social media for employee recruitmentMany marketers use social media to promote their companies and products, improve customer service, and monitor sentiment toward their brands. But the potential benefits of social media extend across many departments.

Improved employee recruiting is one the little known benefits of social media. While LinkedIn is best known as a recruiting platform, Twitter offers advantages because of its open nature; it’s easy to expand your reach beyond people not already in year network. In addition, Facebook’s large user base offers an advantage and the network recently introduced a jobs posting feature.

Many higher education institutions have recognized the value of social media in recruiting students by publicizing the academic, sports, and entertainment opportunities. Employers can adopt essentially the same recruiting methods and accrue the benefits of employee recruiting on social media.

A Case Study of Recruiting through Social Media

Speaking at a recent Hootsuite webinar, Allison Walsh, social media strategist at Combined Insurance, explained how her company recruited employees through social media marketing. Its main obstacles included a low Glassdoor score, low brand recognition, the stigma of selling insurance, and the challenge or reaching younger demographics who have never considered selling insurance.

The marketing team produced a series of blogs and social media posts to publicize stories of successful insurance agents. Company communications staff interviewed agents to relay their stories. One post explained how an employee was forced to drop out of school due to health problems but recovered and started working for the insurance company.

Using the #WorkHereWednesday hashtag, the communications team highlighted benefits of working at the company. Posts point out that employees have fun to counter to perception that insurance is a boring business.

Its Glassdoor rating was low since unhappy employees left poor reviews while contented employees left no reviews. To improve the ratings, its internal communications urged employees to post their own ratings. The number of recruits increased 15 percent over last year, and its Glassdoor rating increased from 2.2 to 3.7. The average company rating is 3.3 on a 1-to-5 scale.

Social Media Recruiting Best Practices

Recruiters offer these tips for social media recruiting.

Publicize your organization’s good works. Promote your company as a socially responsible organization. Potential hires place a greater priority on company ethics than ever. According to a Bentley University study, 86 percent of millennials consider working for a business that conducts itself ethically and responsibly one of their top priorities. They can easily research a company’s past PR crises through simple Google searches.

Social media influencers. Develop a strategy to cultivate relationships with influencers who can multiply the reach of recruiting messages. Other people and organizations have already accumulated sizeable audiences that include your ideal job candidates, says Tony Restell, founder of

Current employees. Encourage staff members to recruit using their personal social media accounts. Candidates will be more likely to act on an invitation from someone they know, Restell says. They’ll be more likely to get along with people they already know. And current employees will be happy if they receive referral fees.

Social media advertising. Continuously posting job listings on your accounts can make you seem desperate and will hinder you from gaining followers. A better strategy is to use social media advertising to precisely target candidates by education, job field, location and even current employer. The clearer your ads and the more upfront you are about your requirements, the better your responses will be, Hugh Odom, CEO of Cell Tower Lease Experts, tells Forbes.

Research backgrounds. Social media, blogs and other online resources can provide a wealth of information about job candidates – to a point. Applicants typically want prospective employers to review their LinkedIn profiles or blog posts on their industry. However, Facebook profiles may display the applicant’s religion, ethnicity or other personal information. If denied a job, a prospective hire could claim discrimination.

Create a friendly and responsive application process. Social media recruiting is a double-edged sword.  The experience each candidate has with your organization, your recruiters, and the recruiting process can spread across social media channels. If their experiences are negative, they can damage your organization’s image as desirable workplace, according to Qualigence International.

Good storytelling is the often-overlooked secret sauce of effective employee recruitment on social media. Tell interesting, entertaining success stories about the company and its staff.  Publicize recreation activities available to employees. Recruit the PR department to craft and illustrate those stories.

Bottom Line: Social media can deliver significant benefits to the employee recruitment process to produce more and better job applicants. On social media, PR and HR teams can publicize their company as a desirable and fun workplace and use social media advertising to attract top notch job candidates.