4 Ways Recruiters Use Social Networking to Find You

This is a blog post from our sister blog, Secrets of the Job Hunt.  Consider registering for our FREE webinar on Feb. 26th on how to use social media and personal branding by clicking here.

While social media seems to be infiltrating nearly every bit of your lives, what about work?  You might be surprised at how savvy recruiters and human resources professionals are when it comes to using social media for recruiting, sourcing, and workplace branding at your organization.

A transformation is happening in the way senior leaders and HR professionals view social media.  Its a tool and channel used to reach and engage an active consumer audience, a potential future employee.  The field of employment branding is leading the way.  Seen as the new employer marketing resource for the workplace and recruiters,  talent acquisition teams are developing talent funnels and candidate engagement strategies with social media and technology in mind.  What does your online properties say about you as a professional, as an individual, and your work expertise and portfolio?

Using Social Networking in Your Job Search

Having worked for a number of well-known Fortune 200 companies, I have often found that job seekers, particularly those that work in the digital space, place their personal online brand as a secondary need and focus putting their employer’s activities and social media properties first. Instead, your personal profiles and blog should be a priority if you want to attract the right attention in being seen as a leader, innovator, and a top candidate in your next career move. There must be a balance between your employee’s reputation as an individual and your company’s corporate Twitter account. Without an online presence beyond the corporate digital brand, you, as the individual cannot be sourced, evaluated, or even found.  This is especially important since an astounding 93 percent of employers are using social media in their recruitment strategies this year.

The strategies for social recruiting are complex and targeted to an audience using a variety of methods and strategies with social media and Internet marketing in mind.

LinkedIn, the Professional Job Search Network

A favorite choice for recruiters and HR professionals alike is Linkedin.  Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruiting Survey found that 93 percent of recruiters using LinkedIn.  Companies are taking advantage of features like company profiles, recruiting search and sourcing features as well as Groups to direct job seekers to open positions.

Job Feeds

Since Twitter and Facebook remain viable sources to drive candidates to open positions, job feeds are becoming a popular method for recruitment. Companies are using job-posting feeds to automate job postings from their ATS or applicant tracking system to social networks.  An ATS is the online portal where a candidate applies for a job opening. This strategy is strictly one way and leverages SEO and keywords to direct candidates to positions.

Social Sourcing

When it comes to recruiting there are two types of candidate search 1) Just in Time Recruitment and 2) Strategic Search. The Just in Time Recruitment strategy happens when we need to fill a position right away so recruiters are using sourcing and online search tools to find specific job seekers to fill often very specific and competitive positions.  Recruiters source social networks and profiles either using individual using keyword search or tools like Remarkable Hire, which allows for recruiters to search multiple social networks and online communities in a single search.  The strategic search focuses more on building talent networks for when future positions become available.  Recruiters are always courting, building relationships, and driving potential hires to company-owned and custom-built social networks and properties. This allows them to anticipate hiring needs helping them cut down on recruiting metrics like cost per hire and time to fill.

Employer Branding

The idea of employer branding helps to establish a relationship with the job seeker in real time and on the social network where they prefer.  By focusing on building a relationship with a job seeker on social media, employers hope to become the candidate’s company of choice just like social media is used in addressing customers in real time.  Because in certain geographic regions like Oklahoma City where they are recession proof, the job market for companies to hire top talent is uber competitive. The competition is fierce for specific industries like developers, engineers, and programming. When the job seeker begins their active job search, which is increasingly becoming more passive as job seekers are always looking for the next big thing, employers want the job seeker to think of them first.  The employer that invests in a major presence on social media wins the war of talent.

Many job seekers, certainly those in social media, are often surprised when I explain the very complicated strategies in play for recruiting and hiring with social media.  Companies like Rackspace have seen triple digit increases in web traffic after the launching of their career blog, RackerTalent.com, and a decrease in the number of candidate that apply for individual open positions.

Social media for recruiting and hiring is not a one size fits all.  Employers like Starbucks have found success filling open job positions and recruiting on Instagram while companies like AT&T focus on a number of different platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and creating their own talent network.  Even international companies like Sodexo and IBM are using social media in combination with pay per click and search engine optimization strategies to improve their quality of hire and target specific qualified job seekers with the goal of less not more candidates per application.  Every location, country, and social network dictates different strategies and options, but the overall goal remains the same – hire better, faster, and smarter using technology.

Job seekers need to be aware of this move by employers to leverage social media with what they refer to as “social recruiting” to fill, hire, and recruit for positions.  All online properties, networks, and communication channels are opportunities to reach out to employers to learn more, build relationships with recruiters and land their next job not solely because of a resume but using social media.

Social Media Job Search Tips

As a job seeker, how you use these social platforms and social networking is up to you but know that recruiters, hiring managers, and human resource professionals are using sophisticated tools and strategies to monitor brand mentions, sentiment, and evaluating each individual platforms percentage of applications and source of hire.  Knowing this just might give you the advantage you need as you plan your job search and your online brand on social media.

Register for our FREE webinar on how to use social media and personal branding by clicking here.  Click here to uncover more Secrets of the Job Hunt.

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. David Singh says

    I am always amazed that while most recruiters understand social media is an emerging component of the recruitment process, few have embedded social media into their applicant reviews. We’ve heard from our clients that ‘cover letters suck’ and LinkedIn profiles are much richer than resumes. However, to be truly social we believe that video is the ultimate infusion point of personality.

  2. pragnesh says

    Ya i like this topic and know about how to top company will hire you and understand meaning of personal branding so it’s not far time when people SS website is most important thing in their career life.

  3. Peter Clayton says

    I produce ‘jobcasts’ for JobsinPods.com ‘the only podcast where real employers talk about their jobs and tell you how to get them.’ If you’re interested in working for a specific company, its worth searching JobsinPods to see if we’ve recorded podcasts with any of your target companies. Many of these jobcasts are conduced with hiring managers — who better to connect with at a company than a hiring manager? Our jobcasts will give you insights regarding qualifications and company culture. Connecting with a hiring manager by saying “I listened to your podcast…” will probably get you a response!



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