Social media recruiting for small businesses: 4 tips to get started

Pete Jansons

Did you know that about 890 million people a day use Facebook? While it may be tempting for a small business leader to write off this huge audience as mostly interested in posting vacation photos and sharing brownie recipes, visitors also gather plenty of news and opinions from such platforms. If social networking isn’t part of your recruitment strategy, your small business may be missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with potential employees and failing to take advantage of an outlet that can cut down on recruiting costs.

Luckily, with some thought and research, any small business owner can start building relationships on social media. If you have yet to try this tactic, here are some tips to get started.

Tip #1: Know the sites

You won’t get far on Twitter without a clear understanding of hashtags, retweeting, and the 140-character limit. Likewise, Instagram may be awesome for introducing prospective Generation Z employees to company culture, but seasoned professionals are more likely to be found on LinkedIn. Get familiar with the top social media platforms to become comfortable with their style and audience.

Especially crucial to recruitment efforts is learning your options on each platform. While some small businesses may be content to post job openings on their company Facebook page, others may want to invest in targeted ads aimed at getting their name in front of people from a certain geographical region or a particular educational level.

Tip #2: Stand out

With so much happening on social media, competition for attention can be fierce. While staying true to your small business’s brand (inconsistency makes it hard for others to trust you and pinpoint your message), look for ways to catch eyes. Video of your office’s Halloween party or pictures of happy co-workers can increase the odds of being noticed. Or perhaps try a contest seeking answers to a real-life dilemma at your business. Viewers become engaged, and you might discover your next great hire.

Tip #3: Establish relationships

Cultivate a network of interested prospective employees by being active beyond your job postings. Get your small business on the radar of potential candidates by participating in an industry-specific Twitter chat or joining relevant social groups. Regular, friendly sharing of thoughts and expertise generates interest in your company and lets you discover members of the community who might make good additions to your staff.

Tip #4: Get personal

Encourage current team members to assist with your social media efforts. Not only are personal networks likely to be much larger than the number of corporate followers, viewers tend to trust and pay attention to messages received from those they know. Establish a clear social media policy that outlines how they can contribute, such as by sharing their experiences at your company or making others aware of job openings.

And don’t forget the power of your own social media accounts. A friend or associate may know just the candidate you should consider for that new job opening. Be responsive to your online community every chance you get, and you’ll find others eager to return the favor.


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