Social media is a term that is heard a great deal these days. As frequently as it’s heard, one could start to think that it is the cure-all solution for just about every business need, including recruitment. Using social media for recruiting, sometimes called social recruiting, often utilizes multiple media channels. As a result, the notion of a single source of hire is becoming considerably less relevant, if not completely obsolete.

As The WorkPlace Group has discussed in its blog post Source of Hire: Capturing both the chicken and the egg, utilizing multiple sites and sources provides many different ways for candidates to learn about your company and its open positions. By the time candidates click on the “Apply Now!” button, they have likely seen information about your company and openings in job postings, tweets, industry blogs, emails, referrals from others and/or even online reviews of your company.

Why Use Social Recruiting?

Creating positive employment branding messages and a positive recruitment experience can both influence candidates to apply for positions as well as refer others in their network to do the same. The question then becomes, how do you utilize a mix of social recruiting tactics effectively to promote your employer brand, help attract qualified candidates for your current openings and build a talent community for future openings?

Social media can provide persuasive communication channels on a global basis to capture the attention of both potential job seekers and gainfully employed candidates.  Social recruiting is a great way to create and establish your corporate and employment brands, communicate your current job openings and future needs for talent as well as establish more personal on-going relationships with your candidates.

Which Social Media Sites Should We Choose for Social Recruiting?

With so many social media channels available to us, which ones should we choose for recruiting? In evaluating sites for social recruiting, it’s important to understand the differences and strengths of each media outlet. User demographics, usage, relevance and accuracy of information are important criteria to determine whether the social media channel has a user base that is representative of your target talent needs. Below is an overview of the most popular sites used in social recruiting: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of recruiters report that they have hired a candidate through social media, with LinkedIn being by far the most popular source at 79%. Facebook was a distant second, with just 26% of recruiters reporting a hire from that source.1  However, Facebook has a much larger user base, with over 1 billion users, compared to LinkedIn’s 187 million.

There are also differences in each site’s demographics regarding age and gender. LinkedIn and Facebook are more popular with users over the age of 45,while Twitter is more popular with millennials between 18 and 29. LinkedIn’s user base is 67% male, so it might not be the most effective way to reach female candidates. Although not typically used for social recruitment, Pinterest leads the pack with an 80% female user base.

It’s also very important to take into consideration the best uses of different social media sites. A social media site’s effectiveness as a social recruiting source can be affected by more than just your company’s efforts. LinkedIn, which is widely viewed as the traditional site for business-related social media, is better for searching and contacting candidates, but Facebook and Twitter are better for generating employee referrals. Only 14% of LinkedIn users check their accounts regularly, so messages can frequently go unnoticed and information can quickly become outdated.  While you’ll probably reach more job seekers on Facebook, actual job posts will get more views when they are posted on LinkedIn. As for Twitter, although you may reach more millennials there, it’s virtually impossible to post a full job description in just 140 characters.

In addition to using social media as a way to convey job openings and searching for candidates, recruiters also use social media sites to “research” candidates. A whopping 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn when sourcing candidates because it typically gives a broad outline of the person’s professional background.  Looking at a person’s Facebook or Twitter accounts can give recruiters information on candidates that might not be apparent from their resume alone. Ninety-three percent admit to “snooping” on applicants’ social media profiles before deciding whether to proceed with them or recommend them for a position.

The Right “Social Media” Tool for the Job

Not all social media sites are created equal.  When putting a social recruiting strategy in place, select social media channels that are aligned with and facilitate achievement of your recruitment objectives. A social media site’s user demographics, usage, and currency of information are all important criteria that impact which sites you should use and how (e.g., employment branding vs. promoting a job posting vs. direct candidate sourcing).

As with many other areas of recruitment, the ball is definitely in the court of the employer and recruiter when it comes to creating engaging employment brand messaging and a positive recruitment experience for candidates. The WorkPlace Group has extensive experience using social media to help our clients maximize the impact of their recruitment efforts. For more information about how to incorporate social recruiting in your talent acquisition efforts, please contact an associate at The WorkPlace Group® today.


1 Surveys by and

2 Kiss, J. (2014). Facebook

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