SmartRecruiters Blog

5 Things Recruiters Struggle with on Social Media

Social media can be infuriating. Or so I hear from the many recruitment businesses I come into contact with each day. It’s really not that hard to use – and yet so many job recruiters feel frustrated with the results they’re generating from their social media presence.

So I thought I’d share the most common issues I uncover when figuring out how to improve the social media presence of a recruiting business or recruiting team.

5. Not Clearly Defining their Goals.
This is absolutely key. Social media can pull you in all manner of directions once you start spending any time on it. It can also suck every hour from your working day if you give it half a chance!

That’s why it’s key that you define from the outset what your goals are for your social media presence. Maybe you want your social media presence to generate new client leads for your recruiting business. Maybe you want to build a strong recruiting or employer brand to attract relevant candidates. Maybe it’s part of a wider strategy to boost your search engine rankings and thus increase the traffic you attract from Google and Bing.

Knowing what you are trying to achieve is fundamental in determining the activities that you then engage in on social media – and in helping you decide which social media time sinks you will simply walk away from.


4. Confusion Around Which Social Media Sites are “Most Important”?
I hear lots of people say “everyone we need to reach is on LinkedIn” or “Google+ is a ghost town.” With 275+ million people on LinkedIn, 1.1+ billion people on Facebook, and thousands of niche social sites divided by interest and profession – how do you know which one is right for your needs? When it comes to your choice of social media, it’s not a case of one size fits all. The right social media strategy for you will depend on your goals – and will depend on who your target audience is and where they can best be reached and engaged with.

Often the simple exercise of looking for your target audience on each social site will throw up surprises. You may find there are far more of your target audience on a social site than you’d supposed. You may discover they are far more active – and therefore far more easily engaged – on the social sites that you’d hitherto ignored.

So take the decision about which social sites to invest in as a function of your goals and as a function of researching where your target audience can be engaged.


3. Adoption of the Mindset of “How Can I Help My Target Audience?”
Look at the profiles of recruiters who enjoy lots of social shares of their content and achieve high levels of engagement with their followers. You’ll see they share content that is of great value to their audience; they jump in to try and help when they see their network asking a question or in need of support; and they only occasionally ask the network for help (or self promote). By doing this, their followers eagerly look out for their next updates – and are always looking for ways they can pay that person back for all the selfless help they’ve provided.

For every recruiter who operates this way, there are 10 recruiters who just share job adverts and self-promote. You’ll invariably find that the recruiter who puts their followers first generates more candidate or client interest than the other 10 recruiters put together. That’s why the right approach is so important – and why so many recruiters bemoan the lack of tangible results they’ve seen from social media.


2. Inconsistency of Content or Activity.
Think of a great magazine you enjoy reading, or a TV program you rarely miss. The chances are those publications and program never let you down. They always deliver the premise of what you are expecting. Well individual recruiters and recruiting businesses are ‘pseudo publishers’ when it comes to their social media profiles. Deliver a consistent quality and style of content – and with a regularity that doesn’t yo-yo – and you’ll build a growing audience of the niche target demographics you decided upon when you set your goals.

But if your great content shares are interspersed with shares that are of no value, interest starts to waver. Similarly if you disappear from a social site for a couple of weeks, people will get out of the habit of looking out for your updates in the way they had done previously.


1. Failing to Inject Any Personality.
If you’ve ever worked in sales, you’ll have heard the saying, ‘People like to buy from other people. Whether you’re in charge of your individual social media profiles or the corporate accounts, some warmth, character and personality goes a long, long way.

But don’t take my word for it, experiment! If your updates have typically been rather dry and factual, try mixing things up for the next week. Inject some personality and fun. Then watch the results and decide on the approach to continue with accordingly.


In a Nutshell

I’ve shared five key ingredients to help you generate stronger results from your social media presence. Be honest with yourself and your team. Are your corporate accounts falling short in any of these five areas? How about your individual recruiter accounts? Or your hiring manager accounts? All of these acting consistently and in unison is what you should be striving for.

All of the above takes time – and often recruiters’ social media efforts are torpedoed by the simple fact that they’re not able to devote the necessary time to doing all of these things well. If that sounds like the reality in your business, you either need to carve out time for these activities – or you need to hire someone who will.


Social-HireTony Restell (@tonyrestellis the Founder of and works with companies needing outside help in growing their social media presence. He’s a published author and a Cambridge graduate.

Photo Credits ThoughtsonPublicRelations, HipAsiWannaBe, GetACoder, imagesbuddy, MediaBistro (post media jobs to MediaBistro).

Tony Restell

Tony Restell is Founder of the talent networking site and a longstanding entrepreneur in the online recruitment market. You’ll find him engaging with recruiters and candidates on Twitter on @tonyrestell.