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Social media recruitment: Challenges, solutions, and best practices

Recruitment | 6 Min Read

Social media recruitment: Challenges, solutions, and best practices


Recruitment is a challenging field, with many players saturating the market. As a result, connecting with top talent having niche expertise and skills has become exceptionally difficult. With an aim to overcome such hurdles, modern-day recruiters are turning towards a variety of new mediums and resources for recruitment. Among the many avenues that are gaining popularity, social media has emerged as an essential platform, helping organizations reach skilled candidates worldwide in seconds.

Integrating social media into recruiting strategy can prove effective for optimizing hiring efforts.




Decoding social media recruitment

With the internet expansion and mass adoption of smart devices, social media allows recruiters to be present where their audience is.

Social media can be leveraged in recruiting strategies at different levels:

  • Reach a new generation of talent: Regardless of whether a candidate is actively searching for a job, it is possible to find and connect with them via social media.
  • Boost brand presence: An appealing brand image that resonates well with candidates is an invaluable asset in attracting and retaining skilled talent. In fact, according to a study by Content Stadium, it was found that 96% of branding specialists utilize social media to establish their brand identity and as a communication channel.
  • Promote office culture: Creating social media posts about the workplace environment, well-being strategies, perks, successful projects, etc., helps establish a brand that candidates would be happy to be part of.
  • Attract passive job seekers: Many passive candidates are in the market, which means that while they are not actively searching for a new job, they are open to opportunities. Creating a positive brand presence and initiating organic connections is a great way to increase the talent pool.


Social recruiting or traditional recruiting

Before social media recruitment, job advertisements were posted in the newspapers, career fairs, etc. After the digital revolution, job boards people can check online have made a mark.

Even though social media hiring follows the same SOPs and protocols, what sets it aside from traditional methods is that it is being conducted over a platform that exists to generate engagement. Online job boards and brand career pages improve the accessibility for job seekers, allowing candidates to search for suitable openings and apply for the ones they are interested in.

Social media recruiting simplifies connections and allows users and brands to engage in two-way conversations through posts, comments, etc. Today’s job seeker wants insights, and social media empowers organizations to meet those expectations.

Additionally, initiating conversations and interacting with the talent pool helps organizations stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends in the hiring market and adapt their social media recruiting strategy in real time.


Why more recruiters are favoring social media recruitment

Social recruiting was used to complement an organization’s traditional recruiting efforts. However, now social media recruitment helps talent acquisition professionals to target suitable audiences and reach more people.


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Build connections with high-quality passive candidates

Passive candidates don’t visit job portals regularly, and they don’t scan through companies’ career pages. Through social media recruitment strategies, organizations can connect with passive candidate groups.

Hire better quality candidates

With the ability to reach passive and active candidates through social media comes the opportunity to hire the ‘highest quality’ talent. Adding paid social media recruitment ads to the marketing mix is a valuable method to optimize hiring efforts. They provide enhanced targeting options, increasing the chances of hiring candidates who will be a good fit for the organization’s culture.

Save on hiring costs and time involved

Social recruiting helps reduce the time, resources, and costs involved in the hiring process. Paid advertising on social media platforms is cost-effective compared to traditional advertisement listings.

Find niche talent

Finding thousands of qualified candidates for entry-level jobs is easy, but finding candidates with specific skill sets and niche expertise is challenging. Social media recruiting through social media pages, groups, online forums, etc., helps find suitable and culturally fit candidates.

Additionally, hiring managers have the opportunity to establish an employer brand, making it easier for candidates to find the company when they are seeking jobs.


The most common challenges of social media recruitment

  • There are multiple types of candidates on social media on numerous platforms. Recruiters need to understand which platform is suitable for the organization.
  • Social recruiting is driven by audience behavior and practices across particular social media platforms. Therefore, hiring managers need to ensure appropriate application and selection processes for hiring success.
  • User attention spans are now shorter. Therefore, specialized knowledge and technology usage can help hiring managers deliver relevant information concisely and crisply.
  • Hiring managers should ensure data protection, privacy regulations, data security, etc., to protect candidates’ information.


Getting started: Building a social media recruitment process

Creating a winning social media strategy is an ongoing process that should evolve over time. Understanding market challenges, target groups, latest trends, etc., is essential to creating a successful social recruiting strategy.




Step 1: Create a persona


Before contacting a suitable candidate, understand and define the target applicant. Create a candidate persona or profile with a list of desired skills, knowledge, experience, etc. The more detailed it is, the easier the rest of the search will be.

If possible, create multiple personas with distinct profiles of differently skilled people who could perform well in the job role.


Step 2: Find appropriate social media platforms


The created personas will help gain a better understanding of the target group. Leverage this understanding to select social media platforms for finding culturally and technically fit candidates. Knowing where prospective hires are and how they use the platform helps define the direction of the recruitment strategy.


Step 3: Establish what, where, and how social media posts will be published


The top two platforms used for social media recruiting are LinkedIn and Facebook, and both have different guidelines for what companies can post, where they can post, and how frequently. Check the guidelines and platform requirements to plan a social recruiting strategy efficiently.


Step 4: Set the ownership and accountability infrastructure


Regardless of the social media recruitment strategy, planned interactions, and the number of platforms used for targeting, the hiring manager should be responsible for overseeing the implementation. Create a hierarchy and structure of experts and define the responsibilities each will carry out.


Step 5: Measure and modify


If hiring still takes time, revisit and modify the strategy for better performance. It is necessary to revisit and update the social media recruitment strategy according to the latest trends.

Some data to track are:

  • Number of applications received per week per platform
  • Number of applications that were suitable for the profile
  • Performance rating (on average) of applicants, categorized by platform
  • Average tenures of existing employees who were hired through the platform
  • Assessment results of candidates (which can be used to gain further insight)


Top social media platforms to use for recruitment



LinkedIn is the most well-known platform for social recruiting, which was originally designed keeping professional networking in mind. It is equipped with tools that make posting and accepting jobs simple.


Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are good options for social media recruitment strategy, as they can boost posts using specific demographic information. They are informal compared to LinkedIn, offering a clear idea of candidates’ personalities.



Social media recruitment is essential to reach a wide audience, interact with potential candidates and understand their requirements. Mercer | Mettl helps hiring managers enhance this strategy with pre-employment assessments. These tests allow for evaluating candidates’ cognition, aptitude, coding skills, domain-specific knowledge, and psychometric intelligence before hiring.



What is the most popular social media platform for recruiting?

Why should hiring managers use social media as a recruitment strategy?

Do hiring managers need to spend money to recruit on social media platforms successfully?

Originally published May 5 2023, Updated May 5 2023

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

The primary objectives of recruitment and selection are to ensure high-quality candidates who are culturally fit and work toward shared organizational goals and vision.

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