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By: Susan Colvard on August 10th, 2023

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10 Best Social Media Recruiting Practices for Modern Hiring

Everywhere you look, people are scrolling on their phones through their favorite social media sites. People are constantly giving others a glimpse into their everyday lives by posting content, uploading pictures, and providing status updates. 

And, over the last decade or two, employers have also jumped on the social media bandwagon. Not only for business development and marketing purposes but also to attract, screen, recruit and hire new employees. Today, recruiters can reach a significantly wider range of passive candidates to target for your next hire. 

Social media has truly changed the landscape for talent acquisition. Are you using it to its full potential?

10 Steps to Optimize Social Media for Your Hiring Goals

Social media is by no means a quick fix for your hiring process. It requires careful planning and long-term dedication. Here's how to find success with social talent acquisition:  

1. Identify Your Target Audience’s Preferred Platforms

Before you do anything, make sure you spend some time doing workforce planning and have a very thorough understanding of the target audience or ideal candidates you need to recruit today and in the future. 

Find out where they are spending their time online and determine the best strategy to meet them there. You will want to narrow down your focus to only the social media sites that will attract the biggest talent pool you are interested in. 

For instance, if you have roles that are early-career opportunities, TikTok may be where you want to target as it is largely used by Gen Zers. 

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2. Portray Your Employer Brand

Now that you know your ideal candidate market’s preferred platform(s), you will want to establish your employer brand on that social media site.

 Team up with your marketing department to identify if a company profile already exists and how to partner on the co-strategies and ensure consistent branding. As a talent acquisition advocate, you want candidates to be able to get a sense of your company culture, values, work environment, and depth and expertise of the industry when they view your company profile. 

Some ways to demonstrate your employer brand can be employee testimonials through videos or graphics, employee milestones, company awards and recognition, or any community service initiatives, for example. 

3. Develop Your Content Strategy & Show Up

This is where the real work begins—and never ends! Developing your content strategy and executing that strategy in a consistent and thoughtful way is pertinent. 

Remember, each social media community is unique and has its own protocols, key audiences, and methods of communicating. What frequency is just right for the platform you will be focusing on? For instance, according to Hootsuite, the ideal number of times a day to post on LinkedIn is one to two times per day, while it’s recommended to post three to five times a week on Instagram. 

To capture the attention of potential candidates, share relevant and engaging content related to your industry, job opportunities, and what your audience would find particularly helpful. Perhaps it’s Q&A sessions with your leadership team, highlighting your interns and what special projects they’ve worked on this summer, or giving a virtual tour of your workplace. You can demonstrate the reasons why they should consider working at your organization by sharing fun and authentic team videos and milestones. 

4. Use Hashtags

All social media sites have the ability to leverage hashtags to increase visibility among users searching for the same keyphrase. According to Business Insider, “the hashtags #careertiktok and #careertok have 1.6 billion and 797.6 million views, respectively.” 

So, if you were trying to get found by TikTok’s users, you could utilize those hashtags and develop career tips in your industry if that made sense with your business and talent acquisition strategy. Hashtags are also incredibly important to incorporate with every job listing you post. Use the search feature to check the popularity of a hashtag. The more usage, the better the chances of being seen. For instance, if you were posting a technical support role, you may want to include #nowhiring, #careers, and #ITjobs. 

You also want to confirm the number of hashtags each platform recommends. For Twitter, it’s one to two hashtags, while for Instagram, experts say you should maximize the 30-hashtag limit for optimal visibility. 

5. Reduce Expenses Through Targeted Advertising & Virtual Career Fairs

Additionally, sourcing candidates on social sites can be a cheap and effective way of lowering costs associated with hiring. One job posting alone can cost upwards of $400 dollars, and this can add up quickly if you have more than one role to fill.   

With LinkedIn, for instance, you can set a maximum budget to target your ideal candidate profiles with job advertisements. Virtual career fairs on social media platforms are another low-cost way to reach your potential candidates in real-time.  

6. Maximize Your Employee Referral Program

Does your current employee referral program encourage employees to share job postings with their social media networks? By motivating your team to spread the word on current openings through referral incentives, you can easily increase your candidate pool. 

Make it easy for your team to find and share job postings, which allows them to help you gain access to potential candidates. Hiring through referral networks is also a great way to find people who are likely a good addition to your culture.

7. Deepen Your Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

As a Certified Diversity and Inclusion Recruiter, I have been very successful in using social media to develop and strengthen candidate talent pools and demonstrate an organization’s commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment. From showcasing DEI initiatives, and ensuring the representation of diverse team members when highlighting experiences or contributions, to engaging with diverse communities, social media allows us to develop more intentional connections. 

Be mindful of using inclusive language in your job postings and content to emphasize a welcoming and inclusive online presence. And remember, it must be genuine for candidates to feel like they can belong in your organization. 

8. Vet Culture Fit and Identify Red Flags 

You can also utilize most social media platforms to understand a candidate’s qualifications, experiences, and interests by screening their profiles. 

There are many pros and cons of referencing job applicants’ social media accounts. If you are screening for a pre-employment background check, it must be compliant, fair, and transparent. Due to data privacy regulations and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protections, candidate consent is needed before collecting personally identifiable information (PII).

Certain information, such as a candidate’s ethnicity, color, age, religion, sex, or disabilities must be redacted when presenting findings to hiring managers and cannot be legally used to deny a candidate for a job.

9. Gain Insights & Improve KPIs

By leveraging tools such as LinkedIn Talent Insights, you can get access to data on talent pools and market competitors, giving recruiters and leadership teams greater insights to make informed decisions.

The data insights social media can provide can be utilized in workforce planning to identify talent needs for current and future roles, track the performance of your social recruitment campaigns, and improve your hiring metrics.

10. Get Feedback and Reviews

Lastly, social media can be an easy way for candidates to reach an employer representative quickly to ask questions, give feedback, or share a review.

It’s important to be attentive and show that you value their time and engagement with your organization by responding to inquiries and reviews promptly. Encourage your employees and candidates to leave positive reviews about their experience at your organization on platforms like Glassdoor to further enhance your employer brand and ability to attract great talent. 

Need help with hiring? 

As you can see, there are so many ways to use social media as part of your talent acquisition strategy. With the addition of AI, chatbots, increased search capabilities, and the ever-growing popularity of social media influencers, we predict social media will only continue to make advancements that will be critical to our industry going forward. 

Want to learn more about how you can improve your recruiting process? Download our hiring process checklist or schedule a free, no-obligation call to learn about our talent acquisition consulting services