Social Media’s Place in your Recruiting Strategy

May 9, 2019

Written by Jacqueline Kuhn

For a few years, we have been writing about a major shift in the talent space: today, recruiting is marketing, and that leveraging social media is a key component in that marketing strategy.  Over the past few months, we’ve worked with several groups of HR leaders across the country who have seen this shift in recruiting firsthand. These groups brought in HRchitect to conduct workshops focused on making the most of a social recruiting investment. Now, we want to share those highlights with you.

Most organizations are already using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to announce job openings to their broad follower base, hoping that prospective candidates are among those followers and will see those posts. While this is a step in the right direction, there is a lot more to consider to truly make social channels an effective component of your marketing (recruiting) strategy.

Likewise, only a few of the organizations we’ve been speaking with recently have been using anything other than Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for social recruiting. That means they’re missing out on other channels including Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube, which could be effective recruiting channels, depending on the candidate profile the organization is trying to attract.

If you’re trying to get more out of your social recruiting activities, step back and ask yourself these fundamental questions: What are you trying to accomplish with your social media presence? Are you  where your best candidates are?

Once you’re clear on your goals, and channels you need to consider, there are a few key considerations relative to your social media presence.

The success of social media is directly tied to the number of people who “follow” or “like” your page, and otherwise know of your presence. In addition, regularly posting content is important because it keeps your organization top of mind on the social media channel news feeds, search engines, and also to the social media user.

Many of the companies we’ve been meeting with recently only use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter when posting jobs. While this is a common strategy, you may be losing out when it comes to building a presence with your audience, which includes candidates. In addition to posting jobs, consider frequently posting content including information about your organization and why your organization is a great place to work.

Where you post also makes a difference in social recruiting success. According to a Pew Research Center “Social Media Use” study from January of 2018, use of social media channels is very different based on age of user.  The below table represents the percentage of people in the associate age group that are regular users of these social media platforms.

Source: Surveys conducted 2012-2018.
Pew Research Center

These results across age groups did not vary much if you looked at gender or ethnicity.  However, when filtering out based on education, Pew Research Center cited that LinkedIn was not used by those without a college degree. In fact, except for Facebook, no other social media platform was used in any great measure by those without a college degree. Considering this research, the HR Leaders we spoke to felt they needed to shift how they spend their time and money. Here are some of the highlights from those conversations.

  • All HR Leaders had a policy that all jobs were to be posted on LinkedIn. They believed it was the best place to post a job as that is where everyone is!   Well, based on research, that is not necessarily the case.  Further information in the “Social Media Use” study showed that people who are actively looking for work are on LinkedIn regularly, but the passive candidate may only check their account a few times a month.  While none of the HR leaders we spoke with felt that eliminating LinkedIn as a recruiting channel is a good strategy, they all felt they had to compliment LinkedIn with other channels.
  • All had a Facebook recruiting presence and felt that was still the right thing to do.
  • All of them had staff who were tweeting about jobs, including mid-level management. With only 27% of the target age range for a mid-level manager using Twitter, they all agreed a shift in Twitter strategy was worth looking into.
  • About a third had dedicated recruiting YouTube Channels. They had company channels with very formal videos made by Corporate Communications, but none dedicated to what it was like to work at their organization.  The most powerful videos about workplace culture are those videos made by employees themselves. Every HR leader we spoke with said it would be a significant culture change to allow employees to be the true proponents of this content, although they agreed this would improve engagement while giving applicants a true picture of what it was like to work at their organization.
  • Almost none of the organizations we met with were leveraging Snapchat and Instagram. Those organizations that do significant University hiring were going back to their teams to build this into their strategy, given the wide appeal of these channels for the recent college graduate candidate profile.

Now it’s time to look at your social recruiting strategy. What is your recruiting audience?  Does your social media presence make sense based on the people you are looking to attract?


Over the past two decades, HRchitect has helped thousands of organizations across the globe align their HCM technology initiatives with business objectives to achieve extraordinary results. HRchitect is a name you can trust, and your one-stop shop for all your HCM technology needs from strategy, evaluation/selection, implementation, change management, ongoing support, and everything in between.


About Jacqueline Kuhn

Jacqueline Kuhn, HRIP is an HR Professional with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, systems management, project management, services delivery, and general human resources. In her role at HRchitect, she oversees our HCM strategic consulting group which encompasses HRchitect’s HCM systems strategic planning and evaluation and selection practices.