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What is Social Recruiting?

The more you can humanize your brand on Twitter, the more people can get to know who they will eventually be working with.”
–Twitter Director of Small Business Russ Laraway on Recruiting

Social recruiting is just another way of saying recruiting from your extended communities. It’s not magic or something different. Social recruiting is defined as using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and many other digital networks of people, to recruit and to find people.

Why should a business leverage social recruiting?

  • Posting a job on social media builds awareness online by attracting more visitors.
  • It is free. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook cost nothing to post, share or tweet a job opening. (LinkedIn does charge to post a job ad through its platform, but not to share a job as a status update or with a group).
  • Facebook and Twitter are the easiest ways for employees to share a job opening with friends. When paired with a referral incentive, this can be extremely effective.
  • Having jobs online shows everyone a business is doing well.

How do people find jobs on social media?

Many businesses still think of the reach of social media as something that is specific to your followers and friends. “I don’t have that many followers on Twitter.” “I don’t have enough likes on Facebook.”

However, social media has become searchable. Social search is a topic that would take its own article(s). Here are key things to know about social search for social recruiting, and how people can find jobs on social media.

Twitter uses hashtags to identify topics, #superbowl for example. This means if a business tweets and has a hashtag, others can not only search by the hashtag, but also can be following the hashtag, even if they are not following the company on Twitter.

How does this affect recruiting? If a business has a Twitter account with one follower, and it tweets a job opening with hashtags, for example “Hiring new staff #jobs #foodservice #orlando,” anyone searching or following the hashtags either individually or together, will see the tweet. This is another benefit of social recruiting: posting jobs to your social networks increases your awareness overall on social media.

Facebook just released Graph Search and hashtags. This means someone looking for a job can now search on Facebook for a job.

Having a strong social presence augments social recruiting.

Social recruiting can be as simple as sharing a job on Facebook or utilizing Twitter’s #jobs hashtag to promote a job. However, to really leverage social recruiting, employers should also focus on their social media footprint. By surrounding a social recruiting effort with social media content, a company augments the distribution of the open job or jobs.

Some Social Media Best Practices

Use photos with copy. This is the easiest way to get more attention on social media. People love photos and videos.

Collect relevant content to share about the company. A company can utilize any articles, images, etc., that it already has. The idea is to create a continuous online presence.

Showcase current employees’ work and progress. Businesses should share how much they care about the people working for them and how they’ve helped the company. A company should tell a story of its business and its team.

Vary your content type. Share images, editorial, video, articles and even related news.

Engage with your networks. Social media is about interacting with networks and followers. Content sharing creates links which also builds SEO.

Pay attention to SEO and keywords. It is advisable that content be rich with keywords related to an industry. For example, “tacos” versus “Mexican food” (tacos is the clear winner, visit

Best Practices for Social Recruiting on Popular Social Sites

While there are many social networks to choose from, some are more popular than others. The networks listed below each have large numbers of users, but each is entirely different and should be approached as so.


There are more than 1 million LinkedIn Groups. (LinkedIn)

LinkedIn is all about groups and status updates. A business should encourage employees that have LinkedIn profiles to be members of related groups on LinkedIn. For example, bartenders on LinkedIn has more than 5,000 members. Having employees and managers post a job opening to their own pages and contacts is just halfway, publicizing an open job to groups where potential candidates already exist is equally important. Don’t forget alumni and hobby groups.


There are more than 2.1 billion searches on Twitter each day. (
Twitter is a perfect medium for recruiting. A business can hashtag a job and even tag others in a tweet. It provides a platform for someone to easily retweet a job to followers. Photos are also great for Twitter. Showing a team photo, and then tweeting “Join our team! We are hiring for a new location! #jobs #LA #restaurants” will go a long way.


There were more than 584 million daily active users on average in September 2012. (Facebook Press)

Job openings can easily be shared on regular posts on Facebook. Others can like and share the job to their followers. The best practice here is to keep the tone light, and to make the job look interesting and worth sharing with friends. Companies should also post jobs on their own pages on Facebook.

Employees as Brand Ambassadors and Sources of Referrals

Referrals are the best and easiest way to find great employees. Not only does a company have an existing connection to the prospective employee, but that person is connected to an advocate for the business. Social recruiting is the best vehicle to encourage referrals. As mentioned before, when combined with an incentive to existing employees for referrals, social recruiting can substantially lower overall recruiting costs.

Social Recruiting is a Must

Social media and social recruiting aren’t just about posting jobs. They are about sharing the story of a business and creating awareness of the value of the company for customers, clients, existing employees and potential hires. Utilizing social networks to spread the awareness of job openings can increase the number of qualified candidates, encourage teamwork and pride from existing employees and strengthen the brand of a company.

Justin Sherratt is the CEO and founder of Sortbox Inc., which provides a platform for small businesses to easily promote their jobs on social media through free, branded career pages, custom job pages and a simplified application process. Find him at via the directory.

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