How to use social media to recruit top talent
Whether your team is growing, someone’s resigned, or you need to cover a period of absence – social media is a great way to find the perfect candidates.
In this blog post, we share everything you need to know about using social media as a highly effective tool in your recruitment process. Read on or click the links below to jump ahead to the bits you’re most interested in.
- What is social media recruitment?
- Why is using social media for recruitment so effective?
- Which social media platform is best for recruiting?
- How do you use LinkedIn to find candidates?
- How much money do you need to spend when recruiting on social media?
- How long will it take to find candidates on social media?
- What are the risks of social media recruitment?
What is social media recruitment?
Social media recruitment is all about harnessing the power of social media platforms (like LinkedIn and Facebook) to source – and ultimately hire – new employees into your organisation.
For Gen Z and Millennials, using social media to look for a new job is very popular. In fact, 73% of 18–34-year-olds found their latest job on social media. So, as an employer or hiring manager, it’s a pretty great place to advertise job vacancies.
Why is using social media for recruitment so effective?
There’s 67 million people in the UK and more than 57 million of them use social media! So as far as ‘reach’ goes, social media gives hiring managers and recruiters access to a huge talent pool.
In addition to this, platforms like LinkedIn allow you to organise and manage applicants too, so you can effectively shortlist candidates – more on this shortly.
At its core, social media is simply a communications tool. If you’re clear on your message (I’m hiring for x role) and you know which target audience you want to speak to (‘I’m after people with x, y, z skills/experience’), you can use social media to your advantage.
Which social media platform is best for recruiting?
LinkedIn is a great option for recruiting. It has a whopping 750+ million users worldwide! It’s also a business focussed platform unlike e.g., Instagram, which is less about business and more about pleasure. And by pleasure we mean hilarious dog videos.
What’s more, LinkedIn has a robust ‘Jobs’ section dedicated to job seekers and hiring managers. So, whether you’re searching for your next exciting job opportunity, or you’re on the hunt for the perfect candidate – LinkedIn has excellent search capability to help you.
How do you use LinkedIn to find candidates?
Firstly, you’ll need an account. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account already, they’re very easy to set up (click here to join LinkedIn). Note that when you’re recruiting, candidates are very likely to look at your profile to learn more about you, so be sure to compete it. Include your career history and a picture of your lovely face.
Once you’ve got a profile set up, you’re ready to post a job in order to receive applicant CVs. Here’s how:
- Go to the ‘Jobs’ tab in the top ribbon / main LinkedIn menu.
- From here you’ll see a menu on the left, select: ‘Post a free job’.
- You’ll then need to use your LinkedIn login details to access the Talent Solutions site.
- You’ll then be asked for some basic information about the role you’re recruiting – job title, company, workplace type, job location and job type.
- Then hit: ‘Get started for free’.
- From here you’ll need to add an enticing description of the role.
- You can also add in up to ten skills keywords that relate to the job you’re hiring for, then click: ‘Next’.
- Next, you’ll be asked how you’d like to be notified about applicants to your job posting, you’ll likely want to select ‘by email’ for this.
- There’s an option to add screening questions at this stage, you can choose relevant skills and how many years of experience are required.
- Finally, a #Hiring’ frame will be added to the profile picture you have on your LinkedIn profile – this is so people can clearly see you’re actively recruiting.
- You can preview the posting to check you’re happy and then hit: ‘Post job for free’.
- A verification code will be required to prove that you work for company you say you do.
Once all this is setup, you can kick back, relax, and wait for the applicants to come to you! And the great thing about the LinkedIn platform is you can easily manage the applicants you receive. For instance, you can tag the candidates you think look good and add them to a shortlist, ready to contact. Plus, you can send pre-written rejection messages to those who don’t fit the bill.
If you’d like to actively search for candidates, you can do this too. Note that you’ll need to be connected to other LinkedIn members to make this kind of searching fruitful. Plus, the people you’re searching won’t necessarily be open to a new job role – so this method takes more work and perseverance than simply posting a job role!
Let’s look at how to search:
- Using the main search bar (top left) simply type the job title you’re recruiting for e.g., ‘Project manager’ and hit enter.
- In the left-hand menu bar, click: ‘People’ – this will bring up a list of people who currently have that job title listed as their current role on their LinkedIn profile.
- By clicking: ‘See all people results’ you’ll be taken to a page where you can add filters.
- A useful filter here is: ‘Location’ – so you can remove anyone to far from your office location (unless of course the role is remote, in which case you can recruit people in any location!)
- You can also filter by industry, languages spoken and keywords – handy!
- For candidate you like the look of, you can ‘connect’ with them and if they accept your request, you’ll be able to message them to understand if they’d consider your job opportunity.
- To message people directly, you’ll need LinkedIn Premium which comes at a price.
How much money do you need to spend when recruiting on social media?
It’s completely free to post a job on LinkedIn. With a good job description, you can attract lots of candidates at zero cost!
However, if you want to actively search for people, then having the ability to message them – even if they’re not an existing connection – is useful. This requires LinkedIn Premium which is free for the first month and then may cost anything from £20 to £100+ per month depending on what features you need.
How long will it take to find candidates on social media?
This all depends on the nature of the job. How specialised is the role? If you’re looking for someone with a very niche set of skills, or someone with at least say, 10 years of experience, it will take longer to find the candidates you need. On the flip side, if you’re looking for someone more junior and you can train them up, you’re likely to find relevant candidates much quicker.
With this in mind it’s difficult to give a definitive time scale. However, for easier to fill roles, advertising a vacancy for two to four weeks should be enough to get some good CVs. For harder to fill roles, you may need longer.
Of course, other factors matter here too, like how well have you written the job description? Is the salary banding advertised? What about hybrid working options? How good is the benefits package? You need to make the job role as appealing as possible to ensure you’re attracting a good number of applicants. You can read 9 things to consider when writing a job description here.
What are the risks of social media recruitment?
When using social media to recruit, make sure you understand the different types of recruitment bias to avoid it creeping in! For instance, on LinkedIn, you’ll be able to view applicant profiles including their profile picture. Be sure to avoid making snap judgments about candidates based on first impressions. Stick to the application information – do they have the right experience, yes or no?
Another risk to avoid is allowing yourself to become overloaded with applications. If you don’t keep on top of these you may find yourself taking too long to reply to candidates, or not replying at all! This is a very bad look for your company brand, you could do reputational damage without meaning to. To avoid this, schedule time in your diary each day to review applicant CVs and deal with them there and then. Rejecting applicants can be difficult and you may be tempted to put it off to another day – don’t!
Looking for more support with recruitment? Why not try our handy templates.