How Recruiters Use Social Media to Find Talent & Hire Online

For Job Seekers: Online Job Search Tips & Advice

According to a study done in 2011 by Jobvite, 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find new talent. But unless you understand the recruiting industry as it is set up today, that statistic doesn’t mean much. Recruiting has two functions; sourcing and screening. In some organizations these two activities are done by the same people. In larger companies, these are separated out. The sourcing recruiter, or researcher, performs advanced searches on Google, LinkedIn and other resume depositories, in order to build a list.

Next, the screening recruiter takes the best of that list through a procedure, usually starting with a phone call to determine interest. In many cases, if you simply show up online in all the right places with all the right content, you will be found.
The old way of thinking about finding a job was actually quite simple. Wait for a job opening, then submit a resume. These days, organizations are looking for candidates long before jobs open up.

Talent Communities as a Corporate Recruiting & Social Media Tool

In fact, many organizations are starting “talent communities” which is a database of candidates who’ve shown interest in their company, but are not attached to a specific job yet. In talent communities organizations have a chance to start building a relationship with you. And you are given an opportunity to disclose more about who you are and what you’re interested in. Then when jobs do open up, they simply look at their talent community and send emails out to their top prospects. Jobs don’t need to be posted on job boards anymore. So if you are sitting around waiting for openings, you’re missing the boat.

Talent communities are starting to be built through social media channels as well. Very often you can join a talent community by linking a Facebook or LinkedIn account. At VMware, they build talent communities by engaging in dialogue over Twitter and Facebook. Candidates who talk to them the most over these channels tend to have first opportunity to apply to actual jobs. Furthermore, companies like Price Waterhouse Cooper, have integrating Google-searching candidates as part of their standard operating procedure in order to determine fit. And in case you are wondering, yes, this is all completely legal. In 2011, the FTC set a precedent by approving social media’s use in employment background checks. So if you are sitting around waiting for job openings, you are probably missing 80% of the real opportunities out there. Instead of trolling job boards, start building relationships with your target organizations online.

Online Job Search Strategy Starts with All Social Media Channels

While the use of social media as part of the corporate background check coupled with internet sourcing and social media talent communities, job seekers can begin by building an online presence going beyond LinkedIn building a professional profile on social media.    Sites like Google+ but also by demonstrating their areas of expertise through a blog or publishing content and thought leadership on online communities, industry blogs, and more traditional news outlets.  The key is to start small because building an online job search strategy takes time, fortitude and patience.  Afterall, it’s a marathon not a race to the job search finish line.

Joshua Waldman is a guest blogger at Blogging4Jobs and is an author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, is a career advancement specialist helping people use social media to go from good jobs to great careers.  He’s blogging on or working out at the gym. Check him out on Twitter @joshuawaldman

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jerry Albright says

    I am a firm believer that most of this job seeking stuff has been beat to death. I’d bet there are just as many job seekers worried to death about whether they know “how” to find a new job – as the fact that they need one.

    A skilled person needs to do little more than “be found” right now. This idea of needing to join “talent communities” or engage in some sort of conversation with companies is more helpful to those preaching it than those trying to practice it.

    Need a new job? Put your resume on Monster, Careerbuilder and Linkedin. Leave your phone number and email on your resume.

    That’s it. All this other stuff is hype.

    Note: I’m a cynical, crusty, old dude – though I am fun at parties. 🙂

  2. Tom Summit says

    And don’t forget to open a twitter account and tweet” I need a job” every half hour in between pictures of your burrito and ” I just became the mayor of”

  3. find candidates says

    Tips mention in the blog are very use full thanks for sharing this posting.

  4. Chris Tompkins says

    Another items I would suggest is that if you are looking for a job, know that if you don’t have your privacy settings on lock down, recruiters and human resource managers will be have access to all of your online information (via Facebook, Twitter, etc). My suggest is that if you are looking for a job and have some items in your accounts that you would rather keep private, read up on the privacy settings that each social media site has. This can be useful, and even save your rear end!

  5. Tom says

    Great post, social media like LinkedIn and Twitter is a great way to look for a job. Most people that are looking for someone to hire would post it on their timeline or create a page of what they’re looking.

    You could look on different freelancing sites like Odesk and Freelancer for project post and bid on it. Another site where you could look for job is on You only need to sign up on their site in order to be a member so that employers could see your skills, experience and references.

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says

      Hi Tom,

      This is a great suggestion. If you are looking for a writer, community manager, or graphic designer you can use Freelancer to develop leads and use project to determine their experience level and then make the selection from there. Brilliant!

      Thanks for reading.



  1. Job Search Tips For the Online Job Search HR, Recruiting, Social … | Mystery Shopper l Mystery Shopping l Secret Shopper says:

    […] talent. But unless you understand the recruiting industry as it is set up.Read the original post: Job Search Tips For the Online Job Search HR, Recruiting, Social … This entry was posted in Online Jobs and tagged guest, online, recruiters, social, social-media, […]


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