3 Secret Ingredients for Recruiting with Social Media

July 2, 2015

The vast majority of companies are no stranger to using social media to actively engage with current and potential customers, but it’s surprising how few fully leverage it as a platform to engage with potential future employees and build their employer brands. Whether it’s via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, social media is a fantastic gateway for candidates to interact with current employees and get a clear sense of what it’s actually like to work for your company day-to-day.

To get advice on how companies can better utilize social media for candidate engagement, I reached out to Stacy Zapar, the founder of Tenfold, which provides training and consulting on employer branding, social recruiting, and sourcing. Zapar knows what it takes to achieve recruiting traction on social media, and she’s seen the impact a fully active social presence can achieve first-hand — she’s been responsible for launching social talent initiatives at a variety of high-profile companies including Zappos and TripAdvisor.

Her biggest piece of advice for attracting top candidates and keeping them engaged? It’s all about transparency.

“Being transparent and accessible — I think that is something that many companies talk about and aspire to, but haven’t necessarily accomplished.”

— Stacy Zapar, Founder at Tenfold

With that said, Zapar was happy to share three of her secret ingredients for successfully recruiting with social media.

1) Introduce Candidates to Actual Team Members

Even the best job descriptions only go so far. If you really want to learn what it’s like in a role, nothing beats hearing from someone who’s already in it. That’s why Zapar recommends working with current employees to make them active and available when it comes to social.

“It makes a big difference when you can say, ‘Applying to finance? Here’s our finance recruiter. Applying for a technical role? Here’s our tech recruiter. Here’s their LinkedIn, here’s their Twitter. Get to know our people,'” Zapar says. “Being transparent and accessible — I think that is something that many companies talk about and aspire to, but haven’t necessarily accomplished. It’s a big differentiator.”

2) Hand Over the Keys to Recruiters on a Regular Basis

When Zapar and I spoke, TripAdvisor’s social campaign had been launched for just 7 weeks, but even in that short time, the company’s social influence and activity had climbed significantly.

“All of our recruiters are now trained on social,” Zapar explains. “They’re pushing content out. And we have 25 recruiters, so we have a lot of voices adding to it and sharing their stories. We also have them on a rotation program where each week a different recruiter is the voice of GoTripAdvisor on Twitter and Facebook.”

3) Boost Your Social Efforts with Supporting Content & Campaigns

Zapar also recommends launching a blog to support your social recruiting campaign and creating a place where both recruiters and employees around the company can share their stories. At TripAdvisor, the recruiting team will be running branding campaigns independent of marketing, with similar themes, but putting their own spin on it.

In addition, Zapar has two important lessons she’s learned through several social build-outs:

  1. Don’t rush to be active on all social channels at once. Rather than doing too much too fast, it’s better to spread it out a bit, launching different social media channels over time. Better to learn how to juggle two balls really well before introducing a third or fourth.
  2. Being transparent doesn’t mean you have to remove all the gatekeepers. Give candidates lots of ways to reach out via social, but think twice before making individuals’ emails public. If they get inundated with too much volume (more quantity than quality communication) that doesn’t necessarily add value to the conversation or the talent pipeline.

Overall, Zapar’s experiences prove that candidate engagement through social media is not only possible, it’s a must!

Photo by: Aundre Larrow

Senior Talent Manager, Engineering

<strong>Meghan Maher</strong> is Senior Talent Manager, Engineering, actively recruiting top talent for OpenView and its Portfolio Companies. Her tech background has helped OpenView hire for nearly 20 IT and engineering positions. Meghan began her career at AVID Technical Resources, where she was a Technical Recruiter for two years.