Social recruiting: strategies and statistics

Last updated:
July 28, 2021
October 25, 2021
min read
Perry Oostdam
Table of contents

With all kinds of content available detailing social recruiting's positive benefits, the following page is intended as an all-inclusive ‘everything you needed to know and more’ guide.

With that in mind, expect plenty of bullet lists, quick-fire tips and tricks, pros and cons, and an abundance of statistics driving home just why you’re missing a trick—and a big trick at that—if you’re not engaging with ‘the socials’ as part of your recruiting strategy.

What is social recruiting?

Just as it sounds, social recruiting is utilizing the ever-growing selection of social media platforms to find the brightest and best candidates to fill your empty roles. You’ll also hear it referred to as social hiring, social media recruitment, social recruitment, and dozens of similar sound-bite versions.

How to use social media for recruiting?

Good question. A big part of this depends on the social media platform and its features, including job ads and searches, recruitment tools, professional networking, and anything else your hiring teams might need.

LinkedIn, the biggest and most apparent professional networking tool on the market, features a fully integrated job site, with plenty of search and analysis tools for those willing to pay for them.

Facebook, however, works quite differently, allowing users to build company profiles, post job ads, and then boost them via whatever budget they feel appropriate to extend their reach past followers and friends.

Twitter and Instagram have less obvious routes into recruiting avenues, but any business worth its salt would be remiss to leave them out of its marketing methods. They still offer unique ways of getting your organization method into the world, with paid options for your wider-reach needs.

Alternatively, some platforms act as industry discussion boards—like GitHub and Stack Overflow—or social events and shared interest groups—Meetup, for example—offering opportunities to reach out to experts in their fields.

Each platform needs a specific strategy, but throughout, you must retain a professional attitude, a constant business brand, and the best representation of your company culture to attract all the fresh talent you’re reaching out to.

What percentage of companies use social media in their recruiting efforts?

Depending on which pages and surveys you read, the percentage of companies using social media as part of their recruitment ranges at over 90%. The Muse posted a superb infographic on the topic, developed by the Brighton School of Business and Management. It also stated 94% of recruiters plan or already use social media as part of their process.

And why wouldn’t they? The same study showed that 78% of recruiters have already landed a hire via social platforms.

Social recruiting strategies

When you begin to devise any social recruiting strategy, you’ll start to realize that there’s a bottomless pool of opportunities on offer. Depending on how creative you and your hirers are, there are far more opportunities than first appear.

Your strategies must align with your social media recruiting best practices. Never stray from your brand voice, and remain within your organization mission statement and system.

The members of each social network scrutinize their platforms; sadly, many are waiting for an opportunity to point out flaws and deliver attacks on anything that contradicts their beliefs (especially on Twitter, where it seems like a playground for such behaviour!). Tread carefully, and try not to make glaring errors that could trip you up. They’re the posts likely to cause new problems rather than fix existing ones by filling the empty roles you’re hoping to.

Here’s a comprehensive list of actions to consider. If you manage half of them, you’ll be doing great!

  1. Create concrete goals before starting your social recruiting campaigns.
  2. Determine the best social media platforms for your recruitment goals and target candidates.
  3. Use video to engage and promote your open positions to passive candidates.
  4. Create and share infographics and articles about your industry and business.
  5. Engage in discussions on relevant posts—but stay calm, in-line with your brand voice and company social media best practices.
  6. Use interactions to advance and improve your online brand.
  7. Include employees as part of your social media sharing campaign.
  8. Join and engage with all appropriate LinkedIn and other social media groups.
  9. Join industry-specific social platforms where they’re likely to hold accredited and qualified candidates.
  10. Actively engage with as many different social media platforms as appropriate or possible.
  11. Share only quality content to uphold your brand and follower interest.
  12. Create continuing opportunities for users to engage with your content and business.
  13. Explore each social media’s advertising platforms to widen your reach.
  14. Provide seamless contact opportunities and drive engagement.
  15. Make job applications from posts and ads as simple as possible.
  16. Keep candidates engaged by creating online communities.
  17. Use those hashtags.
  18. Optimize your business pages for content and keywords.
  19. Promote sharing roles and pages with clients, contacts, and connections wherever you can, and it doesn’t break the platform’s rules.
  20. Monitor platforms for the latest news, industry applications, discussions, forums, and troubleshooting groups.
  21. Use insight tools and applications to learn more about your visitors, followers and how to grow your network to fill empty or future roles.
  22. Maintain a healthy mixture of different types of posts.
  23. Highlight your company culture, making it impossible for candidates to resist open positions.
  24. Plan your social media calendar to deliver the best mix of information within your posts.
  25. Consider social media planning and posting tools to integrate cross-platform activity.
  26. Link your social media accounts to your website blogs, job pages, and company profile pages.
  27. Measure your results and examine the data to develop new best practices and better performance.

Pros and cons of social recruiting

Depending on which you choose, there are significant advantages to each of the different social platforms, yet, this goes across the board; they can create a minefield of not just healthy debate but the possibility of abuse and negativity.

We touched on it earlier; it’s too easy to create a bad impression if you aren’t 100% vigilant with your content and engagement. That said, wisely managed, your social media accounts and hiring strategies will bring an abundance of fresh meat to your organization, and possibly at a far lower cost.

  • A cost-effective alternative to job boards.
  • A far-wider reach to further passive candidates than traditional employment sites and pages.
  • Speeds up hiring times.
  • You can track down and target your perfect candidates—don’t wait for them to come to you—go find them yourself.
  • You can encourage referrals with just a few clicks.
  • Builds brand strength and promotes company culture, creating a highly desirable working environment.
  • Develop personal connections with all possible candidates.

Social media recruiting statistics

If we were to post all the social recruiting statistics we could find here, the page would scroll on for miles. According to the same study by the Brighton School of Business and Management mentioned earlier, the following statistics are the all-important numbers we should be paying attention to:

  • 94% of recruiters plan or already use social media as part of their process.
  • 78% of recruiters have already landed a hire via social platforms.
  • 30% of all searches on Google are employment-related.
  • 78% of recruiters have landed a hire using social media.
  • 93% of recruiters will check a candidates social media profiles.
  • 43% of job seekers do so using their mobile phones.

Further Recruitee reading on social recruiting

Talent acquisition is a big topic on the Recruitee blog, so it’s no surprise that we constantly dig into every last corner. With no social recruiting stone left unturned, here are a few alternative articles covering some of our deep-dive information in much more detail.

social recruiting playbook
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