The Social Media Recruitment Survival Guide

The Social Media Recruitment Survival Guide

By Sajjad Masud –

Sajjad Masud is the co-founder and CEO of Simplicant, a cloud-based social recruiting platform that is transforming talent acquisition and making enterprise-level recruiting technology accessible to companies of all sizes. Connect with Sajjad and the Simplicant team on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

At least 90% of recruiters are already using social media to find, source and connect with talented candidates. With Facebook at 901 million members and Twitter with 500 million accounts, an increasing number of employment-eligible people spend a good part of their day on one or more of these popular social platforms. It’s easy to see why these networks are becoming key sources for employers and recruiters to find potential employees. When used effectively, social media can give an unprecedented boost to a company’s recruiting capabilities.

Social media activity rose rapidly in recent years and the bigger platforms touch people’s lives multiple times everyday, but using social media to find and source talent is still relatively new for many employers, HR managers and recruiters. How can social media be used effectively in the recruitment process?

It is easy to lose sight of key goals and objectives with so many social tools to utilize. Each major social media platform has its own “rules” governing recruitment best practices. In other words, a strategy that works for LinkedIn may not be the best one for Pinterest or Facebook. Lack of good planning in the use of social media can keep you from reaching great candidates.

Learn to leverage the major social media outlets and convert top talent to candidates and then team members with the following tips.


The audience for Twitter is vast and engaged, with users sending out more than 175 million tweets a day.

When recruiting on Twitter, staying engaged is the name of the game. It is important to make sure your jobs are not merely being tweeted out, but they are reaching your target job seeker audience. What keywords and hashtags do your target candidates typically search for? What Twitter chats do these candidates frequent, and when do these chats occur? Also, what are the most likely times your target audience will be present on Twitter?

Once you have a list of useful hashtags and industry-specific chats, make sure the open positions you promote are adequately tagged so they get in front of the right candidates. If you’re unable to participate in chats yourself, you can schedule tweets to make sure they coincide with the popular chats your ideal applicants will attend. This will nab you a better pool of candidates who are already discussing the issues facing your industry. One of the key goals on Twitter should be to engage with and build a community of followers who represent the right kind of talent that you might be looking for. When you have a great community of engaged talent, it becomes easier to get your message out to them and identify those who would be a good fit for your open positions.


This is where a lot of talent spends time. Not only does Facebook have the most members of any social networking service, its members spend an average of 405 minutes per month on the site.

Facebook is a giant network, so it is important to carve out your own company space. Having a dedicated careers tab on your company page makes it easy for candidates to find your open positions. Candidates who “like” your page will easily see what jobs are open at your company and can apply without ever leaving Facebook. When your page’s jobs tab is seamlessly linked to your core recruiting platform with applicant tracking, you get your open jobs in front of all visitors on your page.

The purpose of your Facebook Page should be to give job seekers a taste of the workplace culture. If you regularly share industry-related content and prompt discussions, your company information will stay fresh in the minds of your Facebook fans. By making engagement easier, you are likely to encourage more quality candidates to show interest.


The power of LinkedIn lies in the ability to leverage the networks of your company, colleagues, employees and their connections to find the best talent. With 161 million professional profiles and more than 2 million company pages, LinkedIn is the biggest social media destination for professional networking. A good way to engage with candidates who are passionate about your industry and your company is to develop a community of qualified individuals who follow your company page on LinkedIn.

Taking part in LinkedIn group discussions and sharing interesting content, as well as current openings, will bring a new audience back to your company page and eventually to your careers site. You can also promote your openings on relevant industry groups to get your jobs in front of the right candidates.

Don’t miss out on the social dynamics of LinkedIn. First, LinkedIn can provide good results when your audience gets a consistent view of your open positions on your company’s careers site. This is done most effectively when you share your LinkedIn updates about open positions directly from the recruiting platform that powers your careers site. But further, sharing your open jobs with your connections who can share it with their contacts creates a powerful viral effect, giving you a web of verifiably talented potential applicants.


As one of the fastest growing social networks, Pinterest skews 68% female, with users spending just as much time on the site per month as they do on Facebook.

Since Pinterest is a visual medium, any recruitment strategy for this platform must be designed with that in mind to do well in the environment. Infographics and videos are excellent methods for getting information across to potential candidates in a visual format. Companies can easily create a set of pinboards to show what makes the company a special place to work or what the company is looking for in an ideal candidate. The visual nature of Pinterest makes creativity key, especially when promoting your company culture. Do not forget to link all your pins back to your branded careers site where candidates can see all your open positions and apply easily.


While it may not be the most buzzy social network out there, Google+ still has something to offer for recruiters. It is growing steadily and now boasts 150 million active users and 250 million accounts.

Since more technical users are flocking to Google+, this site might be a great place to find your next specialist position or tech-savvy superstar. An important reason Google+ can be helpful is it allows users to create their own “circles” — groups of family, friends and acquaintances. As an employer, circles allow you to more specifically target opportunities to particular job seeker audiences.

Google+ also makes these job seekers easier to connect with. If you see a great candidate, you can add them to your circles. Unlike LinkedIn, where you can only see certain people based on your existing connections, on Google+ you have the ability to connect with anyone. Unlike closed groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, it’s simple to share content and discussions with connections and the community at large.

What practices have been most effective for your recruitment strategies on the major social networks? Please share in the comments here.

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