Searching for Talent through Social Media

May 25, 2015

12:30 pm

It is well recognized in the recruitment sector that the way people search for a job has been changing since the arrival of digital and social media channels to the mainstream way back in 2000, the use of social tools is no longer just relevant to the IT and tech sectors.

It’s a sad state of affairs but more people are finding themselves unemployed in certain sectors than ever before. This offers a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs, especially those looking for tech talent as there is greater access to talented, well-educated, and skilled people who can take your startup to the next level. The key is finding that talent, something which is getting easier thanks to the continuing rise in the use of social media.

There are some obvious social media platforms to look at when recruiting. Here’s a few tips for those looking to employ talent to use social media channels to their advantage. For a more detailed guide, this social media recruiting guide is an excellent starting resource.


This is possibly the first social media platform that springs to mind when you’re thinking of expanding your team. It has a reputation as the “professionals social media channel” and certainly started life this way. It is becoming a channel that is spammed by recruiters and used as an online CV for job seekers.  However, it is perfect for hitting your target audience; you just need to deliver your message in a way that makes you stand out.

There are many way to use LinkedIn to search for talent, the most obvious is via an upgraded account that allows you to literally search the members on LinkedIn for your exact criteria and approach them about your role, if you’re an entrepreneur rather than a recruiter this could be an expensive option and have a negative impact on your brand because increasingly users of LinkedIn are being spammed with irrelevant roles off agencies and connections they’ve never heard of.

Option two would be the advertising route, you can either pay for a job listing which is then targeted in the feeds of the people who match your criteria or you can go for a PPC (Pay Per Click) solution and again specify who should see your advert based on their location, skills and experience.  This is a great way to reach passive job seekers and can be cost effective if it is managed correctly.

Our favorite approach is the free one and one that we think is actually the most effective. Your own personal and business LinkedIn connections are your biggest asset, if you share the job role with your 500 connections, one connection may ‘like’ it, meaning you’ve just spread the vacancy with your business to their connections and so on, creating a mini viral effect. The key to this approach is making your advert or company stand out so you don’t get lost in the thousands of posts from recruiters trying to achieve the same objective. As the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words” and it does work, try creative approaches infographics, cartoons or little video sound bites to give you the edge.


Like the majority of social media channels, Twitter is often spammed to death by recruiters reeling off a list of current jobs available, there’s no engagement, and certainly nothing ‘social’ about this push approach.

Twitter is, however, one of the key social media channels with literally millions of active users, some of whom are exactly the talent you’re searching for. So this presents a huge potential for you to reach out to people. A retweet from an influencer in the social media space can be incredibility powerful.

The mistake people make is that they forget it’s social media, not just media, and there is a key difference. If you’re going to use social media for anything you have to be, well, social.

Your main aim is to share information and content with your audience and followers that is of interest to them, or will be of interest to their followers. You’re aiming to build interest in your company and brand and show that you’re the experts at what you do. The important thing to do is to create a desire to work for you before there is even a job available.

So, showcase yourself, your company, your products and services, put yourself forward as experts with articles, guides, video, and blog posts. The #hashtag is also a good tool to ensure your content sits in a category, do your research on the #hashtags used for your sector (example: #itjobs).

As you’ll be very aware the number of social media channels grows daily, there are some great sector specific channels that may be more relevant to your business and the role you’re looking to fill. Do your research and don’t be afraid to dip your toe in the water, just remembering to always be social!

 Image Credit: Filipp Kozachuk

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Michelle Hughes is a Digital Consultant working with SMEs to increase their digital footprint. Further details on her website: Digital Dinosaur

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