Telling the truth about SME life today

Guide to recruiting with social media

Having conversations in the digital space is like having conversations in the real world. The only difference is that online conversations are searchable, archived and can come back to haunt you. Always bear this in mind. The positive of this is that it makes the conversations findable so people can join in. These people could be your future employees.

Indeed, the outcome of these conversations is to build a pool of candidates who want to engage with you, and more importantly, work for you before you have even told them there are jobs available.


If you have a bad reputation, a poor culture or unhappy staff then be wary of using social media. If your company is not a good place to work social media won’t change that but it will give current and past employees a reason to jump on the social band wagon and create a trend you dont want.

Be prepared for negative comments and complaints. It is important when using social media to remain transparent, so respond to negative comments instead of deleting them. If you delete comments you will find users will move to another platform where you can’t manage the situation so easily.

Learning to use social media tools is not complicated, but does take time and experimentation. What works for one company won’t always work for another, so talk to individuals not the masses.

How to have an online conversation

The most difficult part of social recruiting is deciding what to talk about. Forget the fact that you are online, talk as you would talk in the real world.

  • Ask a lot of questions – listen to the responses and expand further;
  • Tell great stories – people like hearing about people;
  • Share interesting and useful insights;
  • Show videos, images and documents that help tell the story; and
  • Dont just talk about yourself.

Think about the person you like to chat to the most, what do they talk about They probably engage with you by asking lots of questions, sharing information about other people, places and experiences, and are approachable, funny and personable.

What can you talk about

Try to create and share content that is interesting, funny, informative and relevant as you want people to pass it on.

Insider info: Offer insights into the culture of your company. What is unique about you Do you offer great training or strong career progression Is it a fun place to work What do employees do

Community news: Are you working in the local community Do you work with local charities Use this information to demonstrate the values and culture within your company.

How to guides: These are useful information pieces on the company, the roles within the company. Mix up words, images and video. Infographics are a great way to do this.

Diary: A day in the life of different job roles within your company. Show the work involved, the people candidates would be working with, the building and department, give people a real flavour of what it would be like to work with you and bring your company to life.

Ask questions: Ask for other peoples tips and stories, encourage candidates to share experiences, ask current employees to comment or share their experiences.

Jobs: Obviously the whole idea is to recruit people, so dont forget to post jobs to this newly engaged audience all hoping to now work for you!

Bring out the humans

People dont want to engage and interact with a company, they want to engage with the people who make it happen. So, dont talk like a corporate press release, talk like a person, as you would in a face to face chat.

Michelle Hughes works at Applause IT.


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