Photo Credit: Dimitri Vervitsiotis/Getty Images

I have been talking to a lot of recruiters over the past few months and I have been surprised to discover how many have still not embraced social networking as part of their recruitment process. In fact, I’m shocked by the number who aren't even considering it. Social networking just seems like a natural progression for the recruitment industry to me. Some told me that they just don’t know where to start. Others admitted that they are a little bit intimidated.

People worldwide are already using social to their advantage in business, and in job search. Check out our infographic for 2012. These numbers may surprise you and they will only continue to rise in 2013.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to offer some practical advice for any recruiter that has not made implementing social recruiting a priority. I'll discuss how to get started, the sites I believe you should begin with, and some tips on how to maneuver and get the most from each of the big three sites: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

First, let me stress my opinion that social recruiting should be an integral part of your strategy for 2013. If you are not using social, the fact is, you are missing opportunities. You don’t have to be a social networking expert to use these sites and reap their benefits. Consider this: Facebook now boasts over a billion users. That is a billion with a “B”! Those that would otherwise not be accessible, like famous world leaders and top executives have twitter accounts. The Pope has a twitter account for heaven's sake!

Statistically speaking, social networking has the ability to help you make more connections with more people. The more connections you make, the more likely you are to secure new business and identify top talent. You want new business and top talent, right?

Getting Started

As with all business initiatives, start with a good plan. Plan how you will use social networking in your recruitment efforts. Are you looking for more candidates? Do you need better connections for client leads? Maybe you are trying to create brand awareness for the company you recruit for. Whatever your goal, it is good to have an idea of what type of information you will be distributing. Recruiters will often use social sights to highlight specific jobs opportunities, create open dialogue with potential clients and candidates, or simply build their reputation within their niche.

Sign Up

Once you have realized that you need to use social recruiting, and you have a basic plan, I recommend that you begin by creating an account on each of the three biggest social networks; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you specifically want to create brand awareness, you will also want to consider a company page where you can use your logo, and begin to create a “fan base” or “following” around what makes your organization unique.

Keep it Clean

Use common sense when setting up your profile. Always include a nice head shot photograph. Don’t attempt to be creative on this. Basic is the best policy. How would you want to look if you were going to be networking with potential candidates and clients in person? Stay away from fictitious names or complicated handles on Twitter and remember that while some sites will give you the opportunity to delete a post, some don't. Once you've put it out there, it is out there forever. Don't write anything online that you would not feel comfortable with your very best client or your mom reading.

Be Consistent and Efficient

Once you have created your social accounts on the big three, get in the habit of posting to each site at least once every day. This is how your network gets to know you. Invite all of your contacts to connect with you. Your personal database of contacts is what makes social networking so successful. It's word-of-mouth marketing gone wild.

There is a ton of information on the web about how to best use these sites and as I mentioned above, I will be blogging some specific tips over the next three weeks. In the meantime, I encourage you to investigate tools to help you manage your posts. Some will be especially helpful to those who are seeking candidates. Our site for example, includes automatic posting to all three of these networks when you distribute your job ad via our site. Check out our homepage for more information.

I hope this blog will motivate you to try social recruiting.

Once you've signed up, leave me a line here about how it went. Was it quick and easy? What held you up?

Amy McDonald has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. She has worked in corporate recruiting as well as third party search and staffing. She has worked with hundreds of recruitment professionals over her career, training best practices in sourcing candidates and refining the recruitment process. She currently is the president and CEO at






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