How to (and how not to) use social media for recruitment

How (and how not) to recruit someone using social media

You’ve probably heard stories about the latest trendy businesses that do all their recruitment via social media. They attract grads and fill new positions by luring them in through Instagram or Pintrest or Facebook or Twitter.

Well, guess what? There’s no reason that trendy business couldn’t be you too. You just need to go about it the right way.

And, if you do, the rewards could be plenty: a database of quality, enthusiastic brand ambassadors kicking down your virtual door for the chance to work for you.

The benefits of hiring employees through social media

Let’s face it, people are only going to follow you on social media if they’re interested in your business. That’s part of the reason it can be such a fertile recruiting ground.

The people who follow you on social media often know your brand’s story and personality better than you do.

If they don’t, they should - so make it your mission to develop a strong employer brand. Let them know through your content and posts what makes you stand out and attracts the right candidates.

You can also use social media to drive traffic your website, creating a funnel of eager supporters who you can convert into employees.

How to hire people via social media

There’s little point trying to recruit via social media without a website that supports the process. Ideally you want to have a dynamic careers website or at least a kick-ass careers section on your broader site.

Once you’ve got this, start populating it with content. Don’t take a top-down approach. Empower your workers to be content producers. After all, when it comes to attracting like-minded people, every nugget they come up with is worth ten times something that’s produced from on high. There’s nothing like hearing from your peers.

Doing this properly can start converting passive candidates into active ones. In other words, the people who aren’t actively on the market looking for jobs but have the skills and attitude you want.

If you’re posting content that speaks to these guys, showing exactly why they should be working with you, you have the chance to coax them away from their current roles.

Which social media platform should you use to recruit?

Once you’ve got your website working for you, you’re ready to start combining it with social media. But, when it comes to recruitment, not all platforms are created equal, different platforms do different things well.

So which social media platforms for what?

Twitter. Use Twitter to post jobs and events and to alert people to new blog posts. Twitter’s a platform that requires a lot of active participation if you want to use it well. But by using hashtags and connecting with the right influencers you can take a few shortcuts.

Facebook. Use your facebook page to focus on potential candidates. You can use it to access passive candidates by sharing knowledge, building a relationship and keeping people informed. Give them a look ‘behind the scenes’ about what goes on in your business so they get a picture of your culture.

LinkedIn. This should be used to source experienced candidates. Your recruitment team can search for professionals by looking at their network and recommendations. You can also posts vacancies on your company page or in specific targeted groups – encourage your people to like and share. Quality content in the form of thought leadership and other pieces can also help to play its part on attract a loyal following.

YouTube. YouTube is gaining favour as a way to communicate employee testimonials and these videos. By embedding your YouTube feed on your career website, you can also get your site and social media functioning as one.

Instagram. Depending on your industry, Instagram can be an excellent way to attract staff. For instance, The Little Posy Co, which has built up a loyal flower-loving Insta following uses instagram almost exclusively to advertise new and upcoming roles. Instagram can be a great source for quality and engaged employees in the creative fields, hospitality and retail too.

The traps of recruiting via social media

If you want to capitalise on the enormous upside of hiring via social media, you will need to avoid the common traps. 

For starters, you should always see social media as an ‘add on’ to your existing recruitment methods, not a replacement. There will always be a role for internal referrals, a good recruiter and job boards (even if LinkedIn crosses the divide between job board and social media).

As I mentioned at the start, you also need to be both strategic and active. Social media won’t work if you do nothing on your account for months and then suddenly start posting jobs. Work out the kinds of followers - and potential employees you want - and start creating content that delights them.

Then you’ll have an army of potential employees champing at the bit to work for you when it does come time to post a job ad. 

Finally, remember your legal obligations around privacy, discrimination and other areas. Make sure you have a social media policy for your accounts and that anyone who’s posting to them knows what they can and can’t do or say.



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