How To Leverage Social Media for Candidate Outreach
Maximize recruitment with social media: showcase employer branding, widen reach, and target specific demographics. Combine platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for optimal results.
…and your company still isn’t using social media as a recruitment tool?! Or let me guess: you are just using it to re-share your job posts? You need to change this A.S.A.P.
To find people, you need to be where they are, it’s as simple as that.
Before the dawn of the internet, recruiters had to post job advertisements in newspapers, and flyers in physical locations around the city (e.g., bulletin boards) because that’s where their talents were. And nowadays, with the considerable number of people online, it’d simply be imprudent not to use that to your advantage.
However, in order to reap all the benefits and get your management on board, you need to understand both why and how to do it.
Why Do Social Media Need to Be a Part of Your Hiring Process?
Every minute, 8 people get hired via LinkedIn. The time it takes you to make a cup of coffee. And this is a platform that’s usually visited weekly - only about 22% of its users visit it daily.
Now imagine the options if you increase your company’s visibility on platforms that are visited daily.
If this number doesn’t impress you, and you are in fact, a tea and not a coffee lover, let’s quickly go through a list of benefits that social recruiting offers:
- Employer branding - you get to tell your company’s story, showcase your company culture, values, etc. in the best possible light. Mind you, a story isn’t a fairy tale so make sure you include only factual information and what you aspire to be in other people’s eyes.
- Widened reach - the more people know about you, the more likely it is that your job post will pop up to the right people. Not to mention that this is a great way to reach passive job seekers, those who aren’t actively looking for new positions but would consider an offer if they find it appealing.
- Targeted approach - you’re able to target specific locations, demographics, and industries, and that makes it easier to direct your search and find qualified candidates quicker.
- Time and cost-effectiveness - a lot of platforms allow you to post a job for free while posting itself can be done in a matter of minutes. Not all good things are complicated.
These reasons should be enough to convince even the most tight-fister manager to find room in the budget for occasionally promoting recruiting-related social media posts.
Which Social Media Channel Is “The Right One”?
An honest response to this question is - it depends on a lot of factors. It depends on your industry, the type of employment, the type and level of education necessary for the position, your target talents’ age, etc.
It's completely okay to not know which social media channel can help you get the most out of your recruiting strategy. After all, there are many to choose from. To help you decide whether to use one or combine several, we've created short guides for the most popular social media platforms.
- Number of members: more than 900 million
- Largest age group: 25-34 (58.4%)
When you ask people about how they would describe LinkedIn, most would describe it as a business social network so its innate focus is towards making business connections.
If you are new to the world of social recruiting, LinkedIn is the simplest starting point. You have the option to post for free and to pay to promote it - if you need more details on how job posts function, you can learn them here.
You can rely on LinkedIn's advanced search feature to look for candidates based on job titles, locations, specific keywords, etc. The neat thing is that you can review candidates’ profiles before you reach out to those who match your company’s needs.
Of course, you may prefer not to have your job opening on LinkedIn but on a recruitment platform in order to be able to monitor the whole recruitment flow. In that case, you can always at least add the link to the opening in your social media post - but with Roango, you can take a step further. It only takes a few clicks in the app to share a job opening on your company’s social media channels: but that’s not the best part. The candidates that apply in that way are funneled in a separate stage (“Applied”; those who apply via their Roango profile are listed under “Sources”) so you oversee the effectiveness of social recruitment. Of course, this isn’t limited to LinkedIn.
When it comes to your LinkedIn strategy, in general, it’s advisable to invite people to follow your company’s page and encourage your coworkers to invite their friends. The more you expand your follower base, the more likely it is that you will connect with the right candidates. Also, work on increasing your involvement in others’ posts in order to naturally grow the interaction between your page and followers.
- Number of monthly active users: 2.91 billion
- Largest age group: 25-34 (31.5%)
Although ChatGPT’s definition of Facebook doesn’t include its business side, it can be used for candidate outreach.
Truth be told, Facebook has a feature called "Jobs on Facebook" that allows businesses to post job openings directly on their Facebook page but it’s not available in all countries which is why most companies choose to share their openings via posts or status updates.
Generally speaking, how it goes is companies write a catchy post, and add an effective visual to “hook” you, and then you have to click the link in the post to learn more information. It’s always good to stay consistent so don’t go wild with visuals and the copy for the posts - don’t sound super formal in one social media post, and then start using street slang in another. Consistency builds trust and makes you recognizable.
Consider sharing the job opening in relevant Facebook groups, those that gather professional organizations or that are industry-specific. To increase the visibility of your job opening to a specific audience, you can use paid Facebook ads. They allow you to set a target audience based on job titles, location, interests, etc. to help you reach relevant candidates.
- Number of monthly active users: 2 billion
- Largest age group: 25-34 (31.2%) and 18-24 (31%)
Although it’s not originally intended for job posts, Instagram can be a useful tool to reach talent since it covers more generations (both fresh out of college and experienced talents).
If you decide to make a post, as Instagram is heavily focused on the visual aspect, it’s best to create a visual that will contain the most important information. The tricky thing is that links on Instagram aren't your friends - instead, in your posts, you will direct people to click on the link in the bio - and this is where you can direct them to your website’s career page. Also, you might consider adding tags such as #hiringnow #werehiring #workwithus to make it easier for talents to find your job post.
Alternatively, you can use Instagram stories as they attract more views than posts. Also, they last for 24 hours so make sure whatever you post, has a link to your career page or recruitment platform via which they can apply. You can decide to go with a visual or a short video — whatever you think is more effective and more in the “spirit” of your company.
- Number of daily active users: 211 million
- Largest age group: 18-29 (42%)
Just as with Instagram, Twitter is not what one would consider a “recruiting” platform but having in mind that its user base has been steadily growing, it’s well worth giving it a shot.
One could say that the Twitter audience is one of the most opinionated ones when compared to all other platforms — and yet somehow, they manage to share all they have to say on a platform on which the post’s length is limited.
But rather than giving up, this just means you have to get creative. First of all, always use an URL shortener so as not to lose precious characters on a link to the job post. Secondly, include the name of the position as it should definitely be transparent. As for the remaining characters, it’s best to make a “hook”, that is, give them just an interesting snippet of information and invite them to click on the link to read more.
The share (retweet) option works super fast so it’s easy to get the word out that you are looking for someone for a specific position. To increase the visibility of the post, it’s recommended you use hashtags, e.g. #job, #jobpost, #recruiting, #hiring, #career.
Another alternative, if your company already has a Twitter account, is to create a separate recruiting profile where you will share also different pieces of advice for job-seeking talents and information about your company since after all, Twitter is there to share opinions, solutions, pieces of advice, etc.
Honorable Mentions: TikTok and Snapchat
- Number of daily active users: 1 billion
- Largest age group: 10-19 (25%)
- Number of monthly active users: 319 million
- Largest age group: 15-25 (48%)
When it comes to time spent on a platform, TikTok has by far the longest screen time - some astounding 89 minutes on average per day.
The audience on both these platforms is usually young in terms of candidate outreach so direct recruiting might not be worth the time you will invest in creating content related to it. Then again, it really depends on the talents you want to target. When it comes to putting your company out there, among future generations of consumers - and in this case, more importantly, future job seekers - it might be worth the creativity invested in coming up with a strategy.
Instead of bluntly inviting people to work for you, you can use the opportunity to show the company culture you nurture - this goes for Snapchat, just as much as for TikTok. Snapchat’s disappearing messages could be great for building a sense of rarity, that is, the position/your company, etc. being unique. However, due to the nature of snaps, it’s best to use them as a part of a larger strategy, rather than as the only recruiting medium.
Experiment! Combine! Analyze!
Now that you have a better idea of what you can achieve and what means you can use to get the results you wish, it’s time to decide how to act.
As you probably realized by now, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution because every company has its own unique goals, culture, and approach. And we all know that the best way to figure out what to do is to trial and error. Don’t be afraid to experiment and show a less corporate side of your business - just look at how great it’s working out for Ryanair.
You’ll most likely conclude that a combination of a couple of platforms would be optimal. Also, you may figure out that your company’s LinkedIn profile attracts clients, while your Facebook and Instagram profile brings in talent. And that’s completely OK - you just have to think of your tone and if necessary, adapt it to the platform you are currently using. Invest some time in researching tools that can help you complement your job openings visually - Canva is a rather simple tool that has lots of templates and with a little tinkering, you’ll make a decent visual in no time.
And in the end, don’t forget the very people you are doing this for - the talent. Get their feedback, and analyze how many of them applied via social media - as mentioned, on Roango, you can easily check which of the applicants “arrived” via social media.
Also, and this is really important, don’t ignore their questions in the comments section and inboxes. If you want to continue communication via email or in some other manner, direct them towards it, don’t just pretend that the message doesn’t exist as that sends a really bad message to the talent.
What Are You Waiting For?
Go and explore the vast online space of social media and create a strategy that will draw just the kind of people you need.