Five tips for effective social recruitment

Share this page

Written on 13 July 2015 in Thought Leader
Thought Leader

Cornerstone OnDemand explore the latest recruitment techniques, and what it takes to successfully recruit the right candidates via social media 

Social recruiting is not new. According to research collated by, 93% of companies use LinkedIn to recruit, 66% use Facebook and 54% use Twitter. 

Its popularity is no doubt driven by the access to a living database of candidates. 

There are 15 million people using LinkedIn alone, representing just under a quarter of the population. Around half the UK is on Facebook and 15 million people on Twitter. And that’s before you look at fast-growing networks like Instagram, Vine and Snapchat. 

Recruiters and HR professionals have access to these people – potential candidates for their firms – either for free or for a very low cost. What’s more, these sites are networks rather than databases, providing untold opportunities to get recommendations, seek out candidates, and persuade them that your firm is the one to work for, not your competitor (let’s not forget we live in a largely candidate-led jobs market at the moment). 

We must remember, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. The lack of friction means that social media can be used or mis-used by those working in recruitment roles. Spamming candidates, spying on interviewees and gazumping are all possible, but we need to consider what is best practice in social recruitment. This isn’t just an ethical issue, but a practical one too: whether working for an agency or in-house, recruiters are the custodians of the brand. 

This shift requires a change in approach and here are our top five tips to embrace social recruiting: 

#1 – Brush up on marketing skills
Recruitment is shifting from a transactional process to an experience and people in recruiting roles will be required to act more like marketing and sales people, managing the candidate experience.

This starts at the first contact – what impression does the recruiter leave? What kind of follow up occurs? How personalised is the contact? The best talent wants to work for the best employers and your job is to sell the company. 

#2 – Be clear on the company’s brand values
A company culture is very much tied up with the brand values (although there’s sadly often a disconnect between what firms would like to portray and the reality). Understanding these values and ensuring it is reflected in candidate communications is essential.  

Don’t forget candidates also use sites such as Glassdoor to read feedback from current and former employees in order to find out whether employer brand values hold true. That’s why the external employer brand needs to be authentic and based on real values, as well as be aligned with the internal employer brand. 

#3 – Immobilise your social media army (your employees)
Companies also need to look at colleagues outside of the recruitment function to help them source candidates by tapping in to the social networks of all employees in a company.

There will be a move from traditional process automation tools to more sophisticated candidate relationship management tools which will enable people recruiting to follow up on candidates in the same way a salesperson follows up on a sales lead. 

#4 – Adopt a social onboarding 
Social technologies will help employers maintain good relationships with candidates once they accept a job offer by facilitating conversations with managers and co-workers so that they are well prepared for day one in their new role. 

This is why the alignment between the internal and external employer brand is so important. A more social on-boarding process will prevent candidate drop-out and help with retention. 

#5 – Use the social transparency to adapt and learn
Listening to what employees, customers and stakeholders say about the brand is critical. Again, this has previously been the domain of the marketing department but is relevant to talent management nowadays. Software tools can help to monitor what is being said on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and It’s important to learn from this feedback and ensure it is incorporated into social recruitment and the wider HR strategy.