Social media platforms are online communities that enable interaction among individuals and organizations. As a recruitment tool, they can drive qualified job seekers to your postings and methodically cultivate interest among passive job seekers (i.e., those who are not actively job hunting but would be a good fit for your company).

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be excellent vehicles to cultivate interest in your startup or brand.

Whatever social media approach you take, build and nurture your presence online. Be aware that it can be time consuming to use social media effectively. Do some upfront planning so that you can measure success and adapt your strategy as needed.

Using social media effectively in recruiting: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. Establishing a presence on LinkedIn gives your startup access to millions of professionals. There are different levels of membership, and even a basic account can be useful. Options include:

  • A basic (free) account—this gives you access to join groups relevant to your business and post jobs in the groups’ discussion sections
  • A Talent Finder account—fee based, this enables you to buy job-posting packages

Tech startups and recruitment: Benefits of LinkedIn

  • Increasing your company’s visibility through regular and active participation in discussion groups with like-minded professionals and targeted job postings
  • Linking your jobs to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Accessing and mining the site’s extensive database of professionals. You can search for candidates with particular skills and reach out to those individuals directly, including active job seekers and passive candidates. This can be especially effective for locating specialized technical talent

Facebook as a social media recruitment tool

A Facebook page gives your organization a means to build an online presence and community to promote your products, services, initiatives, goals and, of course, employment opportunities. While it’s free to set up a profile, you may need to engage in Facebook advertising to generate interest in your page, and costs can run up.

Keep in mind that a Facebook page requires maintenance (time) and can distract web users from your actual website. However, it remains an effective tool to include in your recruitment strategy.

Twitter as a social media recruitment tool

Twitter is a microblogging platform. Registered users share their thoughts through 140-character posts called tweets. Other users can search for tweets and subscribe to their favourite users’ feeds. Like Facebook, Twitter is free, but promoting your account involves a cost.

Many companies now find that when they include Twitter as a key feature in their overall marketing strategy to build company awareness and credibility, it adds value to their recruiting efforts.

Some approaches to best leverage Twitter as a recruitment tool

  • Have your employees tweet out job listings to their followers for extra visibility
  • Post company news and pictures of internal events. This gives potential candidates a glimpse into your company culture and keeps them interested. It may also pique the interest of passive candidates
  • Use the power of hashtags. Hashtags get your tweets in front of Twitter users who might not be following you. And they narrow down your target audience.

For instance, if someone is seeking a job in electrical engineering, they might search certain tags, such as #TechTalent. By including hashtags in your job post, these candidates can find the posting, even if they don’t follow your startup’s Twitter account

  • Embrace video. The beauty of Twitter lies in its use of multiple media channels. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but posting a video is even better. Video helps the candidate feel like they’re in the office