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Social Recruiting: Benefits, Measures and Strategies

In the 21st century, messages are no longer retrieved from a postbox in the morning, but rather read on a desktop or smartphone. The same principle applies to job vacancies. The young talent that companies want to recruit for their vacancies no longer leaf through job ads in the daily newspaper, but go online. For recruiters, this means that new paths have to be discovered in order to find good candidates. One of them is social recruiting.

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What is Social Recruiting?

In short, the term social recruiting means the use of the reach and communication options of social media platforms for recruiting employees. The process of recruiting is based usually on two things: on the one hand the reputation of the company (e.g. employer branding, and also this is where employee referrals are highly valuable) and the career portal, and on the other hand, active contact with potential candidates (active sourcing). Social media for recruiting is now widely accepted by both applicants and employers and is even expected by younger generations. However, it requires a clear strategy and critical thinking by the talent acquisition team to do it successfully.

How Social Media Redefined Recruiting

Recruiting through social media requires a whole new approach to the task of recruiting from corporate talent acquisition teams. For example, the design of the company’s website, especially their company’s career section is of particular importance. The career portal must function without errors, clearly emphasize the benefits of working at this company, and also be regularly stocked with new content. Employer branding is a key topic and a very important foundation for recruiting. You can read more about it in our article 9 Reasons Why Employer Branding is Essential in Recruitment.

However, that doesn’t mean that only the website career pages are important when it comes to an employer’s space on the internet; certain social media channels that can also be used by companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also play a major part. Some would even say that a company’s approach to recruiting on social media is far more important than anything else. This is because social media offers an active and direct channel to reach potential candidates and start a conversation. This means that recruiters have more to do, but also lots of possibilities.

The Platforms Suitable for Social Recruiting


It is well known that there is often more appearance than substance in social networks. Therefore, platforms such as Tik Tok, Snapchat, or Instagram are generally not necessarily recommended as social media recruiting channels, although there are certain opportunities for certain professional groups.

In any case, recruiters who are active in social recruiting should keep an eye on trends and new developments as much as possible. Other platforms, on the other hand, allow recruiters to get at least an initial picture of a candidate and to actively approach promising talents on this basis. The most used social media recruiting platforms are:

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  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Each of these channels has its own landscape, communication style, and culture of connecting with one another. This means that recruiters should approach each channel individually, taking these differences into account.

Social Recruiting Strategies

If your company wants to search for new talent on social media, you should approach it with caution. This type of recruiting requires a precise plan and the allocation of resources to effectively put that plan into action. Your company’s channels on social networks must be continuously filled with content and paid campaigns. If you engage influencers, you must be prepared and recognize this type of approach needs to be monitored, and the active approach to connecting with possible candidates must be coordinated. You have to consider the respective environments.

Career- and job-oriented platforms such as LinkedIn already offer the right environment for a direct approach, which on these networks should be more formal. Other social media sites like Facebook usually require a more casual tone. However, the presence of candidates on these networks is usually of a more private character and when actively making contact, recruiters must be aware that they are entering an area that is actually separate from professional life.

Benefits of Social Media Recruiting

So while social recruiting requires some preparation and dedication, recruiting through social media is still a significant step forward. Many people already spend a large part of their free time on social networks and are willing to reveal a lot about themselves online. This is one of the advantages of social media recruiting. That means recruiters can find out a lot about a candidate online before they approach them. On LinkedIn for example, you can often find informative CVs and descriptions of tasks and responsibilities in previous positions; Twitter is a platform where thoughts are posted on many current topics, and Facebook often allows a glimpse of a candidate’s values and interests. And on the other hand, social networks allow companies to present themselves creatively, for example with videos, memes or pictures. In addition to this, existing and former employees can use their online presence to be ambassadors or influencers for their company. Employees can use a digital employee referral program, for example, to recommend jobs to their networks, and that means that recruiters can also reach passive candidates through word of mouth. And last but not least, social media allows companies to direct their messages precisely to the right target group, for example by using topic-relevant groups on Facebook or setting up their own channels on YouTube. In this way, recruiting can become much more precise and efficient – even if it requires one or two additional steps.

If you want to learn more about the predictions of tomorrow’s talent, check out our Talent Management infographic.

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