Social Media Recruiting + 4 Strategies for Success

Today, social media plays an increasingly prominent role in corporate recruiting. And millennials aren’t the only generational demographic that it touches. Professionals of all ages – from 20-somethings through Gen Xers, baby boomers and even their traditionalist elders – use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more every day. Reaching both active (i.e., those actively looking for opportunities) and passive candidates through social media can be a powerful and effective recruiting tool. It can also serve other, equally valuable purposes for your business—provided you plan strategically and execute with precision.  

How Far We’ve Come

Traditional recruiting tools Include display advertising, classified ads, career fairs—even word of mouth. Traditionally, recruiters both inside and outside organizational walls relied primarily on tools like these to reach active candidates—and possibly entice those not actively seeking employment (i.e., passive candidates). All of that started to change with the adoption of social media platforms. Initially, LinkedIn and Facebook led the charge; but more recently, recruiters have embraced platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and even Snapchat. The reason is simple: To reach your audience, you need to be where their focus resides.  

Why Organizations Use Social Media for Recruiting

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) polled organizations in 2011, 2013 and 2015 on their reasons for using social media in recruitment efforts. “Recruit passive job candidates who might not otherwise apply or be contacted by the organization” remained the top reason in each of the three polling years. Nearly across the board, results showed that recruiters increasingly used social media for other purposes. Consider:
  • “Increase employer brand and recognition” – 60 percent in 2011, 67 percent in 2013 and 77 percent in 2015.
  • “Target job candidates with a very specific set of skills” – 52 percent in 2011, 69 percent in 2013 and 71 percent in 2015.
  • “Allow potential job candidates to easily contact the organization about employment” – 47 percent in 2011, 57 percent in 2013 and 64 percent in 2015.
  • “Target a specific job level to recruit or contact (e.g., entry level, managers, executives)” – 54 percent in 2011, 55 percent in 2013 and 61 percent in 2015.
  • “Identify potential job candidates in other geographical regions” – 39 percent in 2011, 41 percent in 2013 and 53 percent in 2015.
Clearly, social media usage was up among recruiters during this time, along with the reasons behind that usage. As social media usage continues to mushroom, there’s absolutely no reason to think these trends have moved downward since the latest poll.  

Are Certain Platforms Well-Suited for Specific Audiences and Purposes?

At Lutz Talent, we believe so. LinkedIn and Facebook, in particular, enable the most direct outreach to candidates. Both platforms enable users to search specific characteristics of target candidates, and once those candidates are identified, message them directly. As a result, while LinkedIn and Facebook are useful for many types of searches, recruiters often use them for very targeted searches. Conversely, platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are great vehicles for building and nurturing a strong corporate brand, as well as establishing and nurturing connections with passive candidates.  

How Can My Organization Leverage Social Media in its Recruiting Efforts? Try These 4 First Steps.

1.Look inward.

Leverage your most valuable resource—your people. Talk to current employees, because presumably, you’re looking to hire folks with similar skill sets, personality types and so on. Ask them about their social media usage: what platforms they use; which they prefer; and why they feel that way. Ask them also about their experience in your organization: why they enjoy working there; what attracted them to the organization; what keeps them there; and what barriers to recruitment may exist.

2.Consider your organization’s brand.

If the brand isn’t well-established in the market space, it’s wise to dig in and start building a winning brand. After all, you don’t want to reach potential candidates, only to have them visit your website and get a less-than-optimal impression.

3.Focus on engaging and value-added content.

Many human resources professionals fall into the trap of assuming that content essentially is the job posting itself, and nothing more. In fact, content is much more than a summary of responsibilities, qualifications, compensation and other information. Your content strategy for social media recruitment must be geared toward attracting attention, sparking genuine interest, offering valuable information and compelling action. It’s not easy; but in the drive to woo top candidates to your shop over your competitor’s, it’s often what makes the difference.

4.Target content appropriately to each platform.

What works on Twitter doesn’t necessarily work on Instagram, LinkedIn or other platforms. Conversely, a targeted LinkedIn message may not be suitable for the constraints of Twitter, or the format of YouTube. Recognizing each platform’s unique purpose, and utilizing them appropriately, is critical.   At Lutz Talent, we take a holistic approach toward social media recruiting for our clients. That means practicing what we preach by applying each of the four steps above to client assignments in ways that promote optimal outcomes. We can help clients assess their brands; take inventory of employee perspectives; develop social media recruitment strategies; expand those strategies over time; develop winning content; and ensure that all tactics are fully integrated—and tie back to broader organizational strategies. Start with the four steps we outlined above, and your social media recruiting efforts will be well-positioned for the long-term.








Alex Cassidy is a Client Relations Lead at Lutz Talent with over two years of recruiting experience. She focuses on partnering with clients in an advisory capacity to find the right candidates that will best fit their current business environment as well as the entire organization as it grows for the future.

  • Recruiting
  • Accounting and Finance Industry
  • Networking
  • Admitted to the Practice of Law in Nebraska
  • JD, University of Nebraska, College of Law, Lincoln, NE
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Elementary Education & Teaching, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  • BA in Political Science, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  • Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, Advisor
  • CASA for Lancaster County, Case Volunteer
  • Alzheimer’s Association, Volunteer


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