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How to use social recruiting for candidate sourcing in 2024

Social recruiting is a helpful tool for many talent acquisition goals, but it’s especially powerful for candidate sourcing
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In a perfect world, recruiters would easily find unicorn candidates for every open role. In the real world, that outcome is possible, but it relies on a successful candidate-sourcing strategy.

Want to boost your chances of success this year? Here’s why candidate sourcing matters—and how social recruiting can help!

What is candidate sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is the process of finding qualified candidates who haven’t already applied to your open role. It can include both active and passive candidates—some who are looking for their new role ASAP and some who would be open to a change for the right opportunity.

Compared to recruiting, candidate sourcing focuses more specifically on a proactive search. Instead of only looking to fill the jobs you have open right now, candidate sourcing is about filling your pipeline with strong candidates who may be right for current or future roles.

Why social recruiting works

Social recruiting is a helpful tool for many talent acquisition goals, but it’s especially powerful for candidate sourcing.

Why? Candidate sourcing is all about finding candidates who aren’t already applying to work with you. They may not know you exist at all! Social media helps boost your reach so they can find your content, learn about your brand, and apply to roles that may be a fit now or in the future.

Of course, you’ll have some candidates who know they want to work with your company, track your open roles, and apply as soon as a relevant role comes up. Candidate sourcing isn’t about those applicants—it’s about the qualified professionals who need a bit more of a nudge to notice your company and apply to open roles.

According to current research, social media is a great place to offer that nudge. The average person spends two hours and 27 minutes on social media every single day, which gives you countless opportunities to connect with prospective candidates while they scroll.

Plus, our 2021 Future Recruiting Study found that nearly nine in ten candidates use social platforms as part of their job search. Having a social sourcing strategy helps you reach those candidates who may not have your company on their radar… yet!

Using social recruiting for candidate sourcing

There are two types of social recruiting posts that make sense for your candidate sourcing strategies: employer brand posts and job posts. We’ll go into both in more detail in the next section, but in general, here’s how each type fits into your strategy. 

Employer brand posts are about familiarizing a prospective candidate with your organization and culture—AKA introducing them to your employer branding in general. Job posts are more targeted, aimed at convincing a candidate to explore a current opening (or several!).

For both post types, make sure to keep the “why” front and center. Why should prospective employees care about your company or open role? What makes you special compared to other roles in your industry or area? 

Candidates are seeing employer content from other brands alongside yours, so each post is an important opportunity to set yourself apart.

The anatomy of an employer brand post

If you’re new to the social recruiting space—or you’ve never explicitly used it as a candidate sourcing strategy—it’s important to understand how to make effective content. All posts are not created equal!

The good news is that we’ve done the research for you. Here are all the key elements of a winning employer brand post:

  • Caption: Share something interesting about your brand, and don’t be afraid to get creative! Common options include benefits info, behind-the-scenes content from within your company, Q&As with existing employees, DEI info, employee testimonials, info about any company traditions or events, and anything else that makes your company a great place to work.
  • Image: The more specific to your company, the better. Images can be related to your caption, or they can just be team photos or office photos that share a snippet of life within your company. Stock photos can be used as a last resort, but since the goal is sharing what it’s like to work with your company, real photos are more effective. The good news is they don’t need to be professional works of art—don’t overthink it!
  • Hashtags: Always add hashtags to help expand your reach. If you don’t have one already, consider creating a company culture hashtag (e.g., #LifeAtCompany) so candidates can click the hashtag to see even more content about your culture. 
  • CTA: You don’t have to have a link in every post, but it’s common to link to your careers page, your job listings, or your company’s LinkedIn Life tab. Some social media algorithms (including LinkedIn’s) optimize for content without links to keep people on the platform, so experiment with some posts that have links and some that don’t. 

The anatomy of a job post

Next, we’ll walk you through all the same elements for a job post. As you might imagine, the best practices are a little different when your aim is driving applications. 

With that in mind, here are all the key elements of a winning job post:

  • Caption: First things first: make it clear that you’re hiring and share the position(s) that you’re hiring for. Then, include a detail or two about your culture or benefits that will help your post stand out from the crowd. Remember that candidates are seeing job posts from other companies, too, so try not to be generic!
  • Image: Always include attention-grabbing images in your job posts. Photos from your own brand are typically more effective than stock imagery, but stock photos can work, too. Just make sure stock imagery is relevant for the position you’re sharing (e.g., nurse jobs feature nurses, retail jobs feature someone working in a store, etc.) If you’re stuck, CareerArc’s content library lets you create imagery right in  our platform! 
  • Hashtags: Add optimized hashtags to help you reach the right social users, and don’t be afraid to get specific. A hashtag like #AustinTechJobs will help your content much more than #Hiring. Why? Because everyone else is also hiring, and you’ll just get lost in a sea of posts. Having a more tailored hashtag helps your audience cut through the clutter.
  • CTA: Regardless of the algorithm, you should always include a link in your job posts. You can link to the job post itself, your careers page, or wherever else you want candidates to apply. 

Want even more guidance? The examples in this article are a great place to start.  

Where to post to optimize candidate sourcing

Last but not least, you might be wondering what to do with these exceptional posts once they’re ready. The best strategy includes a mix of posting to your own brand accounts and encouraging current employees to boost your reach on their accounts.  

Sharing on your brand channels helps you reach candidates who have already shown some interest in your company but may not be actively applying. It also helps you develop more recognizable employer branding over time.

But, since candidate sourcing is all about getting in front of professionals who aren’t already applying to your open roles, it’s also important to leverage your employee advocacy network.

Encouraging employees to share the content with their own networks is the best way to get more eyes on your content. There’s a reason personal profiles on LinkedIn drive 5x more engagement than company profiles—candidates are more trusting of content from individuals they know.

If you’re just learning how to create an employee advocacy network, this article will walk you through the process from start to finish. 

Using CareerArc for social sourcing

CareerArc is designed to maximize the impact of your social recruiting efforts automatically.

You can use the platform to automate your content creation, share to company and employee profiles, and reach more quality candidates in less time.

Click here for a demo.

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