With the rise of social media over the last two decades, we now have a generation of digital natives who don’t remember life without social media. With more Gen Z grads entering the workforce, it should come as no surprise to learn that today, social media recruiting is more popular than ever before when sourcing high-quality candidates, especially for entry-level positions.
In fact, the latest survey shows that 97% of Fortune 500 companies rely on social media, including sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, to attract top-notch candidates. These companies use social media to highlight their company culture, engage with college students and new graduates, and identify prospective entry-level applicants that meet specific criteria. Social media is not just a good idea–it’s a necessity, at least for recruiters looking to hire the best entry-level talent.
Benefits of Social Media Recruiting
Exposure to a Larger Audience
Naturally, one of the main benefits of social media recruiting is the large audience it reaches. With the average daily use per user of at least two hours and twenty-seven minutes, it makes sense for recruiters and organizations to turn to social media to source talent. On LinkedIn, the most popular professional platform, 63% of users access the network weekly, and 22% daily.
Attracts a Wider Range of Candidates
If there’s one thing that both recruiters and potential employees are looking for is a wide array of options to choose from. Social media is a powerful outlet to entice high-quality entry-level candidates that are actively or passively looking for new opportunities.
Reach Specific Audiences
Social media helps recruiters target specific audiences based on a variety of demographics, such as location, current job, and education level. This makes the recruiting process more accurate and helps recruiters match with candidates that are better qualified for the open positions available.
Top Social Media Platforms to Utilize for Recruiting
Facebook allows companies to create a “Jobs” bookmark right on their company profile page, although many larger companies opt to create an entirely separate “Career” profile page on Facebook.
- Recruiters can post jobs right on their social media page or use affordable paid Facebook ads to target a specific audience.
- Companies can target ads for candidates that are fans of the brand.
- Engagement with candidates is more direct and personalized.
When posting entry-level positions, always include information about benefits that are important to the type of candidates you’re targeting, such as mentorships, training and development, and career-building opportunities. Make sure to include a link back to your company’s career page for every job posting.
What makes LinkedIn stand out from other social media platforms is that it allows companies and recruiters to create one or more Showcase Pages. The Showcases Pages are separate from your company profile or your company page, as they give you the ability to create content for a specific audience.
- Recruiters can create up to 10 separate Showcase Pages. To make the most of this feature, it’s recommended you create one Showcase Page for entry-level candidates and one separate one for more experienced candidates. This allows you to focus content on topics that are important to recent graduates, such as training and development, benefits, company culture, and the workplace environment.
- LinkedIn can also be used by recruiters to search for candidates utilizing a series of 'and,' 'not' and 'or' filters through the Boolean search feature to narrow down the search for potential entry-level applicants by location, career, university, year of graduation and experience. Once these filters have narrowed down the list of potential candidates, recruiters can send out targeted InMail job announcements.
- Recruiters can also post job ads through LinkedIn Recruiter or use LinkedIn paid ads.
Twitter is all about writing a clever message with very few characters, so it’s important to make every word count. Keywords are crucial. Recruiters using this platform need to select keywords that resonate with entry-level job applicants. Never forget a hashtag, as they are the ones that will extend your reach and build buzz on social media for your openings
Just because Twitter limits your words, it doesn’t mean it limits the graphics. Make sure to include images and links for candidates to learn more about your work culture. Don’t be afraid to post workplace photos, link job postings, and direct users to the company career page.
Pictures posted on Instagram can be viewed instantly by anyone, which gives you access to the 2 billion active users on this site worldwide. Because Instagram offers users a more casual atmosphere, recruiters have started utilizing this platform as a way to post images of invitations to upcoming job fairs or to make job announcements.
Instagram is also a great way to post photos that highlight employee recognition, company-sponsored community events, and behind-the-scenes looks at life in the office. Similar to Twitter, hashtags and keywords are important on Instagram. Make sure you utilize them to reach target audiences.
Tips for Social Media Recruiting
Social media recruiting can be extremely successful and cost-effective when recruiters use it correctly. Below are some tips for using social media to recruit entry-level candidates.
Build a Following
One of the most important aspects of successful social media recruiting is building a following for each platform. Encourage current employees and partners to follow the company's social media pages and to share and like content as much as possible.
- Join industry-specific groups on social media where the target audience interacts the most.
- Collaborate with universities and colleges that are willing to share job posts on social media for new graduates.
- Post industry-specific news, quotes, and facts to attract passive candidates.
Being a thought leader in your company's industry also will help build a following. Don't forget to add links to every business social media profile page on the company's main website. Using a recruiting tool like Symplicity Recruit allows you to add links to your company's social media accounts directly in your job postings.
It is important to be active when using social media. The last thing any recruiter should do is to turn to social media only when it is time to recruit. Instead, recruiters should constantly be building a social media following of prospective entry-level candidates. Recruiters should also maintain a content calendar to track and manage social media posts. This will ensure that no platform is forgotten.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
When first implementing a social media recruiting strategy, start with only one social media platform. Once the first platform is up and running smoothly, a second one can be added. This will ensure that each company profile page is set up correctly and that it is providing the maximum benefits.
If done correctly, social media can help attract top-quality candidates in a short period of time. Whether using only one social media platform or multiple platforms, social media recruiting offers a great way to attract entry-level candidates. The most important thing is to make sure that all posts, hashtags, images, and videos are geared specifically towards entry-level applicants.