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Social Media and #Recruiting: A Good Match?

Does Social Media Recruiting Work?

social media job recruitmentIf you have been trying to hire employees, chances are that you have at least considered using social media to find the right candidates. There is ample proof that social media can help fill jobs; but it depends on what kind of job you are trying to hire for. Step one is to be very clear on what exactly you are looking for.

The Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey provides a comprehensive overview of the social media recruiting market. It states that:

  • Over 90% of employers will use social recruiting in 2012
  • 2/3 of Companies now recruit via Facebook; over half use Twitter and almost all use LinkedIn
  • 43 % of respondents felt that the quality of applicants has improved thanks to social media
  • 20 % said it takes less time to hire when using social recruiting

Social media works better for recruiting active than passive talent

It seems relatively straightforward to recruit active employees via social media, i.e. people who are actively searching for a new role. Brands like Taco Bell and UPS have created Pinterest boards, Twitter handles and Facebook pages, dedicated exclusively to this purpose.

Active recruiting can be earned or paid, e.g. earned would be engaging with prospects in a LinkedIn group while paid could mean placing an ad or posting a job on LinkedIn ($395 for 30 days).

But this approach might not work if you are looking for a highly qualified superstar -- somebody who is currently employed and might not even be thinking about making a move. In this case, posting your job on LinkedIn or Twitter is unlikely to have much impact.

Combine social and traditional for passive recruiting

Jim Coughlin, Executive Recruiter at Dynamic Office & Accounting Solutions says that for passive talent, a social media strategy alone might not work, especially if your business is not a well-known brand. Ask yourself: Why would somebody who is in high-demand leave their current job to join your company?

The Jobvite report confirms that: “Recruiting passive candidates is the most popular tactic in competitive recruiting.” One way to do that is with LinkedIn Recruiter, one of LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions. It lets you search all of LinkedIn by skills, (current and previous) employers and many more criteria. And the way a LinkedIn profile is written can, in itself, give a strong first impression of a person.

Do they seem like a team player or take sole credit for all their successes? You can then contact targets via LinkedIn InMails, which is where the skill of the recruiter comes in. You’ll either need a qualified in-house resource or outsource the process, as talking somebody out of a job and into a new job is neither quick nor easy. Passive recruiting also requires that you position your company as a great place to work – social media is suitable for this end.

Make sure you make your recruiting efforts an extension of your brand., i.e. portray an accurate image of your company so that people know if they will fit into your corporate culture. One way to do this inexpensively is by letting your employees create short videos and blogs about why they enjoy working at your company. Maybe you allow moms to be flexible and telecommute or you encourage ongoing education. Advertise it.

The Job Seeker’s View

Jobvite also released a report on the social job seeker, outlining the ways people looked for and found jobs via social channels in 2012. Excerpts:

  • 88% of all job seekers have at least one social networking profile; 64% have two profiles and 44% have three
  • 75% of the American workforce is comprised of job seekers
  • 69% of employed Americans are actively seeking or open to a new job

Don’t forget about referrals

Whether one of your employees refers an acquaintance or you hear about a job opening via a friend, referrals have the highest probably to result in a mutual fit. The Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey confirms that “the highest rated candidates come from referrals, direct sourcing and internal transfers.”

So, whether you have an official referral program or not, encourage your (happy) employees to promote your job openings on their own social media channels, and in-person.

Join The Conversation

  • Sep 23 Posted 3 years ago Caroline Bergaud

    @Selina Kerley - I agree with you that the ultimate approach in social media recruiting is to actually turn your employees into social headhunters and I see that this is what your company softgarden is doing. We are doing this too at our start-up MyJobCompany but we believe that this will only work if you make this part of a wider employee engagement strategy. It should be clear for employees upfront what's in in for them in doing this. Otherwise, I'm afraid the impact of such an approach will not yield the expected results :\

  • Aug 22 Posted 3 years ago Selina Kerley (not verified)

    I think whichever way you look at it, social recruiting can't be ignored for companies who want to gain the competitive edge in today's competitive job market. Least of all, a positive employer presence on say, Twitter or Facebook, can do wonders for employer branding - even if a company isn't hiring they can already begin to appeal to potential future employees via social media. For me however, the best part of social recruiting is that existing employees can actually do all of the legwork for the company, simply by spreading the word via their own social channels - it saves time, money and is a great way to recruit like minded people.

    This recent article explains a social recruiting a little more in depth -

  • Aug 14 Posted 3 years ago Pilar Torres W

    We recently did an interview about this subject.

    Katrina shares with us some great tips on how she uses social media to recruit the best people & also how anyone can use social media to find a better job.

    Hope you guys find it useful

    You can view it at

  •'s picture
    Mar 29 Posted 4 years ago iambarrywark@gm...

    Social media has made more easier for the companies to choose prospective employees from a list on their database. ---Unittus

  • Mar 28 Posted 4 years ago ramya divya (not verified)

    Social media has changed the way of hiring process for both employers and job seekers. I came across a whitepaper on this very topic "Utilizing Microsoft Dynamics AX to enhance your image to external candidates" it offers good information, readers will find it very useful @

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