When you hear that social media can be valuable for hiring, you may think, “Sure, I’ve browsed LinkedIn for potential employees before.”
But I’m talking so much bigger than that. In fact, if you aren’t considering all of your social media channels as possible candidate pools, then you’re probably missing out on some incredible hires.
Look at it this way: Even if your social channels are customer-facing, a good percentage of your audience is likely made up of working professionals. If their skills align with your needs, and they already like what your company is doing enough to give you a follow, then it could be the perfect match.
Read on to learn how both small businesses and growing ones can create a strategy for hiring the best talent via social media.
1. Think About Where Your Ideal Candidates Hang Out
Smart social recruiting isn’t about blasting all of your social channels with your job openings until you fill them. Instead, get as targeted as you can when thinking about where you might find your ideal candidate for any given role.
Start by paying attention to the demographics and makeup of particular social media networks and how that aligns with the types of candidates you’re looking for. At Buffer, we’ve found more marketers on Twitter than on LinkedIn, because that’s where they tend to hang out. If you’re on the hunt for a social media pro or content creator, Instagram or TikTok might be a better place to look.
It can also be valuable to find ways to connect with niche communities within broader social networks. For instance, we’ve found a lot of traction in promoting job openings to Facebook groups that target people in specific industries (like DevelopHer, Tech Inclusion, or Techqueria). On Twitter or Instagram, you might look to see if there are hashtags you can include or accounts you can tag to get in front of the types of people you’re looking to hire (such as @WritersofColor).
2. Go Beyond Posting the Role
To get the most out of recruiting using social media, you want to do more than just post the job opening and hope for the best. Instead, use all the capabilities these platforms offer to show off your culture, answer questions about your company, and generally engage potential candidates—all of which can help push them toward clicking “apply.”
In one of the most fun tactics I’ve seen recently, a hiring manager at Buffer offered 15-minute "coffee chats" to his network on Twitter, where potentially interested candidates could learn more about the role and company. You could use the questions feature on Instagram stories for a similar AMA-style strategy.
Thanks to its conversational feel and culture of authenticity, social media also gives you a platform for showing off your company culture. According to a study by CareerArc, Facebook is the number one site candidates use to research employer brand and reputation, even more so than review sites like Glassdoor.
Get creative with content that shows what it’s like to work at your company, such as behind-the-scenes videos or interviews with current employees, to continue giving candidates who are the right fit reasons to be excited about working for you.
Asheville, NC-based East Fork Pottery doesn’t just post a job description, it shares its values with potential hires.
3. Make It Easy to Learn More & Share
Social media has trained us to expect a seamless and easy user experience, so candidates who come across your job opportunities on these platforms are going to expect as much of you. If you make it hard for them to learn more about the job, they’ll likely give up fast.
And yet, I can’t tell you how many companies I see share roles on social media and then link to a clunky job page (or worse, not share a link at all).
Make sure it’s easy for people to find more details about the role, whether with a link in bio (perhaps on your brand’s Start Page) or a link directly on the post or story. Make sure those details are easy to browse on mobile since as much as 83% of social media browsing happens on our phones.
As a bonus, creating a seamless experience makes it easy for your followers to share these roles with their network, thereby extending your reach. At Buffer, we’ve also seen success from encouraging our hiring managers and teammates to share our open roles on their own channels.
We’re hiring at Buffer, and we made it easy to apply and share with fun posts like these.
4. Build Relationships for the Future
Finally, remember that social media is, at its core, a relationship-building tool. Even your social channels don’t help you find the right candidate for a role immediately, keep up the work of sharing information about your culture and mission, connecting with new people, and staying top of mind so you can build a network of followers who not only love your products or services but who love your business, too.
After all, the next person who follows your company could be the perfect fit for the next role you’re hiring for—you just need to show them why.