Best Practices for Using Social Media to Find Candidates

With the significant increase in how much time people spend on social media, it’s no secret that when you’re looking to recruit for your organization, social media can be an effective medium for you to use to find quality candidates. It can be especially helpful to reach those hard-to-find passive candidates ─ those that aren’t actively looking for a new position. 
In some cases, social media can be a very effective recruiting tool; in others, not so much.
This article covers some best practices to use when recruiting through social media.
Understand your Target Candidate(s)
On what social media platform would they typically be spending their time? For example, a new graduate may be more likely to use Facebook or Twitter while someone more experienced may prefer LinkedIn. Understanding generational issues might also help in this regard. Consider where your target market is and allocate your time/resources on those websites.
Have a Strategy/Plan
What’s your plan? What kind of position(s) are you looking to fill? What’s your timing? The answers to these questions will help you formulate an appropriate strategy for social media.  Track the results after a week, month or year to see how successful your plan has been.
Start small
Test different platforms and messages that you send initially. Are they working for you?  Change your strategy if they are not giving you the results you were looking for.
Keep Messages Simple/Quick
The beauty of social media is that it can be quick and simple ─ as such, keep your messages relevant and timely. People have become accustomed to seeing short messages (e.g., 140 characters).
Use Tools Available
Websites like Hootsuite ( can help you manage your messages and the timing of their delivery across all your social media platforms. Use your organization’s website to drive traffic to your social media platforms and vice versa.
Consistent Message
Have a consistent message across the various mediums so that someone looking at all your social media will know that your strategy has been well thought out.
If you see someone who looks appropriate for your organization, send them a direct message. Don’t just wait for people to respond to your postings – actively recruit candidates to connect with those more difficult to reach passive candidates.
Other Tips:
  • Engage your audience.
  • Post or share information about awards, press releases, corporate videos and organizational events to your social media to promote your organization as an employer of choice.
  • Don’t “major in the minors” – you can waste a lot of time on social media if you’re not careful; set limits and don’t spend time on platforms that don’t get the “eyeballs” even if they’re free.
  • Post regularly – “out of sight, out of mind” applies to social media. If you’re not in the game, people won’t follow.
  • Encourage people to join/follow your social media – have contests to encourage others to connect with you – the more followers you have, the better the chances of widening the net for possible candidates.
  • Be aware of what people see – what branding do you want to have?  Fun/hip or serious/corporate?
  • Use hashtags, links and @mentions to get maximum coverage.
  • Make it easy for people to apply/connect with your audience.
  • Respond to messages on a timely basis/tweets, etc.
  • Create/join groups and start discussion topics.
Generally speaking, doing something is better than doing nothing when it comes to using social media to find candidates for your positions. Be visible through social media whether you’re actively recruiting or not ─ have an ongoing presence.
Marc Belaiche is a CPA, CA and is President of, an Internet recruitment business and recruiting firm located in the Greater Toronto Area.  Marc is also the author of the book “Tales from the Recruiter”. Marc has been in the recruitment industry since 1995. allows companies to post their positions online, search a resume database to find candidates, provides full temporary and permanent recruitment and outplacement services. also allows candidates to search and apply to positions directly online and get career, interviewing and resume tips all at no charge. Marc is also President of, an organization geared towards business owners (see and has the annual Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference and Trade Show (see You can reach Marc at and check out at