Principles of Social Media Recruiting
By Karl Wierzbicki

Posted Dec 14, 2016 at 14:28 ·5 min read


12 Principles of Social Media Recruitment

Are you killing it or being killed when it comes to social media recruiting?

According to Jobvite’s 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey, 96% of recruiters are using social media as part of their recruiting efforts. But are they doing it well? Most organizations understand that ignoring social media today would be a lot like dismissing email as a communications channel 20 years ago. Unfortunately, simply using social media as an add-on to traditional recruiting efforts is almost as ineffective as not using it at all.

Here are 12 principles that will help you get the most out of your social recruiting efforts.

#1 – Be Found

Even organizations that use social media well typically focus exclusively on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. While these are essential elements of your social recruiting strategy, go a step beyond. Seek out great candidates on other social platforms, including: meetups; photo and video sharing groups; and hyperlocal social networks like Shout and Nextdoor.

#2 – Understand the Channel

Whether you stick with the most popular social networks or branch out to a broader selection, take the time to understand the unique personality of each network. Discover the formal and informal community rules and etiquette for each channel, and respect them in both the content and delivery of your message.

#3 – Understand Your Audience

Just as each channel has a distinct style, each also has a distinct audience. Know which type of candidate frequents the various social media channels included in your recruiting strategy and tailor your communication for each channel accordingly.

#4 – Amplify Your Brand

For better or for worse, social media is one of the most powerful amplifiers of employer brand currently available. Make sure you use it to good advantage. Clearly define your employer brand, then communicate and exemplify it across all social media activities. Be consistent and persistent and you’ll reap the recruiting rewards of social amplification. Be wishy-washy and contradictory at your peril!

#5 – Engage

Social media didn’t get its name by chance. Unlike traditional recruiting channels, which are meant for transmission only, social media is designed for interaction. Become engaged with potential candidates. Respond to questions and participate in conversations. Nothing says “work here” like an authentic interaction with someone who already does.

#6 – Have a Strategy

Too many organizations dabble in social recruiting without articulating how it fits into their overall recruiting strategy. To be effective, social media recruiting must be an integral part of a larger recruiting strategy that encompasses employer branding, employee diversity, HR planning and analytics, recruiting and applicant tracking technologies, and more. Incorporate social media recruiting into your overall recruiting strategy and align executive, HR, recruiter and candidate perspectives for maximum impact.

#7 – Integrate Social Media Into Your Technology

Chances are that you have a career website, an ATS and some form of online application process. If your candidates can’t apply through LinkedIn or Facebook, upload a resume from Dropbox, or automatically use their social media profiles to populate an application — your social recruiting efforts need an upgrade.

#8 – Establish Boundaries

Social media is also widely used to research candidates during the application process, so it’s important to avoid discriminatory practices. Be respectful of a candidate’s privacy and never ask for social media passwords. If viewing social media accounts is a standard part of background checks, have someone do it who understands what can and can’t be considered in assessing a candidate. Finally, whatever policy you follow, make sure it is applied to all candidates.[1]

#9 – Play for the Long Game

In 2007, Microsoft pioneered one of its most effective recruiting strategies by building talent communities in advance of recruiting needs. Essentially, they used social platforms (like LinkedIn Groups) to engage in conversation with individuals who shared certain interests and skills. By cultivating these relationships over time, they created a pool of potential candidates who already had a relationship with the company and whom Microsoft already knew quite well. You too can play for the long game and start filling your talent pipeline for future needs by cultivating talent communities through social media.

#10 – Support Your Recruiters On Social Media

Many organizations short-circuit their impact by leaving social media recruiting to the recruiters. The more broadly engaged your organization is on social media, the more effective your social recruiting will be. Encourage consistent social media messaging from all levels of the organization to intensify your employer brand and magnify your social recruiting results.

#11 – Understand the Diversity Potential

Most organizations separate their diversity strategy from their social media recruiting strategy and miss a great opportunity. One of the greatest advantages of social media is its ability to identify and reach targeted demographics. Leverage social media to reach a more diverse candidate pool.

#12 – Be Mobile Friendly

Last, but certainly not least, join the move to mobile. Your future hires live in a social media world and the devices they use to navigate it are mobile. Don’t sabotage your social media recruitment efforts by forcing top notch candidates to struggle through painful job search and online application interfaces that are still designed for desktop viewing.

If you want to tap into the 22 million job seekers per year[2] on Facebook who used social networks to find their most recent job, not to mention the 100+ million monthly active users on LinkedIn[3], these 12 principles will help you do it right.

If the main obstacle preventing you from killing it with social recruiting is your existing enterprise technology, InFlight can help with that.

Whether integrating your ATS with the most popular social networks or creating a modern mobile experience for your candidates, InFlight has a simple, cost-effective solution that won’t disrupt operations or compromise existing customizations and security.

Contact us today to schedule a demonstration.


[1] SHRM, Legal Trends, Social Media Use in Hiring: Assessing the Risks,

[2] 48% of job seekers have used Facebook to look for work,

[3] Venture Beat, LinkedIn now has 400M users, but only 25% of them use it monthly,