Best Social Recruiting Strategies for 2017 and Beyond: An Expert Roundtable

By: on November 30, 2015

Recruiters who jumped on the social media trend once had a competitive advantage. Today, they no longer have that luxury: 92 percent of recruiters now use sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn for their social recruiting efforts.

If your social recruiting strategies aren’t up to snuff, you could be missing out on the best candidates—or worse, turning them off to your job openings entirely.

That’s why Software Advice turned to the experts. Here, industry thought leaders offer their top tips for leveraging social recruiting in 2016 and beyond. Those experts are:

Shally Steckerl
Shally Steckerl, president and founder of The Sourcing Institute, Inc.
Author of “The Talent Sourcing and Recruitment Handbook,” who teaches
recruiting and sourcing at Temple University.

Katrina Collier
Katrina Collier, social recruiting specialist
and founder of Winning Impression Ltd.
Speaker and on-site trainer on social recruiting through her consulting firm,
Winning Impression Ltd.

Chad Macrae
Chad Macrae, founder of Recruiting Social
Expert at consultancy Recruiting Social, and Season 3 winner
of “Top Recruiter: The Competition.”

Sophie Deering
Sophie Deering, senior account executive at Link Humans
Contributor at Undercover Recruiter, an online recruiting publication, and
blogger for digital marketing agency Link Humans.

Matthew Kosinski
Matthew Kosinski, online editor at
Writer for, a premiere source for tips and insight
on everything recruiting.

Siofra Pratt
Siofra Pratt, inbound marketing executive at Social Talent
Blogger for Social Talent, a site that offers recruiting and sourcing training.

Collier: “Social media is no longer a ‘nice to have’; it has become an essential tool for companies. A place where they can open their doors and provide a sneak peek into their company culture and people, and a place to attract new people—especially those with rare skills—to their job opportunities.”

Pratt: “In 2015, social media is still playing a supporting role to more traditional recruiting efforts. However, I feel social media will start to play a more formal role in recruiting in 2016—particularly [in] more visual mediums like Instagram and Snapchat [and]—when it comes to job advertising and employer branding.”

Steckerl: “Recruiters will become much more responsive, nimble and directed. They won’t be able to just [spam] content, and will be forced to become engaging or become obsolete. Those who survive will be the ones who are able to engage in the conversation. Those seeking to control the conversation will be defeated by those who can enable, inspire and influence through the media channels their audience prefers.”

Pratt: “They start blindly using a social site because it’s fashionable to do so, without taking any notice of the demographics associated with the site. For example, they try to attract millennials via Facebook, when most millennials have moved on to other social networks [such as] YouTube and Instagram.”

Macrae: “Ninety-nine percent of recruiters I see using Twitter just connect it with their ATS [or applicant tracking system] and use it to post jobs … and nobody is paying attention, because it’s not engaging. There is no content, only jobs, so people are actually ignoring it because it’s not current.”

Kosinski: “My biggest social recruiting pet peeve is when recruiters treat social media as a transactional platform. Don’t just hop on LinkedIn to find that one person you need right now. Reach out to a bunch of people who may fit your needs later on down the line. Build a community page on Facebook where passionate candidates can congregate. Start a Twitter hashtag to encourage conversations about your organization. On social media, you have to think long-term.”

Deering: “Though it’s fine to share [job ads] occasionally to get them on people’s radar, followers of a company want to see quality content, too. Some examples of this are insights into the sector, industry news and infographics or videos. Another thing that recruiters need to avoid is contacting people about a job before they have really assessed their suitability for the role.”

Macrae: “Businesses and recruiters need to understand and leverage their employer brand. … They won’t be able to engage the candidates as well unless they showcase this on social media. They also need to make their employees their best advocates. They need to create a hashtag and have people show it on Twitter and Instagram. Talent will see this and reach out if they like the vibe. Incentivizing this is great, but if employees are doing it on their own, it’s even better.”

Collier: “Look like someone worth talking to, with a great profile picture and completed bio or profile, and share updates that show you know your stuff. Be sure to listen so you gain an understanding of your industry, and focus on how you can help so you become known, liked and trusted. Then when you do share your job, [people will] be more inclined to help.”

Kosinski: “Be active. Encourage conversations between your candidates and your company, … [and] between candidates, too. The goal is to build a community, and that doesn’t happen by accident. Post regularly. Start threads. Chat with people—even if you’re just chatting about hobbies and daily life, rather than job opportunities. People are going to be much more drawn to you if they see that you maintain an active, friendly, warm presence on social media.”

Steckerl: I always say, ‘Find the tribe, and there you will find the talent.’ This means that first you scope out the talent landscape, and find where there are concentrations of your ideal talent. Once you understand their environment, then you engage. You’ll be able to approach them … without the need to interrupt them, or distract them and attract them to some contrived ‘landing page.’”

Deering: “Businesses should share quality content (their own and curated) that will engage their target audience. Showing a bit of personality is also a good way of showing the human side of the company—which is a very appealing quality for job seekers, as it can provide them with a bit of an idea about what the work environment may be like.”

Collier: “Some of my favorite Twitter search tools include ManageFlitter’s bio search and Topsy’s tweet search. I then like to keep things organized with Twitter lists, which I can find more of by using Electoral.

“My go-to scheduling tool is Buffer, as I love the clean design and great analytics that tell me how I am doing. There are also a plethora of Chrome extensions that I use to map people across social networks, including Discoverly, Prophet, Connect6 and Connectifier, which allows me to gain a better understanding of people to start more interesting conversations.”

Kosinski: “The tools that recruiters seem to be most excited about are tools that more closely integrate social media platforms with traditional ATSs. Anything that helps you funnel talent directly into your personal database through a social media platform is aces. I’m thinking specifically of things like Jobcast, which allows you to post jobs directly to social media platforms, and Jobvite, which does a good job of helping recruiters tap directly into their social networks.

What you don’t want are tools that simply make ATSs act more like social media. … Don’t ask [candidates] to set up new profiles on your ATS. Give them a way to transfer their social profiles directly into your ATS. Remove as many steps from the application process as possible.”

Steckerl: “The big one for me is Evernote Business. This is command and control for everything in my entire organization. It plugs into Google Drive, Hootsuite, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and everything else I do. It is my CRM [customer relationship management system], my ATS, my document repository and my workflow all tied into one.”

Macrae: “Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are two platforms I’ve used to manage my social presence. With these platforms, I can spend an hour or so per week scheduling everything, and they send it out for me automatically. Plus, it’s a really easy way to keep track of any new followers or mentions on Twitter, which is a great way to start engaging with a candidate. Occasionally I use Hashtagify, which helps me use the right hashtag and see related hashtags, as well.”

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