How to get started with Social Recruiting!

Social Recruiting is the hot (relatively) new recruiting method in the recruiting space.  There are a number of companies that have had success and are doing cool things with social but there are also others that are struggling to make it a part of their recruitment marketing efforts.  This article is for the latter that are just looking to get their feet wet in social recruiting.


So you’ve decided to get your company engaged with social media in your recruitment efforts.  The next question is how to get started.


Here are a few initial steps:


Sign Up: First and foremost have anyone who will be involved in social media sign up and engage with their own social profiles.  Don’t just sign up and watch but use the tools and engage with your own networks.  Try new things and get to the point where you feel comfortable taking the training wheels off.

As part of this, make sure to include a picture and a bio to include on your social profiles.  There’s nothing worse than engaging with a person or company with no picture or bio.

Find Role Models: Just like everything else in life, you should aspire to find social media people that you strive to emulate.  Follow people and companies that you respect and borrow ideas in terms of content, engagement and tone from social profiles that you like.

You will start by emulating what you like but will end up creating a social media voice that is all your own.

Build Content Stockpiles: Social media is about two main things: engagement and content.  For content, you’ll want to start creating easy ways to stay up to date with the best content your company and other people in your industry creates.  Two great ways to easily find and share the best content:

  • Create RSS feeds such as Google Reader to stay up to date with the best news and blog content that’s published in your industry.
  • Follow & Connect with people / organizations that produce great content.  Try and segment them with Twitter lists.

Continually update these lists and keep up to date with the best content sources in your industry.  Also make sure to include your job openings whenever you distribute jobs to other channels such as job boards.  That is good content but shouldn’t be the only content you share on social profiles.


Respond: There is no excuse for not responding to other social media users that communicate with you via one of your channels.  Use applications such as HootSuite or TweetDeck to easily see when users communicate with you so you can respond.


Advertise channels: What’s the point of having social media channels if no one knows about them.  Make sure to include links to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + profiles on your Career Site, Job Ads, during the application process and on the email signatures of your recruiters.

Any place that candidates have contact with your employer brand you should enable them to easily join your social networks.

Who’s in Control: This is important as you advance your profiles.  Who on the staff is part of your social strategy?  Now this doesn’t have to be one person but can be multiple people on your staff.  Some organizations have every one of their recruiting staff be active on social channels.

It’s important to make sure that your employees know who is responsible and how they can be involved in your social efforts.

How to measure: I’d say first just get used to being involved in social media but at some point you need to understand why you are doing it.  Is it to strengthen your employer brand?  Is it to increase the number of qualified candidates you receive?  Is it for customer service reasons?

For any reason you have for implementing social recruiting, make sure to have recruitment metrics and social media analytics that back up how you are performing in the goals you set out for yourself.


When you begin a social recruiting strategy it’s important to first just learn and adapt.  There will be growing pains in implementing a successful strategy but if you can get through this, it can be a valuable part of your recruitment marketing strategy.

Views: 194

Comment by Ben on July 29, 2011 at 4:57am

Hi Chris, I love posts like this. The Innovators stage with social recruiting is coming to an end (if it hasn’t already) and anything that can help folks transition through the Early Adopters  - Early majority stage (Rogers, Stages of Adoption, [1962]) are a huge plus in my book.


I myself have written several posts on the very topic (feel free to dig them out on or [my personal blog])) and have been on a great journey of discovery.  One of my biggest lessons so far? It came from reading Oliver Blanchard's Social Media ROI (a great read I highly recommend) - Before you start worrying about your content, LISTEN - Listen to what your candidates want and the content will begin to produce / write itself.  Check what people are saying about you, analyse your findings, respond and repeat.


Another major lesson - Social media is great but ultimately many are going to use it as additional sign posts to drive traffic to a career site.  Do you really want to be doing this if your career site isn't great? - Get your existing house in order before screaming & shouting to get everyone's attention.


You're absolutely right about "Respond" - The killer commodities of social media are trust, relationships, conversations and dialogue - it needs to be two-way. I cringe when I see companies just using twitter to relentlessly push job after job after job - they think they're being "social" when they're not - they doing what I was going at the end of the 90's with web 1.0 and job boards.


I better stop there. I tend to get quite passionate about this topic and I fear your readers may be starting to yawn ;-)

Comment by Chris Brablc on July 29, 2011 at 11:09am

Thanks for the comment, Ben!  I like to do posts like these every so often as I think some think that getting social recruiting started is this insurmountable step.  Also, I definitely see some recruiting organizations that are as you say "relentlessly pushing jobs" via social media.


I agree with you Listening is a big part of a successful strategy.  That is done through monitoring and analyzing the right metrics (so you can see what content works the best.)


Thanks for the insight and I love the passion!


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