Taking a More Social Approach to Hiring

by Kay Oder

Just a few decades ago, job seekers relied on local newspaper advertising to learn about new opportunities in their regions. However, today, professionals are far more likely to go online when it comes to investigating a possible career move. Websites like CareerBuilder.com are a common destination for online employment seekers.  Job searching websites also aid companies of all sizes in their recruitment efforts. But are they the only online tools that can be used to identify top candidates?

Not really. In fact, recruiters are increasingly employing social media to identify and attract top talent. To some, it may not seem intuitive to use Facebook to help fill a job opening.  But there are several benefits. For example, the reach of social media is substantial. Approximately 72 percent of adult American Internet users have created a Facebook profile, and one in four have a presence on LinkedIn.

For companies that want to expand their online recruitment efforts, here are some important points to keep in mind:

Understand the Platforms

Facebook is not the same as Twitter, and Twitter and LinkedIn are also distinct. Although many people use multiple social media platforms, the type of interaction within each platform varies greatly. LinkedIn feeds, for example, are generally populated with industry news and business-specific updates. The platform’s purpose is professional networking. Facebook contains some business content, but it is also used for personal communications between friends. Twitter limits user posts to 140 characters.  

All of these popular social media communities can be deployed to assist in the hiring process. But posts should be written with the platform and unique user bases in mind. The type of position that is being filled also matters. Managers seeking candidates for entry-level positions may have more success with Facebook or Twitter. In comparison, senior positions may receive more attention on LinkedIn.

Consider a Recruitment-Only Profile

If a company already has an active social media presence, it may consider establishing a second, recruitment-only profile. This recruitment profile serves as an alternative to pushing more content onto an already-full company main page. A recruitment-focused page can be used to highlight job openings. It can also offer a glimpse into company culture and day-to-day operations at the business. This can help potential hires get a better feel for what it is like to work there. In addition, it may be easier for human resources to closely monitor a recruitment-only page to ensure inquiries receive rapid responses.  

Keep it Simple

Many users only seek the latest updates on social media platforms.  This is why it is important to keep job postings on social media sites short and timely. Briefly highlight the key job duties, and link to a landing page on the company website with additional information.

Allow Existing Employees to Help

Many companies are wary of allowing employees to represent their business online via social media.  However, consider the option of allowing workers to post to official pages in a company-curated fashion so that potential recruits can learn about the organization from the employees’ points of view. Workers could be allowed to post photos of company events, updates on what’s going on at work, or insight into why they enjoy being an employee there.


Adding a hashtag to a post categorizes the content. More importantly, it makes the content searchable by other users. It is a good idea to include hiring or job hunting hashtags at the end of each post. For example:

We’re looking for a technical writer in our auto division with a lot of ‘drive’! Learn more at companyx.com/techwriter. #hiring #jobsearch #workatcompanyx

A job seeker who is searching any of the included hashtags will see the organization’s post, even if he or she doesn’t follow the company specifically.

Kay Oder is a Certified Business Performance Advisor for Insperity located in the company’s Austin office. Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance.