How Social Media Can Improve the Candidate Experience #thecandidate

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In the realm of social media for recruiting, there is a lot of chatter about using social to source, brand and increase job visibility.  Another “prong” to a solid HR social media strategy is using social media to communicate with candidates. Like the telephone to the 80s and email to the 90s, social media is one of today’s preferred methods of communication for some candidates.

Yes, candidates want to connect and communicate via social media!

Since launching an HR social media strategy back in 2008, I have observed a steady upward trend of candidates using social media to connect and communicate. I track the number of candidates that my organization assists via social media, on both an individual and companywide basis. Years ago, we were lucky to have a dozen or so candidate conversations per quarter. Now, they occur almost every day.


Via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, candidates are reaching out to HR representatives with a whole host of questions and requests. Have you ever received any of these questions (or similar) via a social network?

  • Can you help me get in touch with ABC office about XYZ job?
  • I applied last week and was wondering when I should expect to hear something?
  • I received an email that I am no longer being considered for the job, can you give me more information?
  • Can you tell me more about the pay, hours and benefits you all offer?
  • What’s it really like to work at your company? I’ve read some things on Glassdoor and would like more information.

As an HR social media manager, I often see tweets that simply say:

  • What are you hiring for?
  • I just applied, or
  • I have an interview. #fingerscrossed


One of my favorite things to do is a key word search on Twitter to see who’s tweeting about applying to my company. Then, I send them a quick tweet that says something to the effect of:  “Thanks for your interest” … “Keep us posted” … “Check out this career video at [insert link to YouTube].”

This outreach takes a few minutes of my time, creates a positive impression, adds value and (hopefully) helps differentiate us from other companies. It lets our candidates know that they can connect with us via social and that we’re listening. Other actions that you can take via social media to create positive experiences include:

  1. Answering their questions in a timely fashion and provide links to value-add information
  2. Answering their questions honestly
  3. Acknowledging their question and then asking a member of your team to follow up
  4. Offering to put the candidate in contact with one of your recruiters


How are you using social media to create a better experience for your candidates? If you are a job seeker, how do you expect employers to engage via social media?

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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