May 26, 2019
Hiring 24 May 2018
How to Use Social Media in Your Recruiting Strategy
Isabella A

Gone are the days of resumes and cover letters. Nowadays recruiters are turning to social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other similar platforms. Social recruiting is becoming so increasingly popular that it's now one of the norms for recruiters to find candidates. Recruiters are using these platforms to advertise jobs, source candidates, and screen applicant backgrounds. 

Not only do recruiters use social media as a platform to find talent, but it’s become essential for companies to build and maintain a presence on social media platforms. By having a presence on social media, candidates are more likely to join their company - the more influential a presence the better. 

To keep up with the ever-increasing competition, companies must start utilizing social media to be able to keep up with the ever-changing workforce. In fact, a study from the Aberdeen Group reported that 73 percent of millennials found their last job position through a social media platform

With that staggering statistics, what are the best ways to recruit on social media? In this article we will discuss how to best source, qualify and check candidate backgrounds.


Source Candidates

Although sourcing goes hand in hand with recruiting they are a little different. Sourcing is finding candidates and recruiting is what happens after candidates are found. Through using social media to source candidates, recruiters are able to identify and engage potential candidates. Not only are they looking for candidates to fill positions, but they are looking for passive candidates for future roles within the company. Sourcing candidates on social media differ greatly from old methods of sorting through resumes/CVs, and job fairs and the level of success in utilizing social media to source for candidates differs as well. 

Recruiters source candidates by collecting valuable candidate information, pre-screening candidates, creating talent pipelines, and contacting these candidates. Social media sourcing is used to collect data, create talent pipelines for future positions, and to network with potential applicants. 

LINKEDIN

One of the most common and advantageous platforms to source talent on is LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives it’s users the option to use an advanced search tool to narrow down their searches in looking for candidates and eliminate any irrelevant results that might pop up. 

Resolute Technology Solutions, is an example of a company that uses LinkedIn as a platform to find and source candidates. Marketing Specialist, Colton De Vos says:

Our talent acquisition specialist has a large network on LinkedIn that she reaches out to whenever we are looking for a new posting. She also has a recruiter account that lets her connect with people based on skill sets and other criteria outside her of her immediate network. In addition to that, we share every new career opportunity on profession-specific LinkedIn groups.

LinkedIn gives it’s users the option to be able to use an advanced search tool. By using this tool, companies are able to narrow down their searches when looking for candidates. You are able to use keywords like NOT, OR, and AND; which allows you to narrow down your search and eliminate any irrelevant results that might pop up.  

Some ways to use LinkedIn when sourcing:

1. Post a paid ad. These ads come in various formats such as Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads, or a mix of all three. 

2. Use your company’s page to post jobs. If you do this, make sure that the page has a good amount of active followers. 

3. Post jobs in LinkedIn groups. It’s a great idea to stay active in LinkedIn groups as it helps you network and build relationships with other professionals. Many jobs even have a “jobs” section. 

TWITTER

With so many companies now using social media to recruit, companies are now finding alternative and creative ways to post a job listing. Typically, companies will post, “We’re hiring! Our team is looking for…” followed by a list of required skill and experience. This can be hard to do on twitter when you have a limited number of characters. If you're trying to use Twitter to recruit, make sure you follow these suggestions:

1. Use Hashtags.  Try using hashtags such as #joblisting or get even more specific and say write something like, #marketingcoordinator. For example, DoSomething.org created the viral hashtag #OurOfficeIsBetter to attract more candidates. Just keep in mind not to overdo hashtags!. 

2. Employee Referrals. Social media is an excellent place for employee referrals, and Twitter is no exception. I recently had a friend get a pretty coveted job with an airline company because another friend had posted that her company was hiring. When you post job listings on Twitter, employees can retweet that listing. 

3. Twitter Search. Did you know that Twitter has an advanced search option? Through this advanced search, you can look for the specific type of candidate that you want. When looking for a candidate on advanced search be sure to utilize specific keywords, phrases, and even location.

Sourcing doesn’t only mean searching for talent, but also attracting talent as well! To attract talent, companies must keep an active social media presence with a large network. By participating in LinkedIn groups and using hashtags with the right keywords, companies are able to find the right talent they are looking for and get their name out there in the social media world. 

In addition, companies can use social media to post about job openings. For example, our ProSky platform allows its users to post jobs to different job boards like ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor in order to source through our platform. By being able to use platforms like these candidates looking for jobs are able to use specific keywords and recruiters the same in return.


Qualify Candidates

Finding candidates is one thing, but making sure that they are a qualified fit for the company and the position is another. Some things to consider when looking for a qualified candidate on social media are; thought leadership, social media engagement, and any special interests or hobbies they might have.

Jordan Wan, Founder & CEO of leading sales recruiting company CloserIQ, utilizes a variety of social media platforms when qualifying their candidates. He says:

Twitter is a great way for recruiters to check if candidates are engaging in conversations about relevant industry trends. LinkedIn profiles can be used to see if the information they provide on the resume is consistent with their job profiles. One of the best ways recruiters can use Instagram is to assess culture fit between the candidate and company. 

In Jordan's experience, recruiters are looking for traits that align with others at the company they are hiring for. Social media provides a window into candidate business acumen, experiences, lives, personality and hobbies. If different experiences are listed on different profiles it will confuse the employer and make the candidate seem disorganized.

Looking at how candidates are communicating with their peers on social media is vital when qualifying candidates. Not only will you be able to pinpoint leadership qualities but you will be able to see how they might interact with clients and fit into the company’s culture. Taking a look at their interests or hobbies can give a recruiter an insight into the candidate and what qualities their extracurricular activities can bring to the table. 


Screen Candidate Backgrounds

Using social media to look for red flags is used by 70 percent of employers. True, there are comprehensive background checks that companies can use to screen candidates, but those background checks don’t cover much. By using social media you are able to look for red flags like inappropriate posts and/or pictures. 

A great way to prepare for social media screening is to create a list of questions and red flags to look for beforehand. According to SHRM, recruiters should; 

  • Create a social media screening policy.

  • Prepare screening questions for the position.

  • Conduct the screening.

  • Prepare and provide a report to the hiring manager.

  • Retain the documentation.

Michael Berger, the founder of engineering & construction recruitment firm Talent Blueprint, believes in using social media to check backgrounds. He says,

We do a broad social check via Google and/or through specific platforms like LinkedIn, previous employer websites and Facebook. We do this to learn more about our applicant and what they are happy to present to the general public and whether this aligns to our client's organizational culture. 

Keep in mind that companies shouldn’t be reclusive with primarily using social media for background checks as they might cross some legal red lines. However, using social media to weed out candidates with inappropriate or undesirable profiles is okay.


Social media is free and a great tool to use when recruiting top talent. With 81% of Americans using social media, there is no better way to recruit. By utilizing social media you are able to have a variety of options to source, qualify, and check candidate backgrounds. Social media will allow you to get a more comprehensive look at candidates as well as engage them on a whole new level. For more information on how we can help hire and retain the best talent, please visit us at prosky.co



Isabella Ang is a content marketing specialist at ProSky, a company that gives you the ability to innovatively evaluate candidates and develop employees through succession pathways, so you can recruit, hire, and retain the best diverse talent & culture fit. When she's not working on her next or ongoing projects for ProSky; she spends her days rock climbing, practicing yoga, completing her degree in Computer Science, and tutoring writing skills.