Pros And Cons Of Recruiting Via Social Media

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 18 May 2016 by SocialB
Social Media

home-office-336378_640At SocialB we have had the privilege of training many recruitment firms and HR departments.

We firmly believe that social media is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to recruit suitable candidates to positions, or gain new clients.

Having said that, we’ve noticed a number of pros and cons in recruitment agencies’ approaches to social media.


Social media is a great place for recruitment agencies to be. Here’s my top three reasons why:


Social media is where many of us hang out these days, with over 2 billion users globally using social media on a regular basis.  Even in the UK almost 60% population is active on social media channels. As with most industries social media offers an unmatched way for recruiters to locate and engage with their target audiences.

As a recruiter, you will find your audience on social media and the proliferation of social channels means that you may find different audiences on different channels.

Develop a social strategy linked to your recruitment objectives, but don’t forget to focus on your audiences and their needs (more on this below).


Recruitment agencies should be listening as well as posting. Researching conversations people are having on social platforms can give:

  • Insight where potential clients and candidates are hanging out e.g. hashtags on Twitter or groups on LinkedIn.
  • Intelligence on what others recruiters are posting and therefore areas they are focusing.


As well as vacancy related posts, are you posting content of value to your audience? Providing useful information and insight is a great way of building trust with your audience.

Blogging and video content are two great ways of providing this and are also good for search results as well.  The buzz around video live streaming shouldn’t be ignored either, with Facebook Live, Persicope, Blab and Youtube Live Events offering an ever increasing choice of platforms.


There are a number of considerations and traps to beware of. Here’s my top three for recruiters:


One of the downsides of social media is that you are effectively building on “rented land”. If your audience moves, you have to move also. If a social channel that works well for you changes its features, functionality or algorithms, you need to adapt.

LinkedIn the key platform for recruitment is a serial offender in changing functions and features. A couple of years ago anyone could search across LinkedIn posts with keywords and locations, a great function for recruiters who could even do this with a free account.

Unfortunately, this service, Linked Signal, disappeared for everyone. I believe many free account holders would have taken the leap to paid accounts just to retain access to this service, LinkedIn missed an opportunity on this one.

Your social strategy needs to be agile in responding to audiences moves and platform changes.


“Surely social media offers a silver bullet solution to my recruitment problems?  I’m very busy anyway so surely I just have to automate and get as much content out there as often as possible?”

Sadly, this is the approach of many recruitment agencies.  Feature-rich web content management systems will automatically post vacancies from websites to multiple social media channels. While these systems are getting more advanced all the time, it’s still automation being used in social spaces.

Automation may have time saving benefits but social posts could be wasted if you are not fully thinking about the audience and how to tailor posts for them. For example in Twitter, automation might add #jobs or #vacancies to each tweet but if the vacancy is for a Ruby on Rails developer what are the hashtags that this community is using on Twitter?

Keep it social and engage with your target audience.

All About Us

Recruitment agencies are not alone in their narcissistic tendencies on social media, whether it’s posting job ads continually or sharing internal news that really should have been kept internal. Social media is primarily about telling not selling and people buy from people they trust.

Think about your audience and what’s of value and interest to them

So there are some pros and cons for using social media in recruitment, but we’d love to hear your thoughts too.

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