Social Media Recruiting Basics

I’m certainly no expert on the subject, granted.  In fact, I’m excited to attend the Social Recruiting MacGyver Style! webinar hosted by our friends at Fistful of Talent.  So I would consider myself a novice.  Maybe a little more than that, but not much.  So I think it makes me perfectly suited to tell you the bare minimum.  Or, as I like to think of it, everything I know.


It’s the “professional” networking site.  You’re on there, right?  No?  Stop reading and go sign up.  I’ll wait.

OK, welcome back.  Now take the time to fill out your profile.  Do all the things they suggest, including a picture.  A good one.  A professional one, even.  Now trumpet the heck out of your company and your job as a recruiter, manager, leader, chief bottle washer or whatever.  But you want heavy visibility around what you do and how you can be contacted.

While LinkedIn tells you to connect to only those you know, don’t be shy.  Connect to anyone who asks.  Consider joining a group like LION (LinkedIn Open Networkers) to build your connections.  Connect to everyone in your company, including your co-workers, boss, and internal clients.  Join groups, too.  Your company should have one.  (If not, get someone to start one.  Or do it yourself, if you like.  It is not that hard.)  There are a ton of good recruiter groups (like The Recruiter Network for example).  Consider joining some of the great HR specific groups (LinkedHR, TrenchHR, TLNT, and HREvolution are great examples) or industry specific groups (such as Healthcare Human Resources, if you are into that sort of thing).  There is a group for everything.  If not, make one.  It’s that easy.


I guess this is the “unprofessional” network.  OK, the “personal” network.  Unless you are Jason Seiden, in which case it is the “profersonal” network.  Assuming you are already on the network, start thinking of it as your recruiting tool.

“But I’m not hiring someone to work for me, I’m hiring for my company!”  Then you best get a company page, right?  Know how much that’s going to cost you?  Same as your personal page.  Nada.  So…why don’t you have one?

Get it fixed.  Share the page with everyone you know.  Post your open jobs, of course.  (You may want a FB page just for jobs, if you post enough.)  Talk about how much people like working there.  Get your employees to post about how much they like working there.  Interact with your fans.  Get your message out there.  Think of your page like the classified ads, except free, global, interactive and seen by people who are interested in your organization.  Why aren’t you on there again?


Yes, Craigslist.  Get yourself a cheap refrigerator, free golf clubs, send an anonymous note to that cute girl or guy you saw two weeks ago on the subway, or find a job.  Might work better for some industries than others, but considering the cost (nothing down, nothing a month for a really long time), it’s cost effective.


I know, you probably hate Twitter.  Stop it.  Lots of people love it.  And your candidates are lots of people.  Get an account for your company, and try to work in the company name and “jobs” into the title.  Make sure the description includes “jobs” and/or “job openings.”  People search for that, so it matters.  Post your jobs there in 140 characters.  Actually, try for 100, and include the link to the online application.  Follow other people in bunches.  Often they will follow you back, building your network.  Search for other job accounts and follow them.  (It doesn’t hurt to follow the jobs accounts of your competitors, if they have one.  Wouldn’t you like to know what they are looking for?  Wouldn’t you like to know if they are competing for the same talent or, worse, coming after yours?  Thoughts so.)


One of the most overlooked tools.  How can you recruit with it?  Seriously?  You are a charming recruiter who can close any quality candidate if you can get face time with them, right?  Well, think of this as free face time.  You get to use your charms to send your message to the whole world.  For free.  That’s the kind of coverage you just can’t buy.

And don’t neglect your leaders.  Recruiting a lot of freshly graduated engineers?  Have your engineering leaders talk about what they need in their department and how to best prepare for the job.  Get information to your candidates to help them understand how to be successful, and how to contact you to share their details.  You want them to win, and you want them to win on your terms.  So tell them.  It’s as close to unlimited interviews as you can get from the selling side.

(Once you get comfortable with YouTube, come back and we’ll talk about Skype and online interviews.)

What else is there?

Well, there’s that pesky “real life” thing.  Time after time we have seen studies that tell us people get jobs based on who they know.  So know lots of people if you are a recruiter.  Meet them for coffee.  Or breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or whatever excuse you can come up with.  Your job is to know people.  So get to know them.

In a lot of ways, it’s the best job you can have.  Assuming you like people.  And I’m assuming you do.


  1. Social media is becoming more and more prolific in the recruitment field. I read the other day, that 90% of all companies search for you on the internet, before they hire. I’ve started using all the sites mentioned above, but not Craigslist. It didn’t even occur to me to look there. So thanks for that, it looks like a promising addition!

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