What is Social Recruiting? How to do Social Recruiting

What is Social Recruiting?  It is a question that has been buzzing around with recruiters long enough that it has actually started to spread into the candidate pool as well.  So what is Social Recruiting and how are Recruiters using it to discover and hire talent.  Let’s go through what Social Recruiting is by defining it and showing examples.  Then next Wednesday we’ll go through how to track it, measure it and be able to justify your recruiting budgets to your executive team.  (The best part is that most of the ways to track your Social Recruiting efforts are free!).

Definition of Social Recruiting:

Social Recruiting, for our purposes, is using social media websites and in person social situations to find candidates.  Social Recruiting also includes using your candidate email database and joining communities with groups of people to crowd source candidates for you.  It can occur both on and offline and can be used to dig deeper into passive candidate talent pools by using your network to get into other people’s networks.


The types of Social Recruiting:

There are numerous ways to use social recruiting  to find candidates for your company.  You can try serving ads on popular sites, joining groups and communities filled with the talent you’re looking for as well as crowd sourcing.  Here are some of the most popular and common ways that Recruiters are using Social Recruiting.

Serving Ads – Certain websites like Facebook allow you to serve ads to people that are supposed to meet your targeting needs.  You can serve them to men or women, any age preference, where they have worked at or even if they belonged to a certain sorority/fraternity, went to a particular college or live in a certain city.  Because of all of the information people provide to Facebook and other social sites, you can serve ads based on a ton of criteria.  The best part is you can fully measure how many candidates and resumes you actually get from your ads which we will cover next Wednesday.

Tweeting and using Twitter – Twitter has been a great tool to find candidates and get people to come to your site to apply for jobs.  There are two main ways that Recruiters can use Twitter, which includes one way that I haven’t seen used yet.  The only reason that it probably hasn’t been used is that it is fairly expensive.

  • Tweeting your listings – Some Recruiters tweet out their opened positions to their followers.  Although this helps to keep your followers up to date on which roles you are looking to fill, unless they are retweeting your job postings to their friends, you are not getting into their networks and have a limited audience.  The nice thing though is that Google does pick up your tweets and there is a chance that your job listings could show up in the search engines for free.  The downside to that is that you have no control over how long before Google removes it.  On the bright side, even if you get people clicking through to the job that has been filled, you’ll still be able to build your own candidate database for when you need to fill that role again.
  • Using promoted tweets and hashtags – Twitter offers paid tweets which can get more exposure.  If you are able to devote a decent budget into Twitter then you can have your tweets start to climb to the top and show up for people that are in your target candidate pool but aren’t currently following you when they do a search.  You can also run sponsored hashtags (topics) which appear to targeted candidates in the right hand side of the page under trending topics once someone is logged in.

Crowdsourcing talent – Certain sites allow you to create communities, groups and fan pages.  Other sites like Jobfox allow you to create networks.  Depending on the site, you can use ads across the network to build a fan base of passive and active candidates.  Then once they are in your group or network, you can run contests to gain more interest and build your active talent pool even stronger.  Once you have the active talent pool you can then incentivize your community to reach out and find quality candidates for you.  Certain popular things Recruiters have used to help find and hire type A talent include offering a cash incentive for referring a candidate who gets hired, giving away prizes like an iPad or even a Motorcycle helmet (That was when I was working for a staffing firm and the incentive to find the candidate within 2 days was a new state of the art helmet) and anything else that can motivate your community to reach out into their own networks and bring you quality talent.

Crowdsourcing via email – Another tactic that has worked for companies with social recruiting is using your email database.  I get emails almost every week from staffing firms looking for talent with certain skill sets that they are having trouble finding.  They start the pitch with either me being interested in the job or knowing that the position is below me but I can earn money if I refer someone.  Then depending on if they were pitching me or if they weren’t, they always include that if I know someone who may be interested, please forward the email on to them.  Many of them also offer finders fees if the person is hired of anything from $500 to $4,500 like I mentioned above.  The one thing you have to remember with Crowdsourcing via email and Social Recruiting is that you have to be CANSPAM compliant.  Check with your legal team to make sure you are following all laws and regulations.

Social Recruiting has become a huge buzz word and an excellent channel for sourcing out quality candidates.  It helps you get in front of passive candidates via ads and referrals from friends as well as lets you track how effective your spend per job board, website and channel is.  There are a few other ways that companies are using Social Recruiting to find quality talent, and if you would like to share one please feel free to leave a comment below.  Also, come back next Wednesday and we’ll go over a few ways to track and measure your Social Recruiting spend and how you can justify needing larger budgets or keeping your current one where it is if your company wants to make cuts.  Most of these tracking methods are also free, which is even better.  Thank you for reading this post on Social Recruiting and feel free to share your own methods below.

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