February 12, 2024

Social Recruiting: Everything You Need to Know

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Tags: HR Recruiting

Key takeaways

  • Social recruiting is a strategy that leverages social media to promote your job openings and find qualified candidates.
  • Talent acquisition and social media teams need to collaborate to create the most powerful social media recruiting strategy.
  • Certain tactics, such as asking employees to reshare job openings and leveraging ATS software, will make your social media recruiting more effective.

Feb. 12, 2024: Jessica Dennis added a video overview to the article.

Aug. 8, 2023: We revised the copy to provide a broader overview of social media recruiting with updated examples. We also added dynamic page elements to improve page navigation.

Ready to start recruiting on social media? Browse our Recruiting Software Guide for solutions that can help. You can also check out our video overview below.

What is social recruiting?

Social recruiting is a talent acquisition strategy that involves using social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to attract, engage, and hire employees. HR professionals can leverage social recruiting to showcase their employer brand, widen the candidate pool for niche jobs, and engage with prospective applicants through less formal channels.

For example, our recruiting team created the post below to promote an open systems administrator role on LinkedIn:

Source: TechnologyAdvice via LinkedIn

How effective is social recruiting?

Social media recruiting is a creative way to find and hire employees and offers a number of benefits to employers looking to hire the ideal candidate. For starters, it helps your recruiters meet prospective candidates where they are; 86% of job seekers use social media to search for relevant jobs, and nearly 40 million people search LinkedIn for jobs each week.

Having a social media presence also increases brand awareness overall and helps candidates understand what your company culture is like, which may motivate them to apply for job openings. By helping you get more applications, social recruiting increases the job candidate pool, which increases the odds of hiring more qualified candidates. It also decreases cost per hire since many social media posts are free or low-cost.

Social media recruiting also helps your recruiters reach passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for jobs or checking job boards but are scrolling through social media. A whopping 37% of workers are passively looking for jobs, which means that there is a significant minority of the workforce that are open to switching jobs even though they aren’t actively looking.

Not only are active and passive job seekers already looking for roles online, but your competitors are also almost certainly using social media recruiting tactics as well: 92% of employers use social and professional networks to recruit talent.

If you’re wondering why your competitors are hiring candidates faster than you are, social recruiting might be the answer.

Social media recruiting tactics

Here are 10 social media recruitment tactics that every hiring manager should know to help their recruiters find qualified job applicants:

  1. Create a social media strategy
  2. Consider your demographics
  3. Tailor the message to each social media platform
  4. Choose an ATS that lets you post directly to social
  5. Showcase your employer brand
  6. Use hashtags and groups to find niche communities
  7. Invest in paid ads to further boost your reach
  8. Ask your employees to share posts
  9. Set goals and track KPIs
  10. Carefully consider new platforms before jumping in

1. Create a social media strategy

Just like any other recruitment strategy, your recruiters should have an overarching plan when it comes to social recruiting and finding new talent. This social recruiting strategy will be more effective than firing off one-off posts at random whenever you have a job opening for a candidate.

Social media recruiting should also be integrated into your social marketing strategies so you don’t flood potential employees with too many posts, so make sure that your recruiting team and social media team are collaborating with one another.

2. Consider your demographics

Audiences vary from one social network to the next, so choosing the right platforms will help your talent recruiters connect with more job candidates, including passive candidates. Consider what demographics you are trying to reach and prioritize the social media platforms they tend to use instead of using only LinkedIn.

For instance, Facebook is better for reaching more mature mid-career workers, while TikTok is better for connecting with Gen Z recent grads looking for internships or entry-level roles.

3. Tailor the message to each social media platform

Different platforms have different best practices, word count limits, hashtags, and so on. Simply cross-posting a tweet to LinkedIn won’t get as much engagement as a message written specifically for LinkedIn.

To get the best results out of social recruitment marketing, your recruiters should tailor each post to the social platform in question. Social media software can help with editing the messages and scheduling them in advance to speed up the recruitment and hiring process.

4. Choose an ATS that lets you post directly to social

Speaking of social media software, some recruitment software and applicant tracking systems (ATS) such as Greenhouse let your talent acquisition team post jobs directly to social media.

The recruitment software then takes any applications you receive and puts them right in the ATS, which keeps everything centralized in a single system. If you’re currently in the process of looking for a new ATS, double-check whether or not your top choices have these social media capabilities.

Greenhouse displays integration options to share job openings on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Greenhouse lets recruiters, hiring managers, and employees share jobs directly on Twitter and LinkedIn. Source: Greenhouse

5. Showcase your employer brand

You shouldn’t use social media only as a job board to build your social media recruiting presence. Each social media profile should have a mix of content that will showcase your employer brand and keep potential employees interested even if they aren’t looking for job posts.

Work with your social media team to craft a social media presence that has both breadth and depth and demonstrates why job seekers should want to work at your company. Also be sure to interact with followers such as responding to comments, which will boost engagement and help all of your posts get seen by more people.

For instance, Northrop Grumman decided to make their employer brand seem more approachable with a new campaign featuring “Overheard at Grumman” videos. Over the first year of the campaign, impressions across social channels totaled around 50 million, with video plays alone totaling about 43 million. Compared to other media running the previous year, these videos performed at least twice as well across every social network, and the cost-per-impression decreased from $4.23 to $2.88.

6. Use hashtags and groups to find niche communities

Social media can sometimes feel like shouting into the void, which is why your recruiters need to find talent subcommunities by using hashtags and posting directly to interest groups.

This social recruitment strategy will help your job postings find relevant potential employees and vice versa, increasing the quality of your social media job applicants. Your recruiters can also create a custom hashtag to gather all employment content in one place.

7. Invest in paid ads to further boost your reach

If your talent recruiters have the budget, paying to sponsor social media posts can significantly boost your engagement and increase brand awareness. Boosting a job ad requires extra spending but can markedly increase the talent pool of suitable candidates who see and apply to your job postings.

If you feel like not enough people are seeing your social recruiting posts, your recruiters might want to experiment with paying for posts to see if that makes a difference.

8. Ask your employees to share posts

Beyond just posting to your social media profiles or paying for ads, recruiters should also ask each employee to reshare posts about job openings, or even to post links to applications directly from their own accounts. Social media recruitment will mean more to their connections if they see the post coming directly from someone they know.

Each employee will also have connections that don’t follow your company pages, further expanding the reach of your job posting and attracting more passive candidates. This can be incorporated into a more formal employee referral plan to supercharge your social recruiting efforts.

Fiverr was a 2023 Webby honoree and a Shorty Award winner for its MyNewTitle social media campaign, which asks all its employees to change their job titles to something more personal and fun and post it as a job update. Visits to Fiverr’s career page increased by 91.84%, and Fiverr Recruitment saw a 43% increase in the number of applications received compared to the same period the previous year (January 25th to February 24th).

A data analyst job opening is advertised as the "Head of Saying What Everyone Else is Thinking" on LinkedIn.
Source: Shorty Awards

9. Set goals and track KPIs

Measuring campaign performance is a must for social recruiting. By tracking KPIs, your talent acquisition team will discover if your social recruiting is effective and what areas could use improvement. ATS software should include this kind of social recruitment reporting and analytics as part of its core platform.

10. Carefully consider emerging platforms before jumping in

Some trendy social media networks, such as TikTok, prove to have staying power, while others flame out quickly. (Remember Clubhouse? Neither do we.)

You might want to grab your company’s profile handle right away so no one else can take it. However, it’s worth waiting a month or two to see whether the platform you’re considering actually gains traction or fizzles out before making it an integral part of your social recruiting strategy.

Start recruiting on social with the right software

Ready to take your social media recruitment strategy to the next level? Check our guides for the best applicant tracking systems and the best social media marketing software to upgrade your tech stack and improve your recruiting results.

Kara Sherrer Avatar

About the author

Featured ATS partners

1 Pinpoint ATS

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Pinpoint is the fast, flexible Applicant Tracking System designed for in-house talent acquisition and HR teams. Pinpoint helps you attract, hire, and onboard more of the best people while reducing recruitment costs and automating your admin. Our intuitive software and unlimited help from our award-winning customer success team means you’ll attract the right candidates, select the best, and wow your new hires from the moment they say ‘yes’.

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2 ClearCompany

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Create best-in-class candidate experiences and efficient recruiting processes for hiring success. ClearCompany helps your company find and hire more top talent with modern text, video, and interview scheduling tools. ClearCompany incorporates your job-specific requirements to optimize requisitions, elevate interview conversations, evaluate candidates fairly, and hire top talent aligned with your company's culture and mission.

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3 Breezy HR

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Breezy HR is a modern recruiting and applicant tracking tool to simplify your hiring process. From advertising jobs to making offers, get everything you need to attract and hire the best employees, faster.

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