Do you want to hire employees from the comfort of your office? If YES, here is a detailed guide to using social media like FaceBook, Twitter, Linkedin to recruit employees.

Social media is the hub where people hang out online to express ideas and interact with each other, and employers sometimes use this media to look out for employees.

According to a data that was gathered by GlobalWebIndex, on the average, internet users have up to 5 social media accounts. People make use of these platforms to connect with friends and family, share their thoughts and get to meet and interact with people who share common interests with them. These days, social media stands in the center of online interactions.

Websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter et al. provide a platform by which recruiters can connect with potential employees – a lot of whom they would have never been able to come across using the traditional methods. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter alone have over 500 million combined users. This translates into a large pool of candidates for your company.

A Detailed Guide to Using Social Media to Recruit Employees

As a recruiter,  you want to be where the most qualified, talented, and largest pool of applicants are, and as such you can leverage on social media to tap into potential recruits. This type of head hunting is called social recruiting. Here is a brief overview of the major social networking websites that can be very useful to recruiters.

  • LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from all over the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that you need to work with to accomplish your goals, according to the official LinkedIn website.

In other words, LinkedIn is basically a large job board where you can connect with professionals from various disciplines. This website boasts of over 65 million professionals from almost every field you can think of.

  • Facebook

Facebook is the largest social networking website in the word with over 400 million users. Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study, and live around them. It is intended to connect friends, family, and business associates. The model has expanded to include connections to organizations, businesses, and interests — not just individual people.

  • Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging social networking service. On this platform, messages are known as tweets and they cannot be more than 140 characters. According to their website, “Twitter is a simple tool that helps connect businesses more meaningfully with the right audience at the right time.”

Advantages of Using Social Media in Your Recruitment Strategy

Here are some advantages of making use of social media in your recruitment advertising strategy.

  • You can reach those passive candidates: relegating your job postings to a job board can be quite limiting in the sense that you will only be able to reach those that are actively searching for new employment. However, with social media, you can tap into the sought-after pool of potential candidates who aren’t actively seeking a new role but would be open to change if the right opportunity came along.

This is particularly important when recruiting for niche roles such as Developers, where there’s a national skills shortage and candidates are more likely to be snapped up quicker.

  • It’s a great way of showcasing your company culture: website and career sites are ideal places to showcase your values as an employer. However, not so many companies take to their Twitter feed and LinkedIn company page to share photos of their team, update their followers with news and communicate their latest vacancies.

When you share this kind of content on your social media accounts, it will reach people who are already following your company. And what better people to come and work for you than existing advocates of your brand?

  • It allows you to target your vacancies more: social media has made it possible to target the perfect candidates for a post so as to get the best results. For instance, if you’re recruiting for a particular job sector, try sharing your vacancies within LinkedIn Groups.

There are thousands of professional groups for Engineers, Finance professionals, HR workers…any job sector you can think of. However, be careful not to spam the group; just remember, you want to attract these potential candidates, not annoy them.

  • It’s free to use: granted, there are still features that are available on social media for a fee, but this is purely optional. Most of the features are available for no price at all. Paid advertising, such as LinkedIn Job Posts and Job Slots come at a price, as will a Recruiter License. However, it costs nothing to share your vacancies on your LinkedIn company page or on Twitter or Facebook.
  • Screen your candidates: social media is not just used for advertising job openings, it can also be used to screen candidates. For instance, when you assess a candidate’s application, you can review their skills, previous experience and personal qualities. However, you can’t check for alignment with your company culture and values. This is where the social media check comes in.

Of course you need to pay caution to reviewing someone’s social media profiles without their consent; however, more and more candidates are including links to their LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter pages within their CVs. Viewing these profiles will provide you with a glimpse into their hobbies, interests and what kind of information they’re posting, as well as what content they’re engaging with.

  • See talent and passion firsthand: Many people use social media to make it known they love their career. You can find passionate people and learn what amazing work they’ve done and creative ideas they have.
  • Get resume details without a resume: On LinkedIn, and to some extent Facebook, you can view a person’s complete work and education history. You’ll know if a candidate has experience for the role before you reach out to them.
  • Filter out bad candidates: some people are quite unruly on social media and to an extent you can determine if a person has a bad attitude by seeing what they do and share online.

Using LinkedIn as a Recruiting Tool

Basically, to make use of LinkedIn, all you have to do is to post jobs you have available and search for candidates. With just $195, you can post a job for a period of up to 30 days. Or you can buy job credits and pay less per job posting.

You can also take advantage of LinkedIn Talent Advantage which is an exclusive suite of tools for recruiters. Even if you do not have the wherewithal to pay for job postings or join the talent advantage, you can always make use of the free resources in LinkedIn.

You can start off by creating, nurturing and building connections to people you already know first. This can be your co-workers, clients, local entrepreneurs and even friends and family members. These people can be connected to other people who can make for the ideal candidates that you need.

It is also advisable to join groups where you potential candidates may be members of. For instance, if you are searching for marketers, you can find a group that is affiliated to marketing on LinkedIn. As soon as you join those groups that are relevant to your area of interest, you should try to begin discussion with people in the group.

If you notice people who are active in the group, always ask questions and answer others questions, those might be the people you hone in on for job opportunities.

A free of charge method to show the world that you are hiring on LinkedIn is to post it in you status box, (also known as network activity box). You can post something like “Looking for a marketer. If you know someone, maybe even you. Contact me.”

When you find someone whom you think may be a good fit for the position you have available, the next thing you should do is to appraise their LinkedIn profile. Is the persons profile complete including a picture of themselves? Do they have recommendations from peers, managers and colleagues?

Are they a member of groups relevant to their field? Do you have any 2nd or 3rd degree connections to the person to get a more personal referral? You should use the persons profile to get to know the person better before you invite them over for an interview.

The reason LinkedIn is such a great tool for recruiters is that it gives you access to a candidate’s employment history before you receive their CV. You can choose who to ask for their CV to avoid wasting time with people who do not fulfill all the requirements.

Start by entering the role you’re hiring for (e.g., UX designer, business analyst, etc.) in the search field and have a look at the profiles your search delivers. You can then see who has potential and contact them directly to ask them if they’d be interested in the position. As a small or large business owner, you can easily leverage LinkedIn to find talent.

Using Facebook as a recruiting tool

Due to the large number of people that are registered and active on Facebook, this platform provides an easy and affordable ways to increase your applicant pool. For starters, you can make use of the Facebook Directory to search for users, pages, groups and applications.

If you want to get the word of an open position out on Facebook, you can either make use of the free feature or pay for it. You can post a job for free in the Facebook Marketplace. The ad requires basic information such as location, job category, subcategory, title, why you need to fill this position, description and if you want to post your photo with the job posting or another image.

The downside of making use of a free job posting on Facebook is that you will not be able to target a specific group of people like you would be able to do using a Facebook Ad.

Facebook Pages are another free resource within Facebook. A Facebook Page is basically a public profile that enables you to share your business and products with Facebook users. If you do not have a Facebook page of you own, then you can search for other Facebook pages that are related to your area of interest to find people both active and interested in your field and or that would be interested in your available position.

On the other hand, if your company should have a Facebook page of their own, you can easily use it as a recruiting tool.

You have to make sure that the information that is available on your Facebook page is accurate and up to date. You can also post job openings for your fans to see. These people are passionate about your company and can be just as passionate about working for your company.

If you are not getting satisfactory results from unpaid searched, you can then make use of a Facebook Ad. Facebook ads stand tall amongst Google Ad word and Yahoo! Advertising in the sense that it has a better targeting ability. With the aid of Facebook Ad, you can choose the exact demographics of people you want to receive your adverts.

The system will ask a series of questions about the characteristics of the people you want to see your job posting Ad. You will be asked about the group’s age, sex and specific keywords related to the position. Facebook will then calculate how many users fit that criteria.

You have the choice to pay per click (how many people clicked on your job ad), pay per impression (how many people potentially saw your ad) and set how much you are willing to pay. You can decide whether to run the job ad continuously or only during a certain time.

For instance, if your business is located in Illinois and you do not have a budget for relocation for that particular job position, you can easily target the ad so that only potential candidates in Illinois and other nearby states can see it. If the position is an entry-level position you can target the job posting to a younger age demographic. Normally, targeting a specific gender for a particular job is a violation of EEOC, yet a Facebook Ad provides a safe loophole by which you can bypass this.

Because if you know a woman or man would be better suited for your position, you can target your job posting to only be seen by women or men. Facebook Ads are extremely customizable and can be made to suit almost any parameter you have in mind. However, you should be careful to not make the criteria too specific or you may not get the applicants you want.

Using Twitter as a recruiting tool

For recruiters who want to have an edge over their competitors, twitter can be a powerful tool for them. Basically, all you need to do is to post a tweet about any available job position. For instance, you can tweet something like “Looking for a customer care rep in Arizona, very competitive salary, apply at (include a shortened url).”

If your company has already has a Twitter account but does not have a lot of followers you can expand your network and build relationships with clients and job candidates on Twitter. Run a quick search on Twitter (search.twitter.com) for anybody discussing a specific keyword and you can get hundreds of contacts. You can search for people you know, by location, by industry or interest, by hashtag, by popularity, by time and more.

Since you are making use of twitter, it is advisable to make use of the hashtag (#) so as to make you post unique. Hashtags are used as a way to filter and find information on Twitter. All you have to do is include the hashtag with a keyword in your tweet and it becomes instantly searchable. You can add hashtags like #job, #employement, #staffing, #ITjob, #employment, #hiringnow #jobs #cityjobs #marketingjobs et al. to your post. You can use multiple hashtags as long as it does not exceed the stipulated character limit.

There are some companies such as AdLogic which specialize in helping business to target a particular twitter audience. AdLogic lets clients create custom job feeds and corresponding specialized Twitter profiles for each area that they recruit for.

Your company’s twitter account is also a very useful opportunity to inform hires about your company. The tweets you make in your account say a lot about your company and what topics are important to your company.

When you find someone who you may be interested to recruit on twitter, it is now up to you as the recruiter to access their activity on the platform, to find out how often the post tweet, if they have a healthy balance of following and followers, how big is their network and the quality of their tweets.

You should also try to find out if they keep a balance between personal and professional tweets? Do they only post updates or do they respond to others and retweet others fully utilizing what Twitter is about?

20 Tips on How to Use Social Media to Recruit Employees Like a Pro

Here are some tips that you should keep in mind if you want to recruit employees through social media

 1. Create a Full Blown Marketing Strategy: due to the fact that millennials are a lot more demanding in their expectations of the workplace, companies now need to boost their employer brand to become employers of choice. Usually, this can involve offering incentives, but the first step is to make the company more visible.

2. Treat Different Social Platforms as Different Mediums: most people share the same content on all social media platforms without realizing that this is a mistake. The various social media platforms are not the same and as such should not be treated as if they are.

For instance, Twitter’s limited character number means that posts should be in the form of quick updates, this makes it ideal for sharing news and events. Facebook, on the other hand, is perfect for approaching jobseekers as it’s more personal and less intimidating than other networks. LinkedIn can be used to contact experienced professionals as it’s generally used by people who are interested in their careers and are eager to make connections.

3. Targeted ads: one of the unique selling points of social media is that it offers you tools that you can use to fine tune the recruitment process and make it as precise as possible. You can target your ads and make sure that the people who see them are as relevant as possible. Targeting ads can help to save you time that you could have wasted in reviewing irrelevant Cv’s and also help you spot candidates that are right for each role much more easily.

4. Don’t overlook the niche networks: Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn are social media giants but you can find specific candidates by perusing niche networks and forums. For instance, developers are sharing knowledge on GitHub and StackOverflow. Marketers are bouncing ideas off each other on Moz and Warrior Forum.

5. Involve every employee: You likely have some social media power users in your workplace. Encourage your entire staff to share openings and, in general, be an evangelist for your brand on social media. Some companies have strict social media rules but allowing your employees to talk about their work experiences in a responsible manner can pique the curiosity of a potential candidate.

6. Create a Presence across Numerous Platforms: some recruiters believe that all they need to do is to put all their focus on one social media platform to get the best results. For example, some believe that a presence on LinkedIn is all they need as it’s a dedicated medium for business. But, millennials are interested in learning a lot about companies, and this is why a presence across many social mediums can strengthen the company’s visibility.

Granted, being active on the various social media platforms can be quite time consuming and unless you have a dedicated person on your team to manage these accounts, there’s a good chance your strategy might not succeed. You should try to focus more on the main social platforms (which should include LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter) and then sparingly update your other social media accounts (e.g. Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat).

7. Get Current Employees to help in the Recruitment Process: Getting employees involved in your social media efforts can help boost the brand and create a positive vibe about the company. Post employee videos on YouTube and have potential candidates understand what a normal day in the office is like. Why not ask a few employees to document their day and upload it to the company’s YouTube channel as a series?

8. Update the Company’s LinkedIn Page: a lot of jobseekers search for available vacancies on LinkedIn. You can encourage these candidates to send their CVs across to you by simply editing the 200 first characters of the description and add a ‘We’re hiring’ sign at the beginning to encourage people to find out more about opportunities within the company.

9. Use Social Software to Monitor Social Media: As anyone in marketing would tell you, unless you monitor your campaigns you can’t really gain insight or improve them. To make sure that your social media recruitment campaign is reaching its full potential you need to keep track of shares, mentions et al.

10. Feature Employee Tweets on the Company Website: for instance, if your company offers free refreshment to employees on Fridays and this is something that makes people excited enough to tweet about it, why not use it on the company’s website to help boost the corporate culture?

You can ask employees if they’d be interested in contributing their tweets to the website and ask the IT team to embed those tweets on the website. Make sure that these tweets get updated as often as possible because out of date posts create a sense of abandonment.

11. Build a Snapchat Profile: Snapchat is one of the social media platforms that is quite popular among young millennials and if they candidates you want to hire for a particular position fall into this category, then, you can make use of this platform. Get employees to Snapchat through the company’s account as often as possible and make sure that you invest some time following other accounts to get followed back.

12. Use Social Media to Share Company’s Brand: Social media should support your branding strategies and this means that you need to be able to convey the company’s values and mission through the profiles.

13. Keep an Eye on Your Competition: you should know what your competitors are doing and also ensure that your employers brand can compete with other businesses in the industry. Monitor their channels and ensure that your profiles are as good, if not better than the competitions.

14. Create a Content Plan: a very structured content plan can help you to identify goals and make your posts more consistent and substantial across all your channels. You can make use of tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to help you plan ahead what you want to share and you can also break down your goals into weekly targets. For instance, you can have one week where the focus is on corporate culture; another could be to show the company’s excellence in the industry, et al.

15. Freshen Things Up on a Regular Basis: the truth about social media is that people see so many adverts on the platform all the time that it can become stale overtime. So to stay ahead, you need to try to freshen things up continuously. This doesn’t mean that you need to create new ads all the time, you simply need to schedule image and content editing for your ads every few weeks.

16. Know When to Post: According to reports, a social media post only has a lifespan of a few hours, after which it gets buried under a pile of other posts. This means that if you make a post by breakfast, it will be gone by lunch so, you have to bear in mind when you want the post to be viewed and then act accordingly. During lunch or in the evening are always excellent times, because people are a lot more likely to be on their phones during these times.

17. Build Relationships With Different Professionals: If you have a good talent acquisition strategy in place, you probably already know who you are going to need to hire in the future. It is important therefore that you start building these relationships so when the time comes to hire, the professionals you’re interested in they will need minimal persuasion.

18. Know Where to focus: as much as it is advisable to diversify in your use of social media platforms, it is also imperative that you should have a focus on the right place. For instance, if most of your audience comes from Facebook, then you need to increase your budget on that channel and avoid spending money on other platforms that do not seem to be working for you.

19. Research Key Terms and Keywords: just like SEO is important for website ranking, Keywords and industry related terms also important for social media. You should ensure that before you make a new post that you have made concrete research and have gathered the keywords and hashtags that relate to that topic and that you’ve also included them in your post.

20. Participate in the right conversations: all the social media platforms out there are filled with noise and it is up to the recruiter to sieve through this chaff in order to find the right candidate. Being active in LinkedIn groups and using hashtags are great ways to get your job openings in front of candidates you want to apply. For example, #ITjobs or #NYChiring can help you reach the right candidates on Twitter.

In conclusion, social media has the ability to help an employer to get in touch and know more about a potential employee. You can get to know if the person you want to hire is grounded and skilled enough to handle the task. Just like any job opening, the use of social media in the recruitment process can be quite energy and time consuming, but it is definitely worth it.

Ajaero Tony Martins