Social Media Recruitment Strategies [In-depth Guide]

Social media recruitment strategies

Social media recruitment strategies are something many recruiters have been talking about and using during the past decade.

However, whether you are doing right and how to do it correctly is a daunting question that haunts many recruiters at night. For that reason, we have written this guide to explain to you how to create an excellent social media recruitment strategy that works.

In this guide on social recruitment we will help you:

  1. Determine where you are right now with your social strategies
  2. Do candidate and market research
  3. Define the goal of your strategy
  4. Create a strategy
  5. Choose the right social media platform for your use case
  6. Discuss best social media recruitment strategies you should use in 2021
  7. Analyze a famous social media recruitment case study
  8. Discuss how modern technology can help you in your social media recruitment strategies.

If you haven’t, make sure to read our previous post on Social Recruiting.

Determine where you are

Before you start thinking about creating a new social media recruitment strategy, you should determine where you are in terms of positioning and social media presence.

To make this step easier, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which social media channels do you use currently?
  • How frequently do you post? Depending on a social media channel, you may be posting too often or not frequently enough. We will discuss the optimal frequency for each of the most popular channels later on.
  • Is your company’s tone of communication and message consistent across the channels?
  • How diverse is the content you publish? For example, do you just publish job openings, or do you also publish entertaining and educational content?
  • Did you have a content plan in the past, and did you follow it, or did you just post content whenever you felt like it?
  • Do you have well setup analytics to follow the performance of your social content, or do you struggle to determine if it is having any impact on the company’s goals?
  • Have you worked on recruiting strategies with the marketing and PR team in the past or no?

Suppose you use just one or two social media channels, post just once a week, or every time you have to announce a new job opening, the communication isn’t aligned across the channels, and you don’t have a specific strategy and goals. In that case, there is a vast space for improvement.

However, don’t be scared since we will walk you through everything you need to know to create and establish good social media recruitment strategies.


Research is the most crucial part of every good strategy. In this case, the areas you need to research are:

  1. Your target candidates
  2. Market research
  3. Social media research

Target audience research

You need to understand your target audience well, meaning your ideal candidates.

Here are things you need to know:

  1. How does your ideal candidate look like? What are their skills, experience, lifestyles?
  2. What do they do in their free time?
  3. Which social media channels do they use the most and why?
  4. What is their location?

By answering these questions, you can create different segments of your target audience. This process is called segmentation. Here are examples of different segments for different roles:

  1. Segment 1: Product designer intern: product designers that have just finished their bachelor’s degree and are looking for their first job or product designers with less than a year of experience. Their location doesn’t matter as long as they are proficient in English. The age gap is 22-27. They probably spend time on digital platforms like Behance, Facebook groups for product designers, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn. Still, they can be on Pinterest as well, depending on the type of product.
  2. Segment 2: Senior video game developer: has probably at least 5 to 7 years of solid experience. It has to be located in the US, San Francisco bay area. Probably spends time on Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Stack Overflow, and YouTube.

Notice how neither of these two segments uses only one social media channel? And how some of these would never cross your mind? This is why research is essential!

Also, keep in mind that these segments are just for an example, and your segments need to be specific and tangible. You don’t necessarily need to make them, but sometimes you will notice that you have a few ideal types of employees.

If, on the other hand, you don’t care about anything specific or personal, just their skill, then you just need to find out where these people hang around in digital space.

Market Research

This is an important one, again.

Market research will help you understand where you stand compared to your direct and indirect competitors. Basically, you will be doing some type of competitor research, but in the recruiting sphere.

You will analyze their workforce, the patterns between employees, and how they advertise their job openings.

The analysis that can make this so much easier is called SWOT. It is used often in marketing, but recruiters can tailor it to their needs as well.

SWOT stands for:

  1. Strengths: What are your company’s strengths when it comes to recruiting? Is it an amazing HR department? Or is the company positioned as a market leader and naturally generates lots of applicants? Or are you utilizing channels that others still aren’t?
  2. Weaknesses: What do the other companies and recruiters do that you don’t?
  3. Opportunities: All the channels often used by the ideal candidates that you aren’t present and positioned on.
  4. Threats: Big competition, fast-changing market, other companies are offering much higher compensations and benefits, etc.

Keep in mind that the marketing department can help you a lot when it comes to defining these, and if you ever notice something that they are not aware of, you can help them too.

The whole company can benefit from this analysis. Sometimes you will discover that the problem doesn’t lie in the HR department, but some other aspect of the business. However, in this guide, we will help recruiters override those other problems.

Create a strategy

The foremost thing for you to understand in a given domain is that social recruiting demands the creation of a strategy and not the tactics. It is primarily because the tactics either don’t work or fail miserably in yielding significant results. Therefore, there is a need for your company to create a strategy by concentrating on its goals and desired outcomes.

As the experts would suggest, your return on investment will be better if you engage in activities that help you understand the potential candidates in a better way.

Define the goal of your social media recruitment strategy

Before recruiting on social media, set a few objectives. Know what your goals are. Set a schedule for searching and stick with it.

The goal must be SMART:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Time-based

Here’s an example of SMART goal in social media recruitment strategies:

30% of our new candidates for the UX junior role should come from social media channels by the end of June.

  • Is it specific? Yes.
  • Is it measurable? Yes, we can measure whether they have come from social media, and which social channels specifically, or some other digital channels.
  • Is it attainable? Yup, sounds pretty achievable (this depends on the context and the previous social media presence of a company).
  • Is it realistic? We will say yes in our case. However, keep in mind that this depends on loads of factors in your industry, just like with the previous component. 30% can be a little in some cases and a lot in others.
  • Is it timely? Yes, by the end of June.

And there you have it.

This goal should come out of the overarching business goal though, so keep that in mind.

Which social media channels should you choose

Now, the answer to this question comes out from the target audience research.

Will you use every social site available? Will you only work with one or two? During the user research and goal setting, you will naturally understand which platforms are the best choice.

Also, research the differences in each social media platform. For example, Twitter is vastly different from Facebook. Instagram is unique as well. Know each site and how it works. Then, set objectives according to each network.

However, make sure to be consistent across all the social media channels with your communications and messaging. We will often stress this throughout this guide since it is one of the most important keys to a successful social media recruiting strategy.

Here we have listed 46 social media platforms that can be great, depending on the niche you are recruiting for. We will leave them here just so you know about their existence, and look them up if they seem relevant:

  1. Instagram – Mainly video and photo-sharing platform.
  2. Facebook – The largest social networking site.
  3. Twitter – Microblogging platform that allows users to share their thoughts and opinions in short tweets.
  4. LinkedIn – Most popular professional social network.
  5. Valence – A platform created for connecting black professionals together. This platform is great because it will help you be inclusive in your hiring processes.
  6. Elpha – Social networking site for women professionals looking to build their careers.
  7. beBee – A collaborative platform made for professionals to help them market themselves to clients, vendors, employers, and the media.
  8. Blind – Another social networking site for professionals with more than 3.5 million users currently.
  9. Behance – Great platform for headhunting creative workforce.
  10. Viadeo – Professional social networking site popular in Europe.
  11. Xing – European-focused career-oriented platform.
  12. Elixio – Exclusive platform for business executives and jet-set elite. You can only access it with an invite, so you should use it wisely if you have gotten one.
  13. The Dots – Professional networking platform for people in the creative fields.
  14. Faces – Community for women interested in digital media and arts.
  15. Ello – Platform built for artists.
  16. Clubhouse – New social media platform that gravitates around audio discussions.
  17. Medium – Content publishing platform fueled by UGC.
  18. Academia – Platform for academics and researchers to share their works.
  19. Labroots – Scientific, social networking site.
  20. Portfolium – Social network that helps students to connect with businesses and employers.
  21. Discord – One of the most popular social platforms right now. During the Covid-19, the number of Discord users multiplied twice, and Discord became home for hundreds of thousands of different users.
  22. Quora – A place to share and gain knowledge with 300 million monthly users. It is very easy to find knowledgeable and talented people on Quora.
  23. Reddit – News aggregator with 1.3 billion monthly users. Popular amongst developers, finance and econ specialist, and all the other groups of people.
  24. Upstream – Some call it a LinkedIn alternative; it’s a mobile-first professional networking site for business people.
  25. Slack – Slack groups are golden, and many marketing professionals, developers, and other tech industry people get together.
  26. GovLoop – Network for people in and around the government.
  27. Twitch – Live-streaming platform used mainly by gamers.
  28. Tumblr – Microblogging platform used by many different groups of people. If you need creatives or sociologists and psychologists, you can find them there.
  29. TikTok – A massive video-sharing platform with tremendous user engagement. If your target audience is most likely to be on TikTok, you should also check Triller and Likee, their growing competitors.
  30. YouTube – World’s largest video sharing site. Great for establishing online presence and reputation, showcasing your corporate culture and employee lifestyle.
  31. GoodReads – Niche social network for bookworms. Allows you to find good book theorists, editors, and aspiring writers.
  32. WattPad – Platform aimed at professional and amateur writers, filled with undiscovered talent.
  33. Inspire – Healthcare social network.
  34. SoundCloud – Music sharing platform.
  35. italki – Social media platform that connects language educators with learners.
  36. Tribe – Great platform for discussing brands and products.
  37. MeWe – called “the next-gen social network,” this platform is similar to Facebook but with no user tracking, ads, and a significant accent on privacy.
  38. BaiduTieba – Popular in China, a social forum network that allows you to create social network groups around desired search terms.
  39. SinaWeibo – Very popular Chinese microblogging platform, having a mix of Twitter’s and Facebook’s features.
  40. Renren – The largest social networking site in China.
  41. Snapchat – Image and video social media platform.
  42. Vkontakte – This is a Russian platform very similar to Facebook.
  43. Pinterest – Visual saving and bookmarking platform.
  44. Taringa – The most prominent social platform in Latin America.
  45. DeviantArt – Great community for art lovers and creators.
  46. WT Social – Social media created by the founders of Wikipedia, positioned as a non-toxic alternative to Facebook and Twitter.

Best social media recruitment strategies in 2021

Finally, here we are to discuss the best social media recruitment strategies in 2021 that you can start using right now.

The strategies we will talk about are:

  1. Talent haunting on social media
  2. Building your online reputation
  3. Creating unique content
  4. Building a community
  5. Employee advocacy
  6. Use of hashtags
  7. Paid social media campaigns

Talent haunting on social media

This is a big one. If you have skimmed over the list of 40+ social media networks above, you have probably noticed that there are many of them where you can lurk for talent.

Most recruiters do this on LinkedIn; however, not checking on other platforms can leave you biased and missing some incredible talent.

Here’s an example of how you can do headhunting for a graphic designer online:

  1. Check Behance in search of great design ideas that match the style and vibe of what you need.
  2. Chack The Dots, Ello, and Faces too.
  3. If you find a profile that matches your expectations, try to find the creator on LinkedIn.
  4. Make sure to enter all the possible candidates in your ATS.
  5. Reach out to them and keep track of the progress of the conversations.

Another great thing to do when headhunting is to join LinkedIn groups relevant to your target industry and niche. There are a plethora of LinkedIn groups filled with amazingly talented potential candidates.

In these sorts of groups, just like in Slack groups too, you can quickly identify the top talent and influencers and reach out to them.

Building your online reputation

Now, you need to have a strong presence on social media for talent haunting previously mentioned to work. Again, this is something your marketing team is responsible for. However, if the marketing team wasn’t doing it right or didn’t build any online presence yet, now is the time to do so.

Ensure to present the importance of social media and online presence to your company and marketing team and address the issues adequately. If, for any reason, you don’t have a marketing team, then you can do it yourself too.

First, start small. Make sure to create company profiles on major social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or YouTube. You don’t necessarily need to be present on all of them. Just choose the ones that are the most suitable for your industry.

Then create a content strategy and stick to it. Finally, try to publish relevant and valuable content.

Take time to form quality and interesting content on each social media website. Each content plan will be different, depending on the site. Make sure your objectives are met with each plan, and also attractive to potential candidates.

Create Unique Content

Offer unique and interesting company insights, showcase the culture that is followed within a company, and share exclusive information that is information that can’t be found anywhere else.

This can be done by creating content that targets desired job applicants. To make this happen, you should consider:

  • Creating content that showcases employees and their daily activities.
  • Make sure to encourage employees to share their stories, progress, and insights on their personal social media profiles.
  • Share company achievements.
  • Try to humanize your brand and company through interesting and funny content, as Ryanair does on TikTok.

Be creative and experiment with formats. You can share:

  • Infographics
  • How to guides
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Vlogs
  • Podcasts

However, keep in mind the importance of having well designed and updated career