to improve your track record and increase the know, like, and trust factor with existing and new clients.

All of this can improve your track record and entice more clients to use you over competitors, particularly as your reputation improves.

Increasing your reach across your social channels is a sure-fire way of generating more leads for your business.

The Marketing Dashboard

Our marketing dashboard can simplify and streamline the whole analytics process so you know exactly how your content is performing and what to change.

Recruitment marketing analytics - Company profile views and analytics - recruiter marketing dashboard

Simply link your social media accounts to Recruiterly, and you’ll get a visual, comprehensive understanding of what’s what so you can monitor, analyze, and improve the traffic that you have coming in.

Here’s everything you’ll see on the dashboard:

Marketplace Analytics 

Coming soon the marketplace analytics will display your fee’s earned as well as your fee pipeline, latest marketplace news, and your lead summary data.

Recruiterly Score – This easy-to-understand, straightforward score helps you understand, at a glance, exactly which social channels are performing best for you, and which you could improve. A perfect Recruiterly Score means all 4 key areas are being consistently marketed and attracting traffic to your profile.

Recruitment marketing analytics - Recruiterly score

Review Summary and Rating Trends

Here you see your review and rating breakdown, showing your overall score as well as your volume of reviews per star rating and the distribution of reviews between employers and candidates.
Snapshot trending graph so you can see how your rating score over time.

Recruitment marketing analytics - Ratings and Reviews

Profile Views and Source of Traffic

Understanding where your traffic comes from is one of the most valuable metrics, as you can see which channel is performing and which are lagging. That way, you can double down on what’s working and improve what’s not. Your profile views are a direct result of the activity on your Recruiterly profile. More activity = more visits = more leads. Simple.

Recruitment marketing analytics - profile views and traffic source

Live activity feed – This feed shows you live profile activity including who has visited your profile and when, new reviews, new followers, comments and so on.

Scheduled Social Posts and Job Postings

This is a snapshot of your posts that are being scheduled, so you an stay on top of your consistency and your timing.

Recruitment marketing analytics - recruitment scheduler

Company Analytics

Company analytics are a snapshot of how well your entire recruitment company is performing. We aggregate data from all recruiters within your company to display this data.

Recruitment marketing analytics - Company profile views and analytics

Use these tools to get your social media efforts on the right track – minimal extra effort and no confusion.

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