Using social media for recruitment in 2024

social media for recruitment
Posted on 05 April 2024 In Recruitment

When you advertise on job boards, you’re sure to reach active job seekers – as long as you offer attractive opportunities, set relevant search parameters and choose the right platforms. After all, people who actively search for jobs will gravitate toward relevant advertising. But you may be missing out on opportunities to attract candidates who aren’t actively seeking a job right now but might find working for your company to be an attractive prospect. Using social media fills this gap, giving you access to those you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

When searching for talent on social media, LinkedIn is an obvious choice particularly when you’re hoping to fill higher-level posts. 94% of companies use it to source candidates. But there’s more to using social media for recruiting than LinkedIn. 60% search for candidates on Facebook. 47% extend their talent search to Twitter (now X), and 11% use Instagram to find candidates. As we’ll demonstrate in this article, there are multiple benefits attached to using social media for recruiting:

What are the benefits of using social media for recruitment?

Attract passive candidates

Passive candidates are usually content in their current positions, but they might be tempted to apply for your vacancy based on how you promote your organization and its opportunities on social media. In their current roles, they are likely to be getting on well with management and colleagues. They may perform well and feel secure. They wouldn’t have considered moving on unless they spotted an opportunity for personal advancement. These are stable employees who are likely to have a high drive to succeed, and who are more likely to retain their new jobs thanks to the opportunities offered. 

Get extra visibility

It’s hard work looking for a job and, even when candidates are actively searching for their ideal position, they may not be aware of your offer. In their free time, they browse their social media, and your targeted advertising may reach them when they least expect it. With astute targeting that reaches beyond your usual follower base, you’ll get extra visibility – and more applicants. As for your social media followers, it would be reasonable to assume that they are already actively engaging with what you do, making them highly lucrative prospects in terms of future employment.

Attract higher-quality candidates

By expanding your reach across a range of social media channels, more people become aware of your recruiting drive. If you target social media based on people’s skills, qualifications and interests, you stand a good chance of attracting the kind of candidates you want most. If you’ve already spent time networking with people within your industry, you might decide to target them individually, letting them know that you’re offering an opportunity and would be happy to receive their application. 

Build employer brand awareness

Companies can use social media to build an employer brand that resonates with consumers and job-seekers alike. Consumers love companies that offer an insider perspective that feels authentic and aligns with their mission and values. Building your employer brand through social media also allows you to showcase what’s great about working for your organization. This attracts both active and passive job seekers when you have available posts. 

Recruiting with social media invites engagement

Social media posts invite users to initiate conversations. With interested people feeling free to ask questions or comment, you may find yourself engaging in conversations that would not otherwise have been initiated. This can be a good way of getting to know applicants before they enter formal interview environments. The people you reach might also share your recruitment posts with their networks, expanding your reach even further. 

Expanding reach whilst remaining cost-effective

By now, most people will know that print advertising is a costly business. Your ROI can still be good if you choose the right publications, but reach is limited. Even if you adjust visibility to target specific skills, interests, and locations, your advertising may be seen by more people when you use social media advertising. Advertising on job boards? Choosing ones that share advertising on social media can be helpful. You don’t have to go to any extra effort, and your ads still feature on social media platforms. 

Running recruitment campaigns with quick results

If your business has been using social media to share interesting industry-related information, you’re likely to have a following of people who work within your line of business. They, in turn, will have their own network of contacts with similar skills with whom they might share your talent search. This can mean that your social media recruiting strategy produces rapid results, helping you to reduce time to hire as well as hiring costs. However, you should never limit yourself. While social media can help you in your talent search, it’s only a supplement to direct advertising. 

What are some of the challenges of using social media for recruitment?

When using social media campaigns to recruit employees, it’s important not to be too stringent with your parameters – which is often a risk with paid digital advertising. For instance, focusing on specific demographics may lower your advertising costs but there is a risk of restricting your potential reach. For example, you might decide to advertise to people living locally – but if a better candidate from further afield is willing to consider relocating, you just missed an opportunity. When formulating your social media recruitment campaigns, try to allow for a broader demographic than the one that seems most obvious. 

Besides this, you might get a high volume of approaches from people who are just testing the waters or trying their luck. They aren’t fully convinced that they would want the post, but they want to see what offer they might get or hope to land a job they aren’t fully qualified for. While this can happen in more formal recruitment advertising contexts, it’s likely to occur more frequently when implementing social media recruitment campaigns. Nevertheless, the likelihood of attracting highly engaged, genuinely interested candidates through social media is high enough for most companies to tolerate this disadvantage.

It’s also common for recruiters to take a deep dive into applicant’s social media profiles during the advertising phase. This can allow bias to enter the equation and it could originate in something as simple as a dubious profile picture or a poorly-considered comment. Overcome this obstacle by using programmatic tools to sort applications and by implementing background checks only when a serious hire decision is pending. 

Finally, social media can, by its very nature, limit the information you can share when recruiting. For example, there are character count limitations that might prevent you from explaining your requirements fully. However, this can be overcome by directing users to a site that allows for the publication of more detailed information. 

Tips for formulating a social media recruiting strategy

Research your niche

Like any other marketing campaign, your first step towards implementing social media recruiting will be research. Consider which platforms your ideal candidates are likeliest to frequent. LinkedIn offers a full spectrum of professional interests, but other platforms might work even better, depending on your niche. For example, Instagram is ideal for recruiting in health, beauty, fitness and travel-related industries. You may also want to consider which platforms are used more by specific demographics. If you’re advertising graduate opportunities such as internships and fast-track schemes, TikTok offers a slew of benefits for recruiting young people who are eager to make their mark on the employment market.

Remain people-centered

Ultimately, social media is about creating communities of like-minded people, so it’s vital to remain people-focused when devising your social media recruitment strategy. Ask yourself questions such as the following: who are your ideal candidates, what do they want and how can you deliver on this in a way that feels compelling and authentic? Social media also brings people together from a diverse range of backgrounds who share a common interest, so ask yourself how you can adapt and tailor your social media branding to reduce the risk of a homogeneous talent pool.

Stay goal-oriented 

Consider what you want to achieve with social media recruitment and why you’re using it to complement traditional approaches  – or even replace them. Although you might look at reach and engagement, your top metric is likely to be the number of qualified applicants you attract.
This will allow you to allocate your resources to top-performing platforms and campaigns for a better return on ad spend. Those who take a longer view might consider employer branding and engagement with an eye to attracting applicants in future. Fortunately, analyzing trends and patterns of engagement on social media (through views, likes, comments etc.) is a relatively straightforward process.

Track your progress

Be sure to track your metrics to see whether you’re hitting the sweet spot with social media recruiting. What you measure depends on your goals, and if you aren’t happy with results it’s worth considering whether the approach, rather than the platform, is to blame for any underperformance. Generally speaking, your company should spend time positioning itself as a desirable employer. Since this also appeals to consumers who are happy to support brands with a positive workplace culture, it’s time well spent. Once the desired impression has been created, attracting applicants when posts fall vacant becomes much easier. 

Get employees on board

Your existing employees can help you find candidates too. Since their networks include former workmates or fellow students, they may be able to reach the talent you most want to attract. This could go beyond simply sharing job advertisements to include creating posts where they detail their own experiences as an employee. Providing some loose guidelines should help ensure that posts are on-brand without coming across as inauthentic. Finally, while you can offer some incentives for successful referrals, people should in no way feel coerced or obliged to post about their employer on their personal social media profiles.

Leverage social media recruitment with Broadbean

Automation is the key to efficiency. Use Broadbean’s curated software suite to help you leverage social media and evaluate and fine-tune your results. We recommend using conventional platforms with social media as a supplementary option. This will be especially helpful if you haven’t yet undertaken an employer branding process or don’t have the time to build online relationships. Broadbean will help you to gain exposure across multiple channels, augmenting your reach, ranking applications impartially, and helping you to find the people you need both quickly and effectively.

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