How Can Recruiters Use Social Media Better in 2016?

Social media is a cost-effective way of getting the right eyes on your vacancies, and that can lead to better candidates applying for the role. That said, too many recruiters fall into the trap of using social media as a vessel for only posting available positions and miss out on so many opportunities to find better candidates and generate business leads.

Recruitment is no different. With each passing year, more and more digital natives enter the workforce. They look to social media for their opportunities much in the way that people once circled jobs in a newspaper. Recent research from the Aberdeen Group shows that almost 73% of 18-34 year olds found their previous job through a social network. So how can recruiters use social media in a better way going forward?

Find Candidates’ Online Hangouts

social media in 2016This piece of advice often has people stopping at the usual suspects. Of course you can find candidates via LinkedIn. That’s a given, but that might not show off the skills that your role requires in the best possible way, or they can be gamed slightly to appear better than they are. How many LinkedIn endorsements have you received from people who have never worked with you?

Going a little further can be really advantageous. Your next developer could be on GitHub where they collaborate on projects in their spare time. Places like Behance and Cargo Collective are perfect for the creative industries as they allow individuals to show off their portfolios. Another potential avenue is industry-specific Twitter chats where people discuss the latest happenings in their profession. For those that work in Corporate Social Responsibility, #CSRChat is a great place to start, and #TChat is a great discussion around HR, talent acquisition and career management.

Approaching talent in a unique manner instead of a bog-standard email or LinkedIn message will get you noticed more often than not. If you can find people who are active in their profession outside of working hours, you can feel more confident that they’ll be engaged during working hours.

Go Beyond the CV

social_media_2016_3.pngIt’s vital to find candidates who possess the requisite skills. However, the skill set alone isn’t enough to secure a position. Cultural fit between employer and employee is just as important. Getting the right fit can make a big difference to the happiness and productivity of your new hire and the existing workforce. This helps with decreasing staff turnover, and ultimately recruiting costs.

We’ve seen how industry-specific platforms are advantageous when recruiting, but social media also provides a great holistic view of candidates. This is where Facebook and Twitter come in; helping you understand the person as well as the worker. This can be important when weighing up if they are the right mixture of skills and fit for that particular role.

Social Media Advertising

Facebook’s precise targeting options with their advertising could be a great way for recruiters to find potential hires. Facebook reach continues to be tiny for organic posts. Chances are that if you’re hiring for a role, the people you want to speak to haven’t liked or engaged with your page. Social advertising becomes a great way of broadening awareness of the role amongst qualified candidates.

This goes hand-in-hand with creating high quality social media content. Helping clients appear attractive to potential employees makes a recruiter’s job that bit easier when it comes to selling a role to someone who is happy where they are.

Create Content for Social Media

More often than not recruitment on social media amounts to simply posting vacancies as LinkedIn updates and tweets with the hope that qualified candidates will notice and apply. That really should change in 2016.

Creating content about recruitment in and around the industry you specialise in can help yourself stand out both on a personal and brand level. This lets candidates and clients know you understand their industry and their needs, helping generate better quality candidates and more leads. Don’t just promote the fact you have a position available, share your thoughts on recent industry events.


How should you create the content? I’d recommend investing in video. If an image is worth a thousand words, then a video is a thousand images. General social media trends, such as investment in video, should be mirrored in recruitment. A simple but powerful example is a video testimonial from current employees on what it’s like to work at that company.

Recruiters can use social media more effectively in 2016 by implementing all or some of these points. You will reap the rewards if you take the time to engage with people as human beings, as opposed to CVs and possible leads. This might mean sourcing talent where they reside online, or simply finding out more about the candidate to decide if they’re a correct fit for the role.

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Sources: Image 2

Fino Hood

Fino runs his own social media consultancy in Edinburgh. When he's not helping companies grow their presence online you’ll find him watching Rugby.

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