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July 12, 2021

Social Media Recruiting: The Most Important Dos and Don'ts

Social Media Recruiting

Generation Y, millennials, digital natives - many names and one thing in common: in order to fish out the best talents from this pool, you have to be active in recruiting where this target group already hangs out: in social media.

That's why recruiting campaigns today are hardly conceivable without social media and that's why we give you tips for a successful social recruiting strategy.

What is social media recruiting? The definition

Social media recruiting refers to all measures in personnel marketing where social networks provide a platform. In contrast to conventional online job exchanges, social recruiting is characterised by direct contact with potential candidates and, above all, by the interaction typical of social media: spontaneous reactions!

It is crucial for the success of a social media recruiting campaign to arouse interest in job offers even among those people who are ideally suited for your company, but who are not actually looking for a new job, but who are triggered by your offer.

Why social recruiting?

Perhaps all roads still lead to Rome, but traditional recruiting approaches certainly no longer lead to the top talent that is being courted on all sides. Qualified professionals often do not even need to actively seek employment.
Put simply, these people raise their hand briefly and you are already recruited away from the market.
Therefore, you need to pick up these talents where you are. You need to reach them in contemporary and creative ways.

Social media offers three advantages for successful recruiting: Firstly, a well-designed social media campaign allows you to present your company online in the best possible way; secondly, you can reach a large number of candidates via social media offers; and thirdly, you can address the target group you are looking for individually via the various networks.

Picking up professionals at home

In many social networks, potential employees move around in their personal environment. If you are looking for professionals here, you can also address those users who are not looking for a new challenge at all or only passively (and therefore do not read job advertisements or consult job boards). Use the wealth of information available to you via the networks for the targeted pre-selection of suitable candidates.

Social media recruiting strategy

Define your recruiting goals and the role social media should play in achieving them. Select the appropriate platforms to reach the desired target group. Perhaps start with those that initially promise the greatest success, which are likely to be the business platforms XING and LinkedIn. Since recruiting via social media requires well-rehearsed actors and coordinated cooperation, clear responsibilities in HR management and equally clear communication guidelines (corporate wording, addressing with Du or Sie, etc.) are indispensable.

Link your application processes technically with the networks; it is expected that the entire process remains direct and fast, just as users know it from "their" social media. Your social media presence only helps if it is professional. Potential applicants should find you quickly in the network and get a positive first impression. Therefore, optimise your platform profile so that your company can be found via the search terms that are relevant to your field of business.

Quality despite quantity

In order to be perceived on digital platforms, new, high-quality and exciting content that fits the respective platform and target group is needed on an ongoing basis. Users want to be made curious, informed and entertained. The art of a social media recruiting campaign, however, is not to neglect the actual goal of attracting attention - and that is still the recruitment of new top employees.

Methods of Social Media Recruiting

Placing job advertisements in social networks is first of all the transfer of an analogue recruiting method into the digital age. The advantage of a social media ad, however, is that it can be linked to your own career pages, which means that you can get interested people excited about your own company.

Active sourcing is the direct approach to social recruiting. Based on the data of users and their profiles, suitable candidates for the job are identified and approached directly via the communication channels of the respective platform.

Employer branding in social media is synonymous with content marketing, i.e. it is done through the publication of targeted content such as blogs, images and videos. If you post content that many users like, your company will also be made visible to the desired target group. It also models a positive image.

Fully exploit networking potential

The be-all and end-all for successful social campaigning is to have your own networks. Try to create networks that are as extensive as possible by inviting business partners, customers, interested parties and employees. If you also succeed in integrating so-called influencers into the networks, this will increase their reach and thus the perception of your company. Influencing in social networks is essentially based on recommendation through sharing or "liking" content, brands - and also employers. An attractive company is recommended on networks as a good place to work.

The most important social media recruiting platforms

Xing and LinkedIn are designed for business exchanges. Here you can learn a lot about the professional qualifications of the candidates and there is a good chance that users are open to new professional contacts. This makes active sourcing easier. However, the choice of possible workers is limited.

On the non-business platforms, people are out and about in their private lives. To lure them out of leisure mode and interest them in a professional engagement with your company, originality and a personal approach are required. Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are more suitable for employer branding or content marketing, while Facebook offers good opportunities for active sourcing.

With platforms that are particularly popular among young people, such as TikTok, it should be noted that although you can go "viral" very quickly here, you can also damage your own company by adopting the wrong tone or supposedly pandering to trends.

Challenges in social media recruiting

The latter aspect leads directly to further risks when using social media platforms. Errors in communication not only jeopardise recruiting goals, but also employer branding and the company's image in general.

It is of utmost importance that different platforms require different communication styles. The way candidates are approached and the way they present themselves must be platform-specific and appropriate to the target group. In addition, the aspect of data protection must always be taken into account with every action in social networks.

Being successful: only with know-how!

Whether it's about technical aspects such as a new software to connect your own applicant management to the platforms, about communication styles or data protection - it won't work without experts or at least expert knowledge! Before launching your social recruiting campaign, make sure that you are adequately staffed or advised.


Nowadays, the question is hardly whether you want to recruit in social media or not, but really only how. Analyse exactly which specific platform really suits your company. Integrate sufficient expertise into the processes to avoid serious mistakes. If you proceed strategically, the benefits will far outweigh the risks.

With this in mind, Happy Social Recruiting!