Using social media as part of your startup’s recruitment strategy

Using social media as part of your startup’s recruitment strategy

To start a company, you need to hire some pretty awesome talent. One of the ways to accomplish this is through strategic use of social media channels. That, however, is easier said than done. There are plenty of social media channels out there. In this blog, I review a few key ones and the rationale to use them.

Why spend time on social media recruitment?

As any founder of a startup would tell me, there is not enough time in the day. So why spend your most precious resource [time] discussing social media recruitment?

My theory is that, in a nutshell, your company branding and employment branding are closely intertwined. In an ideal world, employees and customers are treated similarly—a trend that supports and reinforces your startup’s culture in the long run. If you have seen social media marketing in action, you know how well it works if executed correctly. Recruiting is similar to a passionate, targeted marketing campaign for a product or a service, but a twist…because now you are building a relevant talent community.

You don’t have to be a recruitment guru to see that on the online job boards the number of applicants has increased and the quality of applicants has gone down. This is due to two logical reasons:

  1. Online postings reach massive communities of virtual job seekers
  2. It is very easy for job seekers to hit the “apply” button

Social media recruitment allows you to infuse your job postings into relevant networks to bridge the gap between quality and quantity. In short, social media recruitment helps you to:

  • Engage a relevant talent pool, which results in high-quality applicants
  • Build your employment brand, which is linked to your company brand
  • Showcase your culture by telling a story
  • Decrease time to hire

Which social media channels should I use?

  1. LinkedIn: While LinkedIn has certain pros and cons, it is, broadly speaking, still the top site in terms of reaching talent. Even with a basic account, announcing your startup’s job opportunity to your network can be very powerful. All you have to do is post a blurb under your personal updates, and, ideally, include a link to a job description on your company site (or another place where it is posted). LinkedIn also allows you to create a basic company page for free, which is a perfect place for talent-related updates.


  1. Twitter: Twitter can be an effective recruiting channel for your startup. Its value for you will be related to how many followers your startup has, and whether the talent group you are after hangs out on Twitter. With this channel, your long-term goal is to create a community. Don’t just blast links to your career page. That said, a current trend is that anything job-related is hot, so your links will be retweeted. Even if you don’t hire your next superstar through this channel alone, you will pick up a few followers and showcase your company and/or product. It seems like a clear win-win, does it not? 

  1. Blogs: Blogs can help you attract an industry audience and become recognized for best practices or for other things at which your startup excels. Blogs have a much longer shelf life than tweets or LinkedIn updates. You can get a lot mileage from a well-written blog, and publish it through other channels to get noticed. Remember, your corporate brand does not have to be world-famous, but it will need to be prominent enough to engage relevant talent.

How do I get started?

  1. Chose two or more social media channels that you use the most and begin posting talent-infused messages that focus on building a community
  2. Creatively combine talent messaging with a marketing messaging about your product/service
  3. Showcase your culture by broadcasting highlights about your office, events and employees
  4. Ask employees to post jobs through their social media accounts
  5. Make time for other posts (e.g., industry news, relevant articles)
  6. Leverage video once in a while, be it a short clip of your holiday party or a video job description
  7. Connect with candidates
  8. Depending on your industry, try using Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram

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