3 Recruiting Tips to Make Social Media Effective & Exceptional

Social Media Recruiting Tips

3 Recruiting Tips to Make Social Media Effective & Exceptional

We’ve all heard about this crazy thing called social media.  When it comes to recruiting job seekers and the candidate experience, social media offers the good as well as the bad for your end user.  As a sourcer and recruiter, I’ve found that social media is more than a candidate source or hack, but an engagement tool that benefits me just as much as it benefits the job seeker.  Here are 3 recruiting tips for using social media for an exceptional but most importantly effective candidate experience.

Monitor the Online Conversation EVERYWHERE They Happen

The number one mistake many recruiters make is setting up their social media accounts and treating them as one-way communication platforms. It’s like going to a cocktail party or a recruiting event, standing up on a table and yelling “I have an incredible opportunity at …”  The reason I put the … is because you would likely be tackled by security and escorted out at that point.

While promoting your job postings online through social media is a quick and effective way to start a conversation about your company or its opportunities and spread your jobs and messaging to masses of online audiences, you can’t let the conversation rest in your followers’ hands. You need to monitor your recruiting social media accounts and stay active in the discussions that evolve. Don’t set up a Twitter account and neglect to monitor your @replies, direct messages, or various mentions of your jobs, products, and services, and ESPECIALLY those willing to help you spread the word.

Recruiting Tips Takeaway:  Be an active voice in online discussion. Monitor what people are saying about your company’s opportunity and be sure to address both positive and negative messages. Show the lurkers (lurkers are people who are watching but do not participate) who often are the really good candidates that you’re listening to and that you appreciate their feedback and commentary.  This can set the tone for the whole lifecycle of the opportunity.

If You Make a Recruitment Mistake Online, Deal with it Head On

We’re only human, and it’s very human to make the occasional mistake. The important thing to remember here is to avoid pretending like it never happened. If you ping someone on GitHub and they get a little testy, apologize.  Avoid doing things that could potentially harm a candidate.  Example: Try to avoid publicly mentioning a candidate on linkedin.  Remember your not the only one that is looking at his feed, his manager could see it and fire him.

The social media-sphere is always occupied, with an innumerable amount of eyes scanning it at any second. If you post something that contradicts your job description or overall recruiting message, belies what you intended to say, or was simply a case of not thinking before you speak (or in this case, type), don’t just delete it. Instead, clarify your message immediately after. In the world of auto correct, interesting accidental comments could happen.  At South by Southwest a couple years ago, I watched a marketing “guru” almost send an auto corrected tweet that would have ended up on the news cycle… it can happen.  A recruitment mistake online can happen.

Furthermore, if someone blatantly complains with a public comment on your Facebook wall or a tweet at your handle, don’t ignore it. Think about why that incident upset them, and apologize for that reason. If your business was truly at fault, try contacting them over email or in a less public forum and discuss the issue deeper there.  Remember for many of us candidates are likely also customers.  Be careful.

Recruiting Tips Takeaway: Mess-ups happen. Deal with them head on and honestly.

@ It Up to Build a Candidate Pipeline

Recruiting isn’t just about filling the one off search, but also about building sustainable talent communities and networks you can circle back to over and over. When building online presence its important to be consistent, these followers want answers right away to questions and more importantly want to feel like you are real, not a ‘spammy spammer.’ As this scales how do you keep up with the demand?  Invest in people and your candidate pipeline instead of buying another license to a job board. If your reading this blog post, it likely means you care about building authentic and winning communities for the company you represent.  As you do this you will only be able to leverage so far, and there is not an app yet that can out perform human capital.

Recruiting Tip Takeaway: Your efforts need to be sustainable.  Even if that means you have to limit it in the beginning, it’s better to be consistent (not auto post consistent) then to have dramatic ebbs and flows in your content output.

Jonah Manning is a expert sourcer that’s worked with Fortune 200 companies including Google and AT&T to help build and grow their sourcing and candidate channels.  He’s also an investor and just all around awesome.  You can connect with him on Twitter at @jonahmanning or on LinkedIn.  Visit his newest endeavor, GraySquire

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Jonah Manning

Founder @PeopleOps. Connect with Jonah.

Reader Interactions


  1. Tony Restell says

    Great post Jonah – and really agree with the point about sustainable output. The quality and frequency with which you post on social media has to be consistent. Your followers will come to expect a certain standard and frequency from you; and candidates wanting to hear back from you will similarly have expectations in terms of timeliness that are a function of what your recent presence has been. Peaks and troughs are therefore to be avoided if at all possible.

    Rgds, Tony Restell / @tonyrestell

  2. SLS says

    Tip 4: Make sure your company doesn’t already have someone doing 1 – 3 on behalf of the corporate / HR brand, and if they do, get some time on that person’s calendar to ensure that you know your corporate policy Ps & Qs, and receive some “proper training” before blasting off into the world of SoMe. Otherwise, you could just be one more person with a good idea and poor execution.



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