Using social media to attract top talent

“From what we have seen, candidates will spend up to 30 minutes researching a company before they apply to a role. This will include visiting the company website, looking at the Facebook page, and most importantly, the Glassdoor reviews.”
– Adam Seabrook, cofounder Betterteam, Inc. (

Everyone wears many hats in a small business, especially the owner. While each hat has equal importance, it can be difficult to find time to identify and hire top talent. You might not have the resources to hire a recruiter or HR person to take away that stress.

social media and your brandBut you believe in your company’s purpose and know there are others equally as passionate. How do you connect the dots to make potential employees realize what working for you can offer and encourage them to reach out to you? Here are some tips to get an edge on other employers by leveraging social media.

Take pride in your employment brand

Recruiters and employers agree that the job market is being driven by candidates. This means that your hiring pool knows more about your company before you speak to them than ever before. Today, the average person spends researches products, companies, issues and many other decisions online. That person’s opinion, and potentially decision, has already been made long before they speak to a sales person, recruiter or hiring manager, before they even step through a company’s front door.

How does that person view your company? Minimal participation in building your employment brand should include a careers page and Facebook presence. Twitter and LinkedIn will provide additional exposure. But regardless of the platform, present a consistent message that will attract talent.

Ask yourself:

  • What defines my business?
  • What does my company value?
  • What sets me apart from other employers?
  • What is it like to work with my company?
  • What do your employees say about working there?

Give them something to talk about

Effective marketing requires a company to occasionally stop talking about their products and build on their reputation. Recruiting requires a more aggressive reputation campaign. Again, candidates are researching the company before they apply. What content are they finding?

  • Facebook — Use this social media outlet to showcase your company’s culture. Use visuals to highlight activities, work environment, community involvement and other exciting events. Encourage your employees to “Like” the page and provide reviews from an employment viewpoint. is another source to manage and respond to reviews. Highlight employee successes such as professional development, advancement and community recognition.
  • Twitter — This platform is an opportunity to step outside a strictly professional setting and be more real. Speak with an authentic voice and focus on promoting a personal and conversational feel. Your goal should be to spark engagement and word of mouth advertising through others sharing the Tweet and adding to the conversation.
    #Hashtags! Though Jimmy Fallon and a few behind the times politicians have brought satirical attention to the “#,” proper use can draw in new followers. I recommend you search any hashtag to ensure it will draw the correct audience (good example: #smallbizsaturday; bad example: #MattressStore).
  • Test other social media:
    • YouTube — For employee testimonials, a company overview, a day in the life of an employee
    • Instagram — Similar to visuals used on Facebook
    • Snapchat — Short clips of events or workplace activity

Jump into the conversation

Facebook and Twitter provide an opportunity to respond to questions, comments or issues. Facebook tends to be more direct while Twitter tends to use more comedy and banter. LinkedIn gives you the best opportunity to join a conversation.

Your LinkedIn company profile page must represent your brand in a way that makes people WANT to connect with you. Simply having a page is not enough. To bring value to the user, you should:

  • Post original content to assist users with their own professional development
  • Create or join relevant discussion groups to engage audiences and show you are knowledgeable
  • Encourage employees to link themselves to your profile. Candidates will have more confidence in your company when they see a connection speaking positively and sharing content

Make it easy

When using multiple online platforms to draw in candidates, remember to make it easy. The fewer clicks it takes to get from Point A to “Apply now” the better. LinkedIn offers direct application using the candidate’s profile information. Facebook and Twitter can also be directly linked to a job posting or the “Apply now” link. Automated application programs allow for autofill from an uploaded resume or social media profile, but these might be a stretch for your budget.

The job posting itself should be less technical and more emotive. Candidates applying will be confident that they can fulfill the job duties. Read your job description and ask yourself if anything listed would convince you to leave your old company to work for you. Focus on why a candidate’s career and life would be better with your company. If you cannot convince yourself, you will not convince a candidate.

Social media expands your candidate pool worldwide. So show the world who you are, what you believe in and why your company is the right landing place for a candidate’s career. You believed enough in an idea to take a risk and open your doors. Now go find talented people who will believe the same in you!

– Contributed by David Steffes, regional director, University of Missouri SBTDC

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