Using social media for recruitment: developing the best strategy

7 mins
Sellick  Partnership

By Sellick Partnership

Content marketing and social media are two powerful and effective ways to attract potential talent. You can think of these tools as your company’s CV, with technologically connected job hunters being more likely now than ever to find companies they are interested in working for this way. Using sponsored ads, blogs or Instagram posts as part of a comprehensive social media recruiting strategy is becoming just as effective as using job sites alone.

With the number of people using social media on a daily basis, it comes as no surprise that workplaces, talent acquisition professionals and Hiring Managers need to alter the way they are attracting talent to mirror these developments.

In the modern recruitment marketplace, your organisation's social media platforms are an ideal way for you to showcase your employer brand and the strength of your company's reputation. In doing so, you will be able to showcase your job opportunities to both active and passive candidates more easily, giving your organisation a wider pool of potential candidates to connect with and speak to.

Below, we outline a number of ways you can use content marketing and social media platforms, including paid and organic content, to develop a social media recruiting strategy that offers tangible benefits compared to traditional recruiting methods alone.

What are the benefits of a social media recruiting strategy?

In the last few years, making use of social media channels has become an essential and central element of any company's hiring process. It is estimated that 92% of employers now use social and professional networks as part of their recruitment efforts, making them the most commonly used recruitment tools among today's employers, ahead of more conventional methods like job boards, traditional advertising and employee referrals.

There are a number of reasons why a social media recruitment strategy has become so essential for modern businesses:

Finding active job seekers more easily than traditional channels

One of the key reasons why so many companies are turning to social recruiting is simply that this is where the candidates can be found. It is estimated that 86% of today's job seekers utilise social media platforms as part of their job search, whether to look for relevant job openings, engage with recruitment-related content in their social media feeds, or to apply directly for job postings through social media channels.

Reaching passive job seekers

Passive candidates are those who are not actively seeking a new role, but would consider switching jobs if they came across an appealing opportunity. These passive job candidates will not be actively browsing job boards or visiting your company's recruitment page to find job openings; however, they will still be active on social media.

As such, social recruiting efforts are essential for ensuring that your job listings are still being seen by passive candidates, in addition to recruitment-related messaging that will encourage these candidates to pursue an interest in your organisation.

Reducing time and cost per hire

Because active and passive candidates can be found so easily through social media recruiting, your organisation is likely to be able to identify potential candidates faster than by using traditional recruiting strategies alone. Additionally, the cost of advertising jobs on social media platforms is much lower than for job boards.

As such, social recruitment practices tend to be highly cost-effective, not just in terms of a lower initial outlay, but also in terms of reducing time to hire. This means you can fill vacancies quickly and at a lower overall cost, while also ensuring that any skills gaps in your organisation are addressed as soon as possible.

Showcasing your employer brand

Job seekers use social media for more than just looking for job postings and recruitment information - they will also be researching your company's reputation before applying for a job, reviewing social media profiles and online information to get a sense of your company culture, brand values and business performance, as well as learning about the experiences of your current employees.

As a result, it is vital to cultivate a positive social media presence that showcases your employer brand in the best possible light. Not only will this help you to stand out to potential candidates, but it will also be valued by prospective customers.

How to use social media for recruitment 

In order to develop your social network activity into a crucial element of your recruitment process, you should be looking to the companies that utilise social hiring most effectively, and identify the most useful and proven techniques for your own business.

To assist with this, we have compiled the following guidance on how to ensure that your social media recruiting is delivering the greatest possible benefit:

Narrow down the social media platforms that your ideal candidates will be using

Before getting started with social media recruitment, it’s worth taking a step back to evaluate your plan. Who is it you are targeting? What roles are you trying to fill? Which of the multiple social media platforms will suit these objectives best?

Each of the major social channels has its own specific audience and user base, and you will need to consider this when selecting which social media platform to target. From there, you can build social media into your strategy.

Are you hiring a Gen-Z for a graduate position or an apprenticeship? It might be worth researching TikTok or Instagram.

Ultimately, you need to do some research about your own ideal candidate persona, how you can reach them, and the best content to share with them for the most successful results. Below, we have broken down the potential candidates you are most likely to find on each platform:

  • LinkedIn: perfect for recruiting all roles within most - if not all - industries, but ideally targeting professionals and upward. This platform is hugely relevant when it comes to attracting talent, but has changed massively since the pandemic and is being used much more ‘socially’.
  • Facebook: ideal for local positions, entry-level jobs and upwards.
  • Twitter: the social media platform of choice for those looking for professional positions, and is particularly ideal for sales, IT, medical and dental recruitment efforts. Follow and engage with industry hashtags to boost your presence.
  • Instagram: this is a highly engaging channel to boost your company profile via images and videos. You can also share and save content that will be relevant for showcasing company news such as bonuses, benefits, promotions and teambuilding activities.
  • TikTok: this audience is primarily focused on entertainment. The channel gives businesses the ability to connect by creating shared experiences; for example, you can use audio from a viral clip and create your own video, which can be used to generate engagement around your employer brand. Use hashtags relevant to your company or industry to get some inspiration.
  • Reddit: this community allows you to tap into specific industries, communicate with active and passive job candidates, and spark relevant industry conversations to engage potential employees.

Highlight your company culture through content and share it

When discovering new talent, it is important to promote the company culture you want prospective employees to see. Creating and posting engaging social media content is an innovative way of doing this. Blog posts, for example, allow you to showcase your company's day-to-day operations, your recent successes and brand values - all of which are very important for job seekers.

Be clear and transparent about what it is really like to work for your company. You can demonstrate this in a variety of ways including videos, blog posts and podcasts – the more mediums you use, the more opportunities that both active and passive job seekers will have to see your company culture in action.

The focus should always be on presenting your company in a favourable light, and creating compelling content that has the best chance of drawing in both passive and active candidates. This could include Instagram posts highlighting team nights out, sharing your latest successful PR work on LinkedIn, or showcasing the achievements of your current staff members on the website.

If you write a blog with the help of current members of staff, create social media posts to promote this content and maximise its reach. This kind of employee advocacy carries a lot of weight with potential employees, so you should share the content among your teams for them to repost on their own social networks. This will help to make sure it is seen by as many potential candidates as possible.


Develop a consistent online presence

Online branding and messaging can affect your recruitment strategy immensely, so it is important to make sure this is consistent across all of your channels. This means developing a coherent strategy for your social media recruitment content, making sure that any information you are promoting externally shares the same messages. Inconsistencies and mixed messages can often put job seekers off and harm your chances of securing the best talent.

Make sure everything is up-to-date

Ensuring your social network profiles are regularly updated is possibly the most important aspect when it comes to drawing social media users in and showing them all about the company. If job candidates are regularly searching online to view your social media content across different channels, you will want to ensure they are regularly seeing the latest information that reflects where your company is currently at.

As such, your social media advertising strategy should focus on creating and posting new content and messages on a regular basis, without leaving large gaps. Modern social media tools can help you set up an automated schedule for posting out content, meaning you can target your posts around the times of day when users are most likely to see them.

Use visuals to make your social media content more engaging

Your social media recruitment assets will be more interesting and appealing to job seekers if you can accompany them with compelling visuals. For example, you could create recruiting videos featuring your current staff, show a behind-the-scenes look at daily life at your company, or create and share infographics that tell the story of your products and services.

Even if you are posting text content, this should be accompanied by images to increase its impact and help to catch the eye. Each of these methods will make your content more engaging, while giving you more opportunities to visually communicate to job candidates what it is really like to work at your organisation.

Use sponsored advertising where possible

Social media content gains a wider audience by being shared and reposted by platform users, which in turn results in the content appearing in more people's news feeds. However, there are also a number of social media advertising tools available for businesses to pay to promote a job posting or another piece of commercial content.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are your best social media options for sponsored ads. Through sponsored adverts, your posts will appear on the news feeds of those who have shown an interest in similar fields, putting your brand right in front of them. Setting aside some budget for sponsored posts should therefore be a key element of your social media recruiting strategy.

Engage your current employees to support your social hiring

It is very likely that you have some social media power users in your workplace, and being able to call upon direct social media endorsement from your current workforce exponentially boosts the potential reach of your recruitment messaging.

This is why it is important to support your social recruiting with employee advocacy - by encouraging staff to share job openings on their personal social media accounts. This will not only help ensure that more people see the job opportunity, but can also help you find more qualified candidates, as your existing employees will be able to screen job applicants for you and find candidates that would be a good cultural fit.

You may choose to establish a formal employee referral programme, in which employees are offered a referral fee for their help in recruiting candidates. By reminding employees of this offer throughout the year, they can become active participants in your social media recruitment efforts.


Social media and content are two very powerful tools for recruiting top talent to your organisation, but it’s crucial to use them correctly. Before starting, make sure you understand what your target candidates are looking for, and then identify what it is about your company that sets you apart.

From there, you can take to your chosen social networks to promote the role, showcase your company culture and utilise your networks to push your message out there.

For more information on how you can attract and retain top talent to your business, you can contact us here! Alternatively, you can view our employer resources section here.