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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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Social media – a direction not destination for social recruitment


This article was written by Steve Hewitt, Head of HR at talent and performance management solutions provider Lumesse.

The rise of social media recruitment

Social media is becoming an essential part of how businesses engage with their customers in this digital age. Two-way conversations across these channels are now becoming the norm, with many organisations now realising that they need to not just sprout information but listen and connect on a more personal level with their customers.

There is an inevitable correlation between the rise of social networks and social recruitment. By engaging with potential candidates via social media and building awareness of their brands, HR leaders can reach a much wider talent pool. As the ‘war for talent’ hots up in an increasingly competitive and often global business environment, recruiters, both internal and external, cannot miss any chance to reach the right people with the right skills.

As recruiters look to a variety of social media channels, LinkedIn being the most popular of these, they are realising cost saving and speed of hire benefits. However, long-term benefits do not often come through direct candidate outreach through these channels.

Simply using Facebook pages or LinkedIn groups as a job advertising platform may reap benefits on one-off occasions but the effectiveness of sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube does not lie in the number of hires or even applicants a company can trace directly to one of the social media sites. Ultimately any good social recruitment strategy must tie back to the aim of raising awareness of the brand as an ‘employer of choice’ in order to attract the very best of the talent. This means using social media as a channel of influence.

Direction, not destination

This change of view has huge implications on the way businesses monitor and measure social recruitment internally. Tracking only where your new hire submitted their application is simply not enough to add value to your social media strategy. Social media should be a direction not destination for candidates to find new jobs.

Last year recruitment firm CareerXroads surveyed America’s largest employers on how and from where they make hires. It turned out that although social media accounted for a mere 3.5 percent of the 213,375 hires, the leaders believe it plays a consistent and influential role in acquiring talent. While the company career site is listed as the official source of hire, 62.5 percent of the survey respondents believe social media influenced potential candidates in a positive way.

Therefore changing the way that social media recruitment is measured will be important. With the understanding that social media, positive brand awareness and HR are inextricably linked, baseline metrics will have to tie back to measuring levels of social engagement. Specifically, measurement should also look at whether social channels are connecting with the right people with the right skills that you want to hire.

HR should work with the marketing team

HR leaders should work closely with the marketing teams to understand candidate profiles so that they can help identify and advise on which channel will reach their audience. For example, LinkedIn is most likely to be the best platform if hiring for a skilled position while Facebook can reach a large audience if you are working for a superstore and trying to recruit en mass for a new store opening. Once the right channels and the right candidate profiles are established, metrics on engagement can be set against these.


Consistently monitoring the level of engagement across these social platforms will be crucial to the success of a social recruitment drive. Only by building brand awareness on the right social platforms and positioning the company as an ‘employer of choice’ will social recruitment have a long term, positive impact on the business.

11 Responses

  1. Social recruiting is actually

    Social recruiting is actually effective if you know how to identify people to work for you. Literally, there are a lot of people using social medias.  Anyway, if you want your small business to really grow, the solution is to make a page and get facebook likes! Lots of businesses were successful and grew because of this 🙂

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  4. Definitely! Changing the way
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  8. Social Recruiting can be effective…

    …if you learn how to search for and contact candidates on multiple-social media sites. That is the fastest way to reduce time and cost per hire and certainly more effective than simply adding adverts to LinkedIn. I’ve seen many clients have quick, great, and long term success by using targeted searches & approaching directly. 

    My LinkedIn news feed looks like a job board and if this is turning me off using the site, it will be having the same effect on the "passive candidates" LinkedIn keeps telling us are there. (LinkedIn rarely points out that only 1/3rd of the working population in Britain uses LinkedIn or that of those over 1/2 are on there for only 0 – 2 hours per week. Source:

    It’s far wiser to spread your net and search for your potential staff on multiple social media sites, this isn’t as time consuming as it sounds, it can be quick and effective and you’ll grow your talent pool at the same time.


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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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