The way candidates research, discover and apply to roles on social media has completely reimagined job seeking and hiring. It’s difficult to remember a time before scouring LinkedIn was an essential step toward landing a new job. Now, it’s the new norm.

As a result, using social media for HR functions like recruitment has become standard practice, further proving that social is no longer exclusively reserved for the marketing department. In fact, according to The Sprout Social Index™ 2022, roughly one-third of HR teams already partner with their social team on the organization’s social strategy.

A green graphic that reads: To inform their organization's social strategy, 32% of HR departments partner with their company's social team.

In this article, we explain ways to use social to build and refine highly effective recruitment strategies—whether you’re trying to fill entry-level positions or C-suite roles.

How HR, social media and recruitment go hand-in-hand

According to CareerArc, 86% of job applicants search for new jobs on social media. This data underscores the importance of using social in your recruitment efforts.

By tapping into social media, talent acquisition professionals are able to solve their most common challenges, including:

  • Carving out a unique employer brand
  • Expanding their candidacy pool
  • Reaching diverse prospects
  • Nurturing their candidate pipeline

Social media management platforms like Sprout Social take it a step further by enabling practitioners to: analyze their competitors, create recruitment campaigns, post about open positions, gather audience insights and access reputation management tools from one centralized location.

A screenshot of the Sprout Social platform that demonstrates reviews aggregated from multiple review sites in one unified feed.

Partnerships between social and talent acquisition practitioners are mutually beneficial since they share multiple goals.

For example, both strive to boost brand awareness and drive site traffic. Yet, each team brings unique skill sets and expertise to the table. While the social team is adept at creating content and building meaningful relationships on social, recruitment partners are uniquely equipped to understand the needs of prospective candidates. It’s a win-win.

A graphic of a venn diagram that represents the overlapping goals between social and recruitment teams. On one side, the diagram reads: Social media: Create content that builds community on social. On the other, it reads: Recruitment: Recruit world class talent to fill open roles.

By sharing vital insights, these teams can collaborate to build a social media recruitment strategy that overcomes a company’s most pressing recruitment roadblocks and fills open roles with world-class talent.

Here are four ways leveraging social media for HR can help you level up your recruitment performance.

1. Cultivate a strong employer brand

Just as you research a potential candidate, job seekers thoroughly look into their potential employers. Often, that starts by reading reviews on social and other sites.

As Julie Valentine, Manager, Recruitment and Employee Advocacy Influencer at Sprout, puts it, “Review sites like Glassdoor are very influential to job seekers. It’s important for recruitment teams to lean into these platforms.”

Julie describes how team member reviews help position Sprout as an employer of choice. “Candidates can hear from our own employees rather than talent acquisition teams or hiring managers—who job seekers know are selling to them. Authentic and objective reviews are powerful ways to attract top talent.”

But receiving glowing employee reviews requires investing in your employer brand—starting with an honest assessment of your current strengths and gaps.

By keeping a pulse on unfiltered employee reviews, you have access to valuable feedback that can help you shape and improve your employer brand (and your hiring results).

Responding and engaging with your employees also has a positive impact on prospective candidates. According to Glassdoor, 62% of job seekers say their perception of a company increases after an employer responds to a review.

A screenshot of Glassdoor reviews populating in the Sprout Social platform. From this feed, it's intuitive to respond to reviewers.

Using a tool like Sprout’s Glassdoor integration enables you to easily monitor and engage with your employer reviews. The tool’s capabilities include Saved Replies for quickly sending on-brand responses and the ability to send reviews from Sprout directly to the rest of your team.

2. Understand how you stack up against competitors

Prospective candidates aren’t just researching your organization, they’re also checking how your benefits and culture stack up against competitors.

You should be digging into your competitors’ performance, too. Learn how they position themselves and how their current employees talk about their experience. Glean key competitor insights by conducting a social media competitive analysis.

Use the analysis to answer questions about your competitors like:

  • How do their current employees rank their work-life balance?
  • What unique job perks do they offer?
  • Do they prioritize growth opportunities?
  • How is hard work recognized and rewarded?
  • What does the future look like for the organization?

With these competitor insights in mind, craft social recruitment content that promotes your unique employer brand benefits.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's Competitive Analysis dashboard that demonstrates how three competitors compare in share of voice, impressions, engagements and sentiment.

Sprout’s competitor reports and intuitive listening tools give you even deeper insights than you would gain from manually researching on the native platforms. With this AI-driven capability, the platform does the heavy lifting for you. In seconds, learn how your employer brand performs, what messaging resonates with candidates and where you need to adjust your strategy to stand out from your competition.

3. Widen your candidate pool

Sometimes it might feel like you’re competing for a finite number of qualified candidates. Even though social media breaks down hiring barriers like proximity and reach, it might seem like your prospects are restricted to those already in your brand’s network. If you’re running out of contacts, it’s time to call in reinforcements: your employees.

Turning your employees into social media brand advocates will help you humanize your brand, expand your candidate pool and multiply your referral network. When team members share their experiences on social, it seems genuine, trustworthy and authentic. Data from a Q1 2023 Sprout pulse survey reveals that 68% of consumers report feeling more connected to brands when they see employees posting about them.

Tap directly into your employees’ networks by asking them to share your company’s content and open roles on their personal social profiles. Just make sure you have a social media policy in place to mitigate risks.

Brand advocacy tools—like Employee Advocacy by Sprout Social—amplify your content, while protecting your brand from fallout by providing pre-approved social messaging to your employees. From the platform, your team can access your latest content and post directly to their profiles.

Sprout's Employee Advocacy platform where you can see how posts are curated for employees to share.

At Sprout, we used Employee Advocacy to drive over 14 million impressions and achieve $455,000 in earned media value in 2022. Our efforts increased awareness of Sprout’s benefits, culture and open positions and helped us expand our team with best-in-class new hires.

As Madeline Keen, Manager of Technical Recruitment and Employee Advocacy influencer at Sprout, says, “From the Advocacy platform, our team members share articles about our culture—from employee stories to accolades—and top priority job postings. This expands our reach to untapped candidates beyond the recruitment team’s network.”

4. Build ongoing connections with prospective candidates

Shifts in hiring processes over the past few years have made it critical for talent acquisition professionals to build long-term meaningful relationships with highly qualified candidates on social media. As Haley Ennes, the Recruitment Enablement Senior Program Manager at Sprout, explains, “The job market has changed drastically and the line between active and passive candidates has become blurred.”

Talent acquisition practitioners must nurture relationships before they can eventually close the deal. Julie adds, “It’s important to build authentic relationships with top talent we’re targeting. By regularly sharing company news and updates on social media, we keep our brand top-of-mind. We continuously promote our culture and employer brand until the timing is right, then we have our foot in the door and are ready to engage in conversations that help us convince top talent Sprout is their ideal choice.”

We continuously promote our culture and employer brand until the timing is right, then we have our foot in the door and are ready to engage in conversations that help us convince top talent Sprout is their ideal choice.
Julie Valentine
Manager, Recruitment, Sprout Social

According to a Q1 2023 Sprout pulse survey, two-thirds of consumers agree when brands post about company culture, it impacts their connectedness with the company.

To foster connections and further promote their employer brand, some companies create separate “careers” accounts, like this example from Caesars Entertainment demonstrates. On the page, Caesars posts team member profiles and open positions, content that’s well-attuned to the page’s followers.

A screenshot of Careers at Caesers Entertainment, a Facebook page dedicated to posting about open positions and sharing meet the team posts.

While other companies, like NJ TRANSIT, use their brand accounts to support driver and operator recruitment. When they started using social media to assist with hiring bus operators, they saw a 60% increase in resumes.

With the help of unified social media management software like Sprout, talent teams are empowered to create and manage recruitment content—even if they aren’t social pros. From Sprout’s Publishing Calendar, design and implement effective recruitment campaigns from start to finish. Use Message Approval Workflows to get the official seal of approval from the social team and other stakeholders.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's monthly Publishing Calendar that demonstrates an at-a-glance view of a campaign.

Meanwhile, all post comments, direct messages and brand mentions will be unified in the Smart Inbox. There, you can answer questions and foster engagement with your community. This is especially important for building relationships with top talent.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's Smart Inbox tool displaying messages from multiple social platforms in one feed.

Use Sprout Social to level up how you approach social media for HR

Social media is an integral part of any successful recruitment strategy. As Madeline says, “Social media and talent acquisition are both about building meaningful connections.”

In 2023, there’s no better place to find and nurture relationships with prospective candidates than social.

Want to learn more about how social can support your recruitment efforts and other HR goals? Get a personalized demo of Sprout Social from a member of our team today.