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Created on 27.02.2019 | Updated on 03.06.2020

Successfully launching social media recruitment

The search for staff via social media channels such as LinkedIn and Xing etc. is becoming increasingly important – including for small companies. Expert Andreas Martin outlines the five key points when it comes to social media recruitment.

Small companies seeking to fill vacancies need to have a presence where potential candidates are looking for jobs – and that’s increasingly on social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook and Snapchat, etc. Without social media recruitment, SMEs can fail to reach target groups and also miss out on candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job, but who may be willing to switch company. From simply sharing a job advertisement to active discussions with potential candidates, there is a wide range of possibilities. But what requirements need to be met to ensure successful social media recruitment?

  • Define a social media strategy for your small company which also incorporates social media recruitment and answer the following questions:

    • Goals: what do we aim to achieve through social media? e.g.: to fill the planned new position.
    • Target group: which target group(s) do we want to appeal to through social media? e.g.: potential employees.
    • Channels: which channels should we use for which target groups? e.g.: LinkedIn and Xing for employee recruitment.
    • Content: which content should we use for which target groups? e.g.: job and employee profiles, career discussions, insights into the company for potential new employees.
    • Organization: which employees should post? How can we organize it so that we post regularly? e.g. by using an editorial plan? Who is responsible?
    • Resources: what budget is required and what internal resources? e.g. with social media recruitment for advertising on social media.
    • Measuring success: how can we measure success? e.g. based on the time it takes to find a suitable candidate.
  • Think about what potential new employees might want to know about the company and refresh your company pages regularly with relevant content. Look at how other companies do it and take the following points into account:

    • Your profile and job offers/job pages should be complete and carefully prepared. High-quality images in a uniform style are vitally important.
    • Make your company sound as exciting as possible, for example, by explaining how it was established, the concept and vision behind it, what added value your product/solution offers and how you organize internal and external collaboration.
    • Ensure you are regularly active and provide potential employees with authentic insights into the company, for example, by presenting individual employees to give applicants an understanding of the roles available at the company. Show scenes from everyday working life at your company in images or videos – what are you working on right now? What is so special about the current project?
    • Link your profile to your contacts.

    Ideas for managing your social media presence:

    • An architectural studio regularly shows on Instagram what its employees are working on, underlining that the architects are involved in all aspects of a project from A to Z. This may act as an incentive for an employee working at a large architectural studio to send in a speculative application.
    • A small hairdressing salon posts images of great haircuts it has done, attracting attention from hairdressers who may be willing to move.
    • An IT company asks the community a question about a current project – and comes across not just interesting answers, but perhaps also a potential new employee.
  • Think carefully about which platform potential candidates use most and decide on one to start with (or a maximum of two channels). Options include Xing, if the employee search is restricted to the German-speaking world, LinkedIn, if candidates are being sought internationally, or Instagram if your target group uses the image-based channel. Other channels are Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Find out directly on the platform concerned which recruitment options are available.

    Here you can find information on the recruitment options on:

  • Any employee who uses social media represents an opportunity for positioning the company as an attractive employer brand. Motivate employees to like and share content posted by your small business. This increases your posts’ credibility.

  • Recruitment via social media requires expertise and resources. On one hand, your own presence on the platform has to be managed and, on the other, every social media channel offers different recruitment options which the SME has to discover. This takes time and often a certain amount of money.  

About Andreas Martin

Andreas Martin, Inhaber der HR effizienz GmbH

Andreas Martin is the owner of The link will open in a new window HR Effizienz GmbH. He has over 30 years of experience in HR as a HR manager, consultant and coach. He also provides companies with support in professionalizing HR functions and developing recruitment strategies and advises management on HR issues. He also works as a coach on staff redundancies at SMEs and helps people with career changes. His areas of particular interest are social media recruitment and active sourcing.

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