Love it or loathe it, social media is an inescapable part of 21st century living. It’s how many of us engage with our friends, get the latest news and even just relax and unwind.

Although social platforms are generally used by people to socialise, there’s no doubt they also play a significant role in workforce recruitment. In fact, jobseekers have been increasingly using social media when looking for a new role, with recent research indicating that 79% of all jobseekers use social media when conducting their job search.

As a result of applicants using social platforms to aid their search, how a company conducts itself on social media now plays a huge role in talent attraction. Along with using social to find new career opportunities, 75% of active jobseekers are more likely to apply for a job if the employer regularly manages its social presence.

social recruiting hr

The social platforms themselves have also been quick to pick up on how job-hunting habits have shifted into the social world in recent years – especially for younger people. For instance, in July 2021 video social networking site TikTok launched TikTok Resumes, a pilot programme where users could create a video CV showcasing their experience and skills to send directly to participating recruiters.

Now of course, we’re not advocating you ask new recruits to perform a TikTok dance as part of their job application – far from it! But if you’re a business that’s keen to attract fresh young talent or promising graduates, you shouldn’t ignore your organisation’s social presence: it’s time you harnessed the power of social recruitment.

Building bridges

Social media and social recruiting can provide any business with a huge opportunity to build relationships with a pool of potential candidates who might be interested in working for them. It levels the recruitment playing field and allows smaller businesses to compete with the bigger corporate players for the brightest workforce talent.

The majority of today’s workforce are true ‘digital natives’. They’ve been reared on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and now expect to be able to engage with companies in the same way they would a friend or even an influencer. Indeed, they probably wouldn’t want to work for a business that wasn’t embracing social media.

So, how can organisations step up their social recruiting game and make influential social channels an integral part of their employee attraction strategy – sitting alongside (not necessarily replacing) more conventional means of attracting candidates?

Here’s some practical ideas to get you started:

Review your company’s own social policies and procedures

Social media may be hugely popular, but it can be something of a minefield for HR teams.

Social platforms offer the chance for everyone to express themselves freely, which on the surface is great! But that freedom of expression can lead to extremely difficult situations for employers and their hard-working HR teams: in particular, if their employees are caught using their social platforms to incite negative, offensive views, or bring the company name into disrepute.

Before implementing any new social recruitment strategy, give some thought to your own company’s social media policies. Having clear and accessible stated policies in place – both for your own employees via your HR portals and for your social followers on your channels – can help protect both your business and its reputation.

If you need some formal guidance on social policies, the CIPD have a number of posts on the topic, which you can read more about here.

Needing some further inspiration? Social gurus EveryoneSocial has put together a selection of established social policies from some of the world’s biggest brands that help ensure employees know exactly what they should and shouldn’t do on social channels.

Make sure your social pages are on point

If you haven’t already, work with your marketing team to make sure your company’s social pages are up-to-date and regularly sharing informative content that engages with your followers. Try to create and share content that positions you as a leading player in your field – not just product advertisements or job postings.

In addition, look to showcase your own employee’s stories, team events and other company culture touchpoints through written, audio or visual content. This way, you’re giving prospective candidates a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what they can look forward to should they join your team. These can be far more insightful than just an ‘about us’ section contained within a job description or on a website.

Promote (and be a part of) social interactions

Social mdia platforms are where people go to, you know, socialise! Take LinkedIn for example: encourage your followers to contribute their views and take part in debates about the latest industry issues and news. After all, LinkedIn is the perfect forum for these types of business-related social activities.

Along with encouraging healthy discussions, aim to be an active participant in groups on industry-related forums: but, be aware that simply following a group or person and then posting company-centric posts or job opportunities won’t cut it and can actually draw negative attention to your business.

Engage with the communities you’re a part of and provide value to group members. Once group members get to know you, they will be much more receptive to posts that promote job opportunities or your business.

Setup your own interest groups

Along with participating with your audiences, why not create your own interest groups where you can share helpful content and insights around themes affecting your industry? This is a great way to not only engage with your audiences, but can also highlight your knowledge and expertise in your company’s sector.

In addition to reputation-building that targets potential clients, you’ll also be likely to attract the very people you want to recruit. Encourage participants to ask questions, start discussions and network with you and each other online.

Encourage employee advocacy

Your own employees can play an important part of any social recruitment activities you decide to undertake. Look to encourage a culture of advocacy in your organisation through social media platforms. This could involve your employees sharing brand content that’s helpful to anyone in your field of expertise. Or, it could include employees offering a glimpse into your company’s culture from a ‘real world’ perspective.

You may also look to turn your existing employees into ambassadors for your business. Encourage them to maintain an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn, for example, and to be receptive to queries from people who may contact them to ask about products, services and job opportunities.

If you want to learn more about employee advocacy, social media experts Hootsuite have written a comprehensive guide on the subject, which you can view here.

Paul Bauer author image

Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer is the Head of Content at Cezanne HR. Based in the Utopia of Milton Keynes (his words, not ours!) he’s worked within the employee benefits, engagement and HR sectors for over four years. He's also earned multiple industry awards for his work - including a coveted Roses Creative Award.

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