A full 94 percent of professional recruiters network on social media, and use it to post jobs to an extensive community. Is this a useful strategy?

We talk a lot about recruiting because we know it continues to be a challenge in every industry. According to Better Team, it takes an average of 27 days to fill an open position. That basically means your team might be drowning for nearly a month trying to fill a gap. We also know, however, that the hiring process is definitely not something you should rush. So, we're committed to providing tips that make the process smoother and more successful. We talked about elements like workplace flexibility and office space play into your recruiting. Now, let's talk about social media.

Social Media and Recruiting: An Introduction

A full 94 percent of professional recruiters network on social media, and use it to post jobs to an extensive community. Meanwhile, 59 percent of employees say a company’s social media presence was part of the reason they chose their workplace.

This means your social media recruiting strategy will work two ways. First, it's a way for you to broadcast your open positions to a large, relevant audience. Second, it's a way for you to develop your company's reputation.

According to Statista, about 58.6 percent of American consumers interact with brands on social media about one to three times per day. In our own independent study, we found that one of the first things a consumer will do after being introduced to your brand or company is to "Google" you. The next thing they will do is check your social media accounts. What is the best thing they can find there? We found a real life example.

Can Social Media Help You Recruit?: The ROCA Solutions Example

To get an employer's perspective, we spoke to Marc Gracie of ROCA Solutions. Not only does he recruit successfully in an increasingly sparse market, he recruits to the collections industry.

"[Collections] is a tough job," Marc said. "With my social media use, I want to make it clear that what's really important to me is that people enjoy coming to work."

Marc's Facebook page is overflowing with motivational quotes, memes, questions for consumers and collectors, and posts celebrating the individual successes of his employees. 

"Visitors can see people are here to help them, people are hustling, and that it's different here," said Marc. "You can enjoy your job, it's okay to enjoy collections."

Marc partially credits his social media presence to his high retention and low turnover rates. It's not just a way for your to recruit, but a way for you to showcase your culture to potential candidates as well.

Can Social Media Help You Recruit?: Weeding Out the Right (And Wrong) Candidates

According to Forbes, social media is not just a way to get the word out about your open positions. It is also an excellent way to recognize if a candidate will be a good fit for your culture.

"Someone who is passionately plugged-in (on social media) can bring that curiosity and drive to their work. And, on the other hand, for those who display highly negative or concerning behavior on social media, you should be mindful of how they would fit in with your culture," says Kelly Ehlers.

So, what should you be looking for? What should signal alarm bells? Alternatively, what should signal a candidate is highly "recruitable?"

Nowadays, candidates know that their social media accounts are being checked up on by employers, especially during the recruitment process. As Ehlers says:

"Common sense keeps most candidates from posting questionable content on their public profiles, but that’s just the basics."

She recommends observing their activity. Are they interacting with content from thought leaders? Do they update their LinkedIn profile with recommendations, endorsements and relevant industry articles? Can they curate their own voice creatively and intentionally?

"In many cases, personal profiles show a distinct voice, visual identity or overall brand. A sense of awareness is a sign of emotional intelligence, which is on every recruiter’s radar," says Ehler.

Conclusion: 3 Ways to Start Using Social Media to Recruit

1. Research, research, research

The most important thing to grasp before you start tweeting, liking, sharing and double-tapping is that not all social media platforms are created equal. You will need to adjust your tone, message and content for each one.

Instagram is a great place to demonstrate a fun and welcoming culture, while LinkedIn is a place to demonstrate industry leadership and professionalism. Some brands use twitter as a way to showcase their "relevance", which can sometimes backfire.

Make sure you are creating content appropriate for each outlet.

2. Engage Your Employees

Encourage your employees to curate their own social media presence, if they wish, to fit with your company's culture.

A great place to start is with their LinkedIn profiles. Suggest they share internal links to your website, fun facts about their job, and recommend and endorse each other.

Wherever and however you can, use your platform to celebrate your employees. When candidates come across your company's account, it will speak volumes.

3. Engage Real People

The best way to gain a "following" on social media is to engage. There is no secret formula other than genuine engagement.

It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of research. But social media is not going away. It will only become more and more important to your company's reputation. And a simple way to become an industry thought leader is to not only develop your pages, but to interact with other thought leaders.

  • Research who is starting valuable conversations and sharing valuable content
  • Don't just comment a cute emoji or insincere pat on the back. Instead, offer thoughtful feedback or say exactly why their content resonated with you.

Can You Use Social Media to Recruit?

We say yes, you can. It will take a lot of investment and patience. It will take a lot of research. If you see social media as irrelevant or "trendy", soon to blow over, it might be time to reevaluate your stance and jump in. You might be surprised the talent you attract and the retention you see.