Social Media Recruiting: Pros and Cons

It seems like social media has tapped into every type of communication we have on the internet. Whether e-commerce, politics, sports, arts… all of it have some network built into the social media platforms. With so much proliferation and power in the world today, how come more businesses have not taken advantage of social media recruiting?

Social media recruiting is not yet fully developed. Therefore, large companies are cautious about allocating resources and recruiting efforts entirely towards social media platforms. 

This does not mean that social media recruiting is dead. 

In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of social media recruiting, and reconcile where we believe it’s headed in the future. 



Access To Massive Networks 

There are billions of people on social media today. The number of users is consistently growing each year. In a recent research study conducted in early 2020, it was estimated that 3.8 billion people are active users on social media. That’s roughly half the population of the entire planet!

Between all the major platforms used for social media recruiting (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) or “social recruiting”, there are virtually endless opportunities for exposure to recruitment content.

The key to being successful with that exposure? Making sure your business is targeting the right people with recruitment content and keeping the right expectations.

Advanced Audience Targeting Options 

Within each social media recruiting platform there is an advanced proprietary audience targeting system – primarily intended for paid advertisements. For companies with some advertising budget, they can forgo lots of time spent on developing lists of contacts and working up data on groups to specifically target. 

Each of these social media recruiting platforms have their own systems that can help develop target audiences for recruitment marketing in a very short time. This saves HR businesses lots of time and energy. 

Free (or Relatively Cheap) Outreach 

Companies actively recruiting do not have to go to great experience to run a recruitment marketing campaign through social media platforms. It’s entirely possible that a company could run an entire marketing campaign for free by strategizing the best methods to get their content seen organically. 

This can be can accomplish in many ways, but some strategies would include:

  • Coordinated outreach on Twitter – growing an audience of desired job seekers by providing relevant content and #hashtagging appropriately
  • Improve employer branding presence across all social media platforms, providing fun and engaging content that gives a peek inside an inviting company culture. 
  • Encourage employees to share company content across LinkedIn – turn current employees into recruitment agents 

Aside from the cost-free social recruiting efforts that companies can employ, the general cost of advertising on social media is inexpensive compared to traditional print, televised, or radio advertising contracts. 



Getting the Right Attention

Grabbing attention from the right candidates is easier said than done. 

Social media platforms are inundated with TONS of content, both free and paid. So, many serious jobseekers looking for a new career may not find social media as the most productive place to look for attractive job postings. 

There’s the issue of follow-through and converting applications from a social media recruiting advertisement. Think about this: jobseekers need to see an ad or post that catches their attention, they must click to a landing page to then navigate to the career postings that make the most sense for them to investigate. 

Unlike navigating directly to a job post page, there are many opportunities for job prospects to drop out of the funnel.

The Moral Question Conundrum

For some companies, there will be some ethical considerations to using social media networks for social media recruiting. 

This is due largely to the practice of data mining, which has seen lots of coverage in the political sphere and news media outlets in the past few years. 

The data mining situation with social media platforms is fluid and will be debated for a while. Many users understand that targeted advertising is something they should expect from using these platforms free of charge. It should be acknowledged some jobseekers do not appreciate being targeted or recruited this way. 

Introducing Bias 

There are certain elements that employers would be aware of through social media recruiting that they otherwise may not be during a “regular” application process.

This may include legally protected statuses such as gender, race, age, etc. Ensuring hiring teams are not taking any of these items into consideration when hiring is essential — in fact, a legal necessity.

In addition, spending ads toward certain demographics introduces a certain element of bias in the first place. Which zip codes are you targeting? What other defining characteristics are you targeting? While not a legal question per-say, it could introduce bias when they begin the process.


The Future of Social Media Recruiting? 

It’s difficult to say exactly where social media recruiting will be in 5 or 10 years, but if we look at the trends happening today, we can make some educated guesses.

Social media is not going anywhere anytime soon, so social media recruitment efforts will become more sophisticated. Companies will need to find a balance between recruitment advertising and building faithful communities that enjoy their content. 

Perhaps the best recruitment efforts across social media will not be done by marketing teams or business PR firms, but by the satisfied employees themselves. 

Please contact us with any inquiries on how to best attract the right candidates to your open positions.


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