According to recent figures, more than 1.71 billion people all over the world now actively use Facebook, while LinkedIn has 450 million professional members, Instagram has 400 million and Twitter averages 320 million monthly active users.
It’s not difficult to see that these online platforms can be a hugely powerful environment in which to look for staff for your business.
Here’s a look at four undeniable reasons why social media should be at the forefront of your hiring practices.
1. Social media is the quickest way to reach the most people
Numbers are everything. Posting a job advert on the social media platform of your choice or tweeting it to your followers can increase applications by up to 50%, simply because that’s where your job post will get seen the most. What’s more, your reach extends to ‘passive candidates’ too – that’s people who are perhaps not actually looking for work but who will be open to a great job opportunity if it happens to come their way.
Contrast this with job boards or recruitment companies where your search would be limited to active job seekers. Using social media can be particularly useful if you’re recruiting for hard-to-fill niche roles and specialist industries, or where there’s a national shortage of skills.
Share a job post and watch responses come in straight away via private message or email – no delays in your recruitment process means getting the right resources in place as soon as possible.
2. You can target your candidate search more accurately
Posting a job advert on your Facebook page means it will be seen by your followers – that’s individuals who are already interested in your business. You can also use hashtags (e.g. #wearehiring, #waitingstaff, #salesassistant) on Twitter or Instagram, or ask trusted professionals to share the vacancies among their contacts to narrowly target your vacancy.
LinkedIn has the ability to create online job postings to advertise vacancies at your company. LinkedIn members can then search for jobs throughout the network, and they will also be informed of relevant openings through the ‘Jobs You May Be Interested In’ feature.
There are literally thousands of professional LinkedIn Groups for all sorts of job sectors and professionals, so if you’re looking for specialist nurses, fitpro trainers or vegan chefs, these can be really effective places to be sharing your vacancy.
3. It’s a powerful way to showcase your company culture and reinforce your brand
You can use your existing online profiles and platforms to promote what your business stands for and how you value your team’s contribution – and what better way to do this than by asking people to join you?
You could even add a team picture to show the company’s human side. It’s a quick and prominent way to share new content with your followers, with the added bonus that you’re already talking among friends and brand followers – that’s the battle half won!
4. Social media posts and updates don’t cost anything.
Why spend money when you don’t have to? Posting a job advert on Facebook, sharing your vacancy on your LinkedIn company page, or tweeting that you’re looking for team members is not only quick and convenient to do – it’s free!
Use your social media accounts to their full advantage – particularly if you’re employing someone to update your online accounts. Track and report on which platforms were/are most effective, so you can finetune your recruitment search for great candidates even more effectively next time.
Obviously, there are also some premium features that do cost money, such as LinkedIn Job Posts and Job slots, and paid social media advertising.
5. Use social media to screen your applicants
According to a recent survey–, just over half of all employers have looked at applicants’ social media profiles as part of the recruitment process to inform their decision making. What’s more, candidates are increasingly volunteering links to their personal LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram pages as part of their job applications.
Checking a job applicant’s social media presence is a useful way to assess their personality, lifestyle and behaviour – all things that an interview may not necessarily help with. Simply checking to see what kind of content they share and engage with can give you an insight into how they align (or not!) with your company’s values.
This article has been edited and condensed.