Social Media’s Role in Finding Top Candidates

by John Sylo

Social Media

Social media has been a popular outlet for sharing daily happenings, photos, and important life updates. Still, in recent years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of companies using social media as a recruitment tool. From what we know about this trend, it’s effective and likely to remain a part of top recruitment strategies for years to come. 70% of hiring managers say they’ve successfully hired candidates through social media. With a methodology that is not only innovative but has the potential of being more efficient in the recruitment process, it makes sense why recruiting through social media is gaining such traction. Social media empowers recruiters with the tools to reach new markets and find those top qualified candidates they may not be able to reach through traditional methods. This puts companies in a favorable position to identify, attract, engage, and hire applicants that are being competitively sought after. Let’s take a look at the role of social media in finding top candidates.

Why Social Media?

Many businesses will find that using social media as a means of hiring top talent can be a successful strategy. There are several benefits worth noting that could make this opportunity a worthwhile investment for your business as it looks to fill vacancies.

Social media recruiting can help increase job visibility, particularly with passive applicants. With social media, employers have more channels available to post positions than they could reach previously through other avenues of recruitment. Also known for its fast-paced nature, social media can help reduce time-to-hire by actively searching for applicants that already have an interest in your company. Rather than sitting by idly waiting for them to see and apply for positions posted on your site, you can actively engage them. It’s free to sign up for most social sites, and you can even add extensive company profiles to some. This can help avoid undertaking high costs in the recruitment process. With these networks, recruiters have a unique opportunity to leverage their brand in spaces where they may already be part of discussions. Many of these people who are already interested in your brand could have a potential interest in joining your team; they just might not be aware you’re actively recruiting.


With a growing number of social networks emerging in the market continuously, new opportunities are arising for companies to identify potential hires in online communities. Within these networks, employers can leverage their open positions by sharing them on various channels and discussion boards. Advertisements of open positions on different platforms help target the appropriate demographics a company may be trying to reach. It’s vital to first research which platforms you wish to utilize because each one serves a different purpose and different demographics. Here’s a handy list of a few of the most popular social media platforms and their use case in recruitment:

  • Facebook – Facebook is a social network where users can share stories, messages, and photos with their “friends.” Arguably one of the largest talent pools available, Facebook has become a popular recruitment source. Recruiters are using this tool to connect with community groups, post job advertisements, and share company highlights and news.
    • Primary demographic: 18- to 49-year-olds
    • Number of users: 2 billion
  • Twitter – Twitter is mainly used to share individual thoughts and happenings with followers. It’s a great place for recruiters to find those who may be sharing content relevant to their brand through hashtags and mentions.
    • Primary demographic: 18- to 29-year-olds
    • Number of users: 152 million
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn can be a massive asset to any recruitment strategy. This social network is built for individuals to highlight industry experiences, network with like-minded professionals, and showcase their resumes to potential employers. The site even has tools for employers to post job openings, receive applications, and screen candidates.
    • Primary demographic: 30- to 49-year-olds
    • Number of users: 675 million
  • Instagram – Instagram is a photo-sharing platform. Recruiters can use this site to highlight photos from the company and provide a more in-depth look into the culture. They can also connect with influencers and followers through hashtags and geographic tags.
    • Primary demographic: 13- to 29-year-olds
    • Number of users: 1 billion
  • YouTube – YouTube is a video sharing platform. For recruiters, it can be used as a way to highlight company culture and employment opportunities in a visually stimulating way.
    • Primary demographic: 18- or 34-year-olds
    • Number of users: 2 billion


Building an employer brand is one of the most critical steps in attracting potential employees to your company. 78% of job seekers say that they look into a company’s reputation before they even decide to apply. Known as your employee value proposition (EVP), this term refers to the value an employee gains by working at your organization. Because of its importance, a strong EVP is a great way for your brand to represent itself in a positive external manner. This can have effects on various aspects of the company, but particularly in recruitment efforts.

A strong brand strategy is essential to effectively display the culture, reputation, and expertise of your brand across your organization’s social profiles. Be sure to relay your EVP throughout the entirety of the onboarding process by using the proper strategies and talent management tools that will provide your potential hires with an exceptional candidate experience. Even your current employees can have a significant impact on this part of the process. Encourage them to reach out to their existing networks to find potential recruits and share their own experiences with the company.


High-value messages, viral videos, and eye-catching images can catch like wildfire on social media platforms. When used effectively, this can bring high volumes of traffic to your sites and increased engagement rates. Engaging with online communities to establish a brand voice that will become well-known can have lasting impacts on recruitment efforts. It could ultimately increase the pool of applicants for your open positions.

There are many ways to engage with your social media followers and other relevant communities. For example, your brand can:

  • Share photos and blog articles of office events, employee highlights, or big wins.
  • Encourage current employees to post about the ongoing culture at your company and engage with their networks. Be sure to repost this content!
  • Share insights that already exist on social channels published by other industry leaders.
  • Participate in relevant conversations within specific interest groups and share your expertise.
  • Purchase social media advertisements that will be highlighted on various platforms.

Always be proactive when using social media to engage with potential recruits; you cannot waste time waiting for them to come to you. Get out there and engage!


Social media can be useful in talent management all the way through the hiring stage. It’s important to be proactive about reaching out to, and staying on top of, interested parties who have expressed a desire to apply to your open positions. You are more likely to have a better closing rate with candidates of this nature. Share important highlights from your social profiles with these interested parties, which may be more passive than other recruits, and inquire about their requirements to move forward.

When making a hiring decision, you can also use social platforms, mainly LinkedIn, to keep candidates informed about the status of their application, screen and verify their qualifications, and respond to questions. During this phase, social media has also become popular for investigating employees to see if any red flags exist. 54% of recruiters have admitted to denying a candidate solely based on something they uncovered within their social profiles.

Social recruiting is making waves in the talent management world, introducing teams to unique avenues of identifying, attracting, engaging, and hiring new team members. As this trend is likely to continue into the unforeseen future, it’s essential to understand your own business and recruitment goals to determine if social media recruiting is right for you. Remember that building a strong and reputable online presence will take time. Focus your efforts on the platforms that make the best use of your time in the present and will likely attract top candidates to apply to your company. Social media is a great place for those advancing in the onboarding process, who were not originally sourced through social media as well, to learn more about the company and make their decision after they’ve received an offer.

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