Social media recruiting – the ultimate guide for 2023

June 1, 2023
social media recruiting

Your head is resting on the table.

You let out a frustrated sigh through your nose.

Because all the previous applications that have come in have been disappointing.

What are you doing wrong?

You have placed ads on job portals instead of conquering social media with your company.

Social media recruiting is the keyword. Or social hiring or social recruiting.

However you call it, modern recruiting is thriving on social media.

Social media recruiting identifies, finds, recruits, and screens potential employees on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.

Typical activities in social media recruiting include:

Identifying potential candidates on LinkedIn.

Sending direct messages to potential candidates on Facebook.

Posting links to job openings on Twitter.

Sharing photos of employees with encouraging texts on the company’s Instagram account.

Producing videos to be published on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.

In this article, you will learn step by step how to achieve your goals with a social media recruiting strategy.

1. Define goals and measurable values

No goals, no strategy.

So focus on a strategy that is focused on the people who fit into your company and can drive it forward.

The first question you should ask yourself is: What do you want to achieve?

Do you want to increase the number of applications, or do you want to streamline your application process?

The answers are your goals.


To know if you’re making it across the finish line, you need measurable values:

Time spent per applicant.

Cost per hire.

Employee referral rate.

Clicks from social media to your job page.

Number of high-quality applications.

And so on.

These metrics help you determine which platforms and strategies have yielded the best candidates in the shortest amount of time.

Another component of your strategy is to clarify who is responsible for what: who makes decisions, who communicates with users, who publishes which content, etc.

2. Create candidate personas

If you don’t know who you’re looking for, you’re like a blind person navigating the social media labyrinth. To avoid that, you need a clear idea of the position to be filled and the ideal person for it. You determine the details of the open position, including the job description, main tasks, educational background, and work experience. You also list the personality traits that align with your company culture and the qualifications and skills your ideal candidate should have.

These are HR basics that should be even more weighted in the digital world, where thousands of potential employees can be reached almost in real-time. If the ideal candidate is unclearly communicated to the audience, a high number of applications can make the hiring process more challenging.

Therefore, make sure that the content you publish aligns with the needs of the company and the persona.

3. Be consistent with an employer brand

The employer brand is your reputation as an employer. It consists of the opinions and thoughts of your former, current, and future employees. Your employer brand is based on your company culture, values, and visions that you present to your potential employees.

From happy hours to salary packages to career advancement opportunities – how you treat your employees and the culture of your company leave a certain impression and influence potential applicants.

Define how your employees should communicate on social media, what style of language, what words should be used and which ones should not (“corporate wording”), and how candidates should be addressed. Agree with your team on a consistent voice that reflects the values and brand.

It is also important to clarify how employees should respond in critical situations. For example, if a user becomes offensive, spreads lies about the company, or if a former employee complains about the company.

Note that different platforms also require different communication styles.

4. Simplify your application process

Integrate the application process directly with social networks and invest in new applicant management software. Throughout the process, applicants expect fast and direct communication. That’s what they’re used to from social media.

5. Choose the right social media channel

With the first four steps, your preparations are complete. Now it’s time for implementation.

First, choose a channel.

Does it not matter?


Each channel has its own audience and peculiarities. Before you start, it’s important to understand how Instagram and others work. Find out which platform your target audience is using.

How do you find out?

Ask your current employees which channels they spend time on.

Also, look beyond the social media platforms. In addition to major platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, there’s also Reddit, GitHub, Pinterest, Dribble, and Snapchat.

You’ll find executives on LinkedIn, content creators on Instagram, designers on Dribble, and programmers on Stack Overflow and GitHub.

The social media channel also defines the type of content you produce. On Instagram, it’s expressive images or videos, and on LinkedIn, it’s a mix of text, images, links, and videos.

You’re welcome to present yourself on multiple channels. There are no rules. Be bold and different. That’s how you stand out.

6. Ask your employees to optimize their profiles

Employees can link their own profiles to the company’s career page. You can provide images that align with the company’s corporate identity.

7. Publish regularly

To stay visible, you need to regularly publish content. The type of content you use and how often you should post depends on the platform and your target audience.

8. Create shareable content

Social media works only when you have something that others want to share.

And when your posts are shared, you increase your reach.

How do you achieve that?

With content that is entertaining, useful, or interesting.

So instead of spamming social media platforms with your job openings, show what it’s like to work in your company, the challenges to overcome, and what your employees have achieved. Give potential candidates a reason to apply to you.

9. Turn your employees into brand ambassadors

Your employees love their workplace.


Let them show it.

But if they are less enthusiastic about their work environment, it’s time to change that.

Transform your employees into the biggest fans of your company. Make them your personal cheerleaders who make your company stand out in the digital world.

You achieve this by providing them with a great employee experience.

When employees talk about your company, it appears credible, authentic, and transparent. They are the best to show that your company values are real and lived in everyday work life.

In addition to the stories your employees tell about life in your company, they share job openings with their network. Because they themselves have a network of like-minded individuals who could be a perfect fit for your company.

10. More than just images and text

Another picture of an employee smiling at the camera.

That’s as boring as pizza without cheese.

Be creative and surprise your target audience with humor and interactivity. Give your audience something they can engage with and build a community.

A post that doesn’t engage your audience is like a dead-end.

The solution?

Send direct messages and be proactive. Ask questions in your posts. Post surveys that your crowd can participate in.

Use videos and live videos for behind-the-scenes or Q&As. Videos are clicked on ten times more often than any other type of content.

11. Optimize for search

Use keywords in your texts.

Find out how the search functions of each platform work and optimize your profile by incorporating important search terms (keywords) into your texts. This way, you will be found.

12. Build relationships and be personal

It’s about participating in the right conversations with the right people at the right time to build a relationship. Individual members of your team may be responsible for sharing content, responding to comments, getting to know the target audience, being active in groups, and participating in discussions.

Someone comments on your post?


Now respond personally. Address the person by their first name and encourage them to look at your job openings.

Other forms of interaction include liking or highlighting user comments, commenting on posts, answering questions, live streams, and Q&A sessions.

Connect with your target audience by personalizing and individualizing your communication. Tailor content to specific individuals or companies and address their interests.

Clearly state what you offer and why a collaboration could be fruitful for both sides.

It’s important not to be afraid of humor and criticism.

Interaction on social media means actively listening to your users and engaging with them. You build trust and turn your audience into applicants.

13. Understand hashtags

Hashtags are powerful.

Harness this power by doing your research before blindly using hashtags in your texts.

With the right hashtags for your industry and target audience, you can spread your message and increase your reach.

Find out if a hashtag appeals to your primary target audience. Do they search for it or follow it? If not, the hashtag is unnecessary and should be removed.

If a hashtag is too popular, your post may get lost in the flood of posts using it.

Be creative in using hashtags. Develop your own unique hashtags and tailor them to your company and brand message.

14. Advertising on social media

When you advertise on social media, you can precisely determine who should see the ad.

This works with search parameters that you can define freely.

Unlike traditional advertising, which is seen by millions of people but lacks individuals from your target audience, advertising on social media is targeted. Ideally, it’s only shown to your target audience.

You can optimize your social media recruitment strategy at any time. Use measurable indicators to gain better insights.

15. Measure and optimize

Measure, optimize, and repeat regularly until you find what works. Check if your social media recruiting goals align with your overall company goals.

Depending on how things are going, adjust your strategy, test different platforms, and change content.


Social media gives your company a new recruiting tool. Compared to traditional methods, your pool of applicants expands significantly.

HR managers should resist the temptation to scour applicants’ social media pages, as this can lead to bias. Ensure a clear separation between what people do during work and what they do outside of work.

If you need help with social media recruiting, contact us.