using social media to recruitApplying for jobs has become more complex than the traditional process of submitting an application and calling it a day. Today, quality applicants are relying on referrals and network connections. These avenues are are more personal, trusted and can often help to land the job quicker. Using social media to recruit active and passive candidates is now an essential part of any HR strategy.

Employee social sharing is a modern approach of getting employees to share your brand’s content organically. This sharing exposes your company to high-quality candidates within their networks. A social recruitment strategy often results in more successful hires compared to common referral programs. This happens because employees genuinely and authentically spread the word about job openings, as opposed to incentive-based programs that feel forced when it comes to participation.

Employees want to feel inspired by their workplace and colleagues. Ideally, the more they share your content and job openings, the more brand impressions, potential employees and customers you’ll receive!

Here are a few strategic ways you can create an environment that naturally encourages employee sharing:

Make sure your employees know about open positions

Employees can only share job openings if they know which positions are hiring. More often than not, companies tend to overlook internal communication when it comes to recruitment. By placing an emphasis on high-priority positions that require immediate attention, employees are far more likely to take action. It is also important to note specific skills wanted in order to narrow the pool of candidates. Create excitement and ownership around the idea of adding people to the team.

Recognize internal talent

Do you have an employee who consistently puts out exceptional work? Odds are they’ve got motivated friends or past colleagues in their network as well. Personally tap these employees to reach out to his or her circle and help determine who would be a good fit with your company. Recruiting with a reliable employee can be a quick and easy way to add another member to your team.

Bonus: Your current, trustworthy employees will feel inclined to provide further insight on their connections should you start to consider one of them as a potential candidate.

Leverage social media platforms

One of the best ways to get job openings in front of the right candidates is to post them where people connect and engage the most — social media.

When using social media to recruit, make sure to break up job openings with original and relevant content. These posts can include anything from information of value to industry-related stories. Publish content that your current employees will want to tell others about. Organic shares do wonders for a business’s exposure. Plus, they elicit deeper forms of engagement, such as comments, reactions and shares.

Prompt sharing by encouraging employees to post open positions, as well as unique aspects of your company culture, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Potential candidates are interested in viewing a company from a current employee’s perspective, especially in the form of photos and videos.

Leveraging social media allows viewers to share your brand’s posts with their own networks. This increases company exposure and opens doors to new candidates. Additionally, it gives your current staff the opportunity to be involved in the hiring process.

Make sure your employees are your best brand advocates

It’s crucial that your employees are well educated on the company’s mission statement, vision, future goals and current needs. If your employees are sharing online content and spreading good word of mouth, people in their networks who are interested in applying will ask what the company is about, what it’s like to work for them and where it’s headed in the future. (A potential candidate won’t apply to a company that might plateau in the next few years.)

Your employees should be well versed in exactly what the company does, stands for and values. Each member of your team should be able to recite a similar elevator pitch if asked what your company offers. If your employees are promoting their workplace on their own, double check that it’s being done in a way that’s consistent and true to your brand.

For additional information on this topic, check out our tips for employer branding + why it’s essential.

Celebrate success

Don’t let good talent go unnoticed. Recognize when an employee-referred candidate turns out great, and praise them for their achievements.  Accomplish this by announcing his success during a team meeting or mentioning her name in a department email. These gestures show appreciation for your employees efforts, encourage others to make referrals and aim to create interest in potential contenders.