Social Media Recruiting for Small Business

Social Media Recruiting for Small Business

Information skews our perspective. Typically this is a good thing—the more information you have about something the more complete your perspective—but there’s also a downside. Because it’s so easy to find out about what other companies and people are doing—their success, their stories, the reports they publish—it’s easy to get caught up in that world and think it’s normative. I want to look at this specifically in regards to social media recruiting.

Context Is Key

I see all these reports about how companies like Starbucks or Nike see some huge growth by using social media in their recruiting strategy. These reports then get blogged and re-blogged with each post saying how “modern companies need to keep up in order to attract talent”.

What those blogs fail to point out is that Starbucks has over 3.5 million twitter followers. Their careers twitter account has over fifty thousand! They better get some leverage from posting their jobs to these accounts. But your average blogger will gloss over these facts and try to sell you on how you need to do the same—filling you with anxiety about the fact that you’re not and leaving you wondering what to do about it.

Stop Trying To Keep Up

Can we be honest? I’ll go first. Our company has pretty much no success when we’ve posted job openings through our social media channels. We just don’t have enough of a network to leverage. Know where we do have success? Our own employees. We just mention at staff meetings that we’re looking for someone and we always have a staff member who knows somebody.

You will never have the same success as Starbucks does every time they tweet a job opening and you know what? That’s ok!  How many twitter followers do you have? A couple hundred if you’re lucky? Do you even have a twitter account?

We need to stop trying to keep up with other company’s recruiting strategies and develop one that works for how we operate. For us it’s internal references, for you it might just very well be social media, but don’t pursue that strategy unless it makes sense for you.

Some Considerations

A few things are going to happen if you choose to post your job openings through social media.

  1. You’re Going To Get Spammed

Get ready for a lot of fake resumes and people flooding your inbox.

  1. You’ll Need A System or Tool To Sort Applicants

Do you have a filtering tool in place to help you sort through the spam? How are you going to screen all of these candidates?

  1. You’ve Exposed Yourself

This isn’t a bad thing, but realize that you’ve now announced to a very easy to spread audience that you’re looking for people. What happens if a formerly burned employee starts to sound off about your company online? Do you have a plan in place?


I maybe went a little fear mongering at the end here, but my ultimate goal is to encourage. Just because company A is doing something and every blogger in the world is trying to pitch the same idea to you, doesn’t mean it’s the best idea for you. Think about where you’ve had hiring success in the past and try to replicate that.

Have you had success from an unlikely hiring source? Share in the comments below. You might just give someone a fresh idea.