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You only need to look at the statistics to realize how important social is to bringing in the right job candidates. According to Jobvite’s 2013 Social Recruiting Survey, 94% of recruiters plan on using social media in their efforts to find the best candidates. And while LinkedIn is the top network for job-related activities, other networks are an important part of the social recruitment puzzle, too. “Much like marketers, recruiters use social networks as part of a multi-channel strategy to find leads and nurture them to hire,” states Jobvite on its website.

So should your social media planning include more than just reaching out to customers? The answer from recruiters is a definitive yes. “Social media offers the opportunity for an employer to engage with passive candidates who may be top performers and happy in their current jobs,” explains Veronica Segovia with Employee Brand Marketing at Vocus. “By getting on that type of candidate’s radar with a presence on Instagram and Twitter, we are increasing the reach of our employer brand without being pushy or inconveniencing their day with unsolicited communication.”

Social can work for HR and recruiting much the same way it works for marketing — and today’s recruiters are reaching into the social marketer’s toolbox with resounding success. “The most effective social networking will always be grassroots,” explains Mark Baird, CEO of “It’s about people sharing with their friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The growth of is largely due to just that.”

But just how can you put social to work for your recruiting team? Here’s some recommendations and best practices from a number of industry experts.

Which Networks Work Best for Recruitment?


Though LinkedIn is the most popular network for both job hunters and job recruiters, all networks can be a useful asset to a smart social team. Jobvite reports that 94% of recruiters are using LinkedIn, but 65% use Facebook and 55% use Twitter — and there’s even activity on smaller social networks, with 18% using Google+ and 15% using YouTube.

Social recruitment tactics will be familiar to anyone who’s used to social marketing. In both cases, it’s vital to consider your audience and make sure you’re posting where your intended audience is most likely to be. Beyond LinkedIn, Vocus uses Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — and Segovia mentions she’d like to have a YouTube presence, as well.

Each network has its own advantages for recruitment. “Twitter is great for responding to candidates who want direction right away,” says Segovia. “We also enable inbox messaging with our Facebook Page, which allows the opportunity to give as much information as necessary to a particular candidate. Instagram gives us the opportunity to paint a real picture of who is behind the brand and gives candidates an inside look at our employee experience.”

Using Your Social Presence to Help Recruit


Using social channels for recruitment may seem as simple as tweeting job openings when you have them. However, to catch the attention of quality candidates, you have to go the extra mile to show that your company is a great place to work. “I try to post as many interesting articles, statistics, or reports as I post job descriptions that I’m hiring for,” says Matthew Martens, Technical Recruiter for Nexeo. “I find this helps my following to not be overwhelmed by seeing job descriptions constantly.”

It’s not always about what you post — what your employees post can be important, too. Just as recruiters are likely to take a look at what a potential employee is saying on social channels — 93% of recruiters do, according to Jobvite — potential employees are likely to check your company and its employees out to help decide if a job is a good fit.

“I think employees play a huge role as brand advocates for what it’s like to work at Vocus,” explains Segovia. “It’s always great to see employees tag us in fun photos they upload or tweeting our jobs to their followers. We use a really cool tool built on our Facebook Page and encourage our employees to auto-share our jobs on their own Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.”

What Is Social Recruitment Success?


How can you tell that your social recruitment efforts have brought you success? “General interest is nice and appreciated, but in all honesty I am hoping for a referral or for a new connection that will lead to new business,” says Martens. But social is definitely helping out. Martens says he often surpasses his goals with social recruitment.

“I like to think that we are looking for awareness with respect to our job opportunities and with respect to our very talented employee population,” says Segovia. “The tremendous growth at Vocus over the past couple years is a result of the success of our product and the success of our recruiters and employees who spread the word about us every day — whether it’s on social media or at a weekend gathering with friends and family.”

Does your company have a social recruitment strategy? Tell us your experiences in the comments below.

[Image credits: Robert S. DonovanJobvite, Vocus]