The Guide to Social Network Recruitment

30th October 2015

social recruitingThe advantages of social media and web 2.0 technologies are now becoming evident across all aspects of organisational talent management processes; however the advantages are becoming most evident in the area of recruitment.

In the ongoing war on talent, an ever increasing number of HR Managers and Recruiters have awoken to the enormous possibilities offered by online recruitment tools and Social Networks in their quest to engage with the correct people and locate top talent, for virtually zero cost.

According to, companies that are leading in this area are organisations such as Ernst & Young, Cisco Systems and Taco Bell who boast a network of over 65 000 individuals through their Social Network portals. Globally, 70% of companies and recruiters are already utilising Social Networks to leverage their employer brand to source scarce skilled passive candidates.
Closer to home, according to South Africa’s largest recruitment survey conducted by MCI Consultants (Pty) Ltd, only 53% of SA recruiters are utilising Social and online mediums to recruit candidates. This indicates that the remaining 47% of recruiters don’t even know where to begin.


The purpose of this whitepaper is to highlight the direct benefit that recruiters will gain once they have formulated and implemented a Social Network recruitment strategy. Also, this information may provide companies that already have a Social Network recruitment strategy in place with further ideas that can be incorporated into their existing plan to achieve even greater results.


Traditionally recruiters have relied on advertising on job portals and in print in order to source talent. These avenues can indeed be effective; however it is also extremely costly and in some cases can lead to an organisation preventing key talent getting their attention as these sourcing channels can act as a barrier to a company building a talent pool for the long term. The majority of job seekers, who apply for positions through these traditional channels, make up only 16% of the total workforce. Couple this with the fact that 99% of these active career seekers are looking for a new job due to being fired, retrenched, a dislike of their work environment, there’s often a negative emotion associated with the experience. Few of these methods assist in reaching or contacting the best people for the job, or passive candidates, consistently.


Passive candidates are motivated by opportunity and are looking for a challenge, advancement or career move. These individuals have retained their current position for a reason and are a valuable asset to their employer. As numerous whitepapers, papers and blog posts support, the desire to recruit passive candidates is on the rise and social media opens the door to millions of users allowing themselves to be discovered and discover vacancies without them having to actively search.


So, how do you reach passive candidates using Social Networks? The answer is surprising in that you don’t necessarily do this directly, but rather use an indirect approach. Your company needs to be visible on as many online media and social platforms as possible so that when a passive candidate decides they need a new challenge and begin seeking one out, your organisation will be easy to locate.


Most top performers will use a focused approach when searching for new employment and will in fact seek out companies to target as opposed to job adverts to respond to. However it doesn’t hurt if a top performer stumbles upon a job advertised on a Social Network by a company they have targeted, that matches their skill. This can occur even if the candidate is not directly linked to the advertising company’s page. Friends of the passive candidate may see an interesting job on your Social Network job page or website, click “like” or “share” on the job and instantly have it appear on their news feed and in essence, advertise it to all of their friends or connections on your behalf! Also, users are able to add numerous job apps/groups to their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles which consolidate job postings from multiple companies in a single easy to use and easy to apply interface. Sending job adverts to such apps therefore means much greater reach and exposure.


“Birds of a feather flock together” so in many cases, active Social Network users, often link with friends and colleagues whom are involved in similar industries or professions. This is the beauty and power of using Social Networks to find candidates; they inevitably end up coming to you.


The first step to get you started, if you have not done so already, is to setup a professional/company Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter profile. Your organisation may already have this in place from the marketing department. If this is the case, discuss carving out a careers section on the various mediums. This can be achieved through the use of Facebook apps and groups.


Go ahead and start building connections, followers and sharing relevant content! Have fun experimenting with new forms of social media and use your discretion to determine if they are the right fit for your company and recruitment strategy. The possibilities of content building are endless and require a bit of trial and error to find a happy medium.


Another method of speeding up the process and getting job related content out onto your social media platforms as they happen would be to invest in an e-recruitment management system. Such systems essentially make your job vacancies viral on Social Networks and the web. Not only are you able to send your job adverts to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ simultaneously, but you are also able to accept applications, that are screened and vetted, through the system. These systems can also integrate with your website, intranet and popular job boards. Built in screening technology also ensures that only the most suitable candidates receive your attention.


E-Recruitment systems also allow you to manage multiple recruitment campaigns on multiple media platforms from one screen. Couple this with the fact that these systems also manage and automate a company’s entire advertising lifecycle from vacancy publishing to managing your applicants, and you have a winning recipe for passive candidate recruitment success! Social media recruitment is the future, and the future is now.


For more information about e-Recruitment management systems or to contact the author, visit: