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How to use social media to recruit

With the ever growing use of social media, it is not surprising social recruiting has become so prominent. As social media has a combined pool of 1.2 billion users, this translates into a huge list of potential candidates. Therefore, at Cherry we have devised our top tips to help you get started in recruiting on social media and ensure you find the candidates perfect for your vacancies.

1. Build your employment brand

Are you a desirable company to work for? How would candidates see your brand? Your brand will create an impression with candidates which will influence their interest in your vacancies, and whether they feel they would be a suitable fit for your company. Before your start advertising vacancies, it is important that your brand and the culture of your company are clearly communicated. For instance, ensuring your website is up to date and showing off your company’s best aspects will help with this. Candidates will want to know about your activities and achievements and will want to understand how they can be part of your success. The features you use will also help to communicate your brands personality and values. Is it team orientated, business focused or customer centered? Do your content and videos or photos show this?

2. Brush up your social media accounts

Along-side communicating your brand image, you need to be sure your social media accounts are active and complete, brand consistent and regularly updated. Are you approachable? Are users encouraged to interact with your brand? Be sure that the content and tone reflects your brand.

3. Choose your channels

Each social media platform is different and this must be remembered when using them. The main sites used for social recruiting are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You may also find that you find one platform more suitable than another depending on the candidate you are trying to attract.

LinkedIn is the most popular for professional recruiters and was developed for networking.


Facebook is the largest with more than a billion users and has a jobs feature which candidates can use to apply. Facebook is most ideal for reaching Generation Y users


Twitter is a microblogging social networking site with over 300 million users and enables information to be shared with an engaged audience. 


4. Learn about your potential candidates

LinkedIn in particular is ideal for finding out information about potential candidates as their profile is displayed as a virtual C.V typically showing previous and current roles. In addition, employers can use other social media platforms to view a candidates interests which may be relevant and assist the role. However, recruiters need to be sure that candidates are selected based on their skills and experience and not influenced by their personal characteristics.

5. Devise an employee referral programme

Employee referral programmes are an easy and effective way to recruit suitable candidates. Research by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) has found that an employee referral programme produced high quality hires by over 80% for organisations.

6. Use social advertising

Facebook and LinkedIn both offer advertising features for listing job vacancies. Facebook is relatively inexpensive and while LinkedIn costs more, it does allow the listing to be targeted based on characteristics such as company name, industry or job title which can make your search more specific.

7. Communicate a personal touch

Try to include images of your team in updates on social media as this helps potential candidates remember you. People like a personal approach and by being able to put names to faces they will be much more able to imagine being part of your team.

8. Keep it concise

Content on social media is overflowing as users are spoilt for choice for things to look at. Therefore, your post will typically need to compete for the candidate’s attention. For this reason your post needs to be short and sweet in order to gain their attention. Therefore, it is useful to keep images simple and your content short to attract their attention.

9. Plan your posts

It is important to be aware of the shelf life of your posts. A post on Facebook will remain in the recent news feed from 3 hours on Facebook to up to a day on LinkedIn. You also need to be aware of the time in which the majority of your users are most active and aim to post just before this time to maximise your response rate. Generally this will be lunch time, evenings and weekends but you can also find this by looking at the analytics sections.

10. Review your activity

It is really useful to review to your social media recruitment strategy so you can monitor what has been effective and what has not. For instance, you might want to measure the top sources of hire, time to fill and cost per hire. You can also look at the wider impact on your organisation by considering the measurement of traffic to website or the job posting, increased engagement on Facebook and increased followers on Twitter. Consider what you want to achieve so you can put the most appropriate measures in place.