Social Media Recruiting – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

LaKeisha FlemingBy LaKeisha Fleming
February 20th, 2024 • 5 Minutes

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George Yang needed to fill a critical job position in his company. He set his sights on a place where he felt like he could successfully find what he was looking for – LinkedIn. The platform provided exactly what he needed.

“At Oxygenark, we once filled a crucial position through LinkedIn. The candidate was not actively seeking a job but was intrigued by our company culture as presented online. This highlights the power of social media in connecting passive candidates with employers,” states Yang, founder of Oxygenark and Yanre Fitness.

He and his team embarked upon what has become a commonplace and successful occurrence. 85% of businesses echo Yang’s experience, saying they use social media to find and communicate with people who are passively hunting for a new job.

Those companies have a captive audience. Almost 80% of all job seekers use social media to search for employment opportunities.

“Social media has revolutionized recruiting, making it more dynamic and immediate. Recruiters now think in terms of digital footprints and online presence. The ability to passively source candidates who may not be actively seeking a job but are open to opportunities is a significant shift,” Yang notes.

There’s no denying the changes that social media has brought to the forefront for talent acquisition and HR professionals. The world is literally at your fingertips, available for recruiting. 

But as beneficial as social media recruiting is, there are also issues to be aware of when culling job applicants on the platforms. 

We take a look at which social media outlets are widely used, why social media is so impactful on the recruiting landscape and problems you can encounter, as well as things to watch out for when recruiting on social media. 

The Benefits of Social Media Recruiting

There are over 5 billion social media users in the world. That equates to more than 60% of the population. So, employers who are looking for a captive audience filled with potential job seekers don’t have to look any further. While there are a number of outlets where people can connect online, with more seeming to emerge every day, there are several platforms that have become go-to places for someone looking to fill a job vacancy.

“LinkedIn continues to be the most important social media channel for listing jobs. People are often already active with their own profile, so the user experience of then switching to the jobs tab and applying is by far the easiest. And it’s also easy for users to research (company info, team size, culture) without leaving the platform,” explains Abby Jordan, Director of Crone Corkill.

“TikTok and Instagram are both also emerging as strong contenders to LinkedIn, albeit for only certain sectors (HR, Marketing, Tech). Being content-led platforms, they make it simpler for recruiters to explain the nuances and benefits of a role and for the audience to engage with questions,” Jordan adds.

Twitter is another platform that can be beneficial, purely based on its reach. So is Facebook.

“For some of our locations Facebook ads add up to 20-40% of our recruitment efforts,” says Pavel Bahu, Global HR Director at Trevolution Group.

Billions of users giving their rapt attention to the screen where your job listing is posted is reason enough to put social media to the test. But it is beneficial in other ways.

  • You can advertise to a targeted audience. Some social media platforms do the work for you, and you can just select people with the specific skills or interests that you are looking for.
  • It’s cost-effective. Several social media websites give you the opportunity to post your job listings for free, equating to free advertising for your company.
  • You can get your message across in an impactful way. “Social media is now more about video content than written words. And it’s much easier to explain the nuances of a role, the business, and the culture in a video than in a written job [post],” says Jordan.
  • Job posts can spread quickly. People readily share social media job listings, or even tag friends who may be interested in the post. It spreads the message that you’re looking for someone, at no additional cost to you.
  • Social media sites are mobile. Your website may not be built for optimal viewing on a mobile device. But social media sites are. You don’t have to worry about a potential employee missing key information from a job listing, because they’re viewing it on their phone.
  • Applying for jobs can seem less intimidating on social media. “Social media has made job listings more casual and approachable. It has shifted the focus from formal qualifications to cultural fit and personality. This change emphasizes the importance of a company’s online presence,” Yang notes.
  • Job seekers don’t have to register for a job portal. Having to register for a portal, and having another username and password to remember, is a downside to job sites. With social media, job hunters skip that hassle.
  • Social media may provide you with someone to answer questions. “Social media has integrated chatbots that can answer a number of questions and as a company, you can prepare a DIY scenario for that instead of manually responding to each potential candidate separately. Also, it increases conversion, and allows for pre-screening of candidates and CV collection, or even interview scheduling [without] human interaction [being] necessary,” says Bahu.

Making people aware of the job opening and letting them know what your company has to offer, is key. Social media offers a prime outlet to do just that.

What to Watch Out for When Recruiting Via Social Media

Making job listing information more accessible—and making the process of applying easier—is a good thing. But inevitably, there are things that you should be mindful of.

One of the most notable issues for both recruiters and job hunters is the blurring of personal and professional lives while on social media. It’s easy to access your personal profile information. In some instances, this can be the very thing that causes a candidate to decide they don’t want to be a part of your company—simply because of something they read on a recruiter or current employee’s social media page.

Being inundated with applications, including applications from unqualified applicants, is another downside to social media recruiting. With billions of people potentially accessing your job listing, it’s fair game for anyone to apply. Ultimately, this can be a timewaster for you when you have to sift through all of the applicants.

You also want to make sure that your company’s social media presence aligns with the message and culture that you want to convey. If it doesn’t, it can cause job seekers to pass your listing by.

After you’ve filled a job vacancy, be sure to remove the listing from the website. It can be disappointing and frustrating for a job candidate to think they’ve found the perfect job and apply, only to be told that the listing is old. Or even worse, no one responds to the candidate at all. That can leave a bad impression of your company.

“Social media recruitment is an evolving landscape that requires a strategic approach. It offers vast opportunities but also presents unique challenges that must be navigated with care,” Yang concludes. “Social media in recruitment is a modern bridge that connects the right talent with the right opportunity.”

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