Episode 189: Sourcing on Reddit & Social Media Sites

As HR leaders, we’ve had to get creative in our sourcing methods as the unemployment rate has declined and the job market has shifted in favor of candidates. Many of us already use some form of boolean search, which has been an internet sourcing and recruiting staple for years, allowing recruiters search for databases, member lists and candidate profiles. Given that so many of us already know search engine tricks, what’s the next secret weapon for sourcing candidates? I wanted to bring an expert on to talk about sourcing on Reddit.

Welcome to the Workology Podcast sponsored by ClearCompany.

Episode 189: Sourcing on Reddit & Social Media Sites with Erin Mathew (@ErinMathew)

Today I’m joined by Erin Mathew, talent sourcer, blogger, and recruiting professional. She’s a regular contributor to SourceCon and public speaker and I’m excited to talk sourcing on reddit with her today. Erin, welcome to the Workology Podcast. As of 2018, there are 180 million users on Reddit. The content on the site is user-generated and threads and sub-thread communities are created by the users focused on different areas. These groups are often really diverse and as unique as the Redditors themselves like java developers, Star Wars fans, and Gifs. 

Why Recruiting on Reddit Might Be Your Secret Weapon

I love sourcing and I love using internet communities and resources to find talent in creative ways. In 2001, I successfully used free dating websites to recruit candidates. It was my success in this area that led me to starting a blog and using forums and other social media sites to reach candidates which is why I love what Erin is doing. How should you source on Reddit? Erin shares some Reddit threads, tips, and ways to engage. She suggests joining the conversation on Reddit versus straight up private messaging and posting your job openings within the site. She says people go to Reddit to get away from the drama and constant messaging on other social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Redditers can be relentless especially if you don’t follow their unwritten code. This is why she suggests engaging in passive ways that include sharing resources, commenting on job seeker questions, and using the site to gather intel and information. This is extremely helpful if candidates who are skilled in technically share their GitHub profiles within Reddit. This allows you to learn more about them and use other means to reach out.

As a recruiter just starting out on Reddit, there are certain places where you can genuinely go back to the community. There is a subreddit that is entirely about resumes. - @erinmathew #podcast #recruiting #reddit Click To Tweet

On Reddit, Karma Matters

It’s worth mentioning again (and again) that Redditors are serious and despise spam. She suggests not just being part of the conversation but also the amount of time you’ve been a member on the site matters. Members also take your karma score seriously. Members are scored based on their contributions to the site. If you are labeled salesy and spammy by your peers, your karma score suffers and users there are less inclined to engage with you.

Because Reddit is a site and community where people go to get away from the social media norm, many of the community is not on traditional social sites providing recruiters and sourcers the possibility of locating that purple squirrel for that role that always seems to be elusive.


You may know Reddit.com as a place to get answers to your questions or find news stories. And memes, of course. You might not know that it’s the fourth largest website online today. Erin’s deep dive into sourcing on reddit is a great example of the way we should all be thinking creatively for sourcing and building candidate relationships.

Thank you for joining the Workology Podcast sponsored by ClearCompany. This podcast is for the disruptive workplace leader who’s tired of the status quo. This is Jessica Miller-Merrell. Until next time, visit Workology.com to listen to all our episodes of the Workology podcast.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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