Social Recruitment: 7 Non-traditional ways for recruiters to source excellent candidates

The resume is dying.

Let’s be honest…

You’d much rather stalk a candidate's LinkedIn profile, see what they’ve been tweeting about recently, and examine their online projects, than navigate an ATS, or worse - read through a stack of personality-less resumes.

But you're not alone.

The good folk at Jobvite conducted a study revealing that over 92% of employers use social media as part of their recruitment processes.

With that said, it’s worth mentioning that the way in which job seekers search for jobs have also evolved.

Nowadays, candidates are focusing on building and maintaining a strong personal brand across social media, and making their presence known via the internet, to demonstrate their abilities.

Several are becoming thought leaders in their own right, establishing authority within their industries and building sustainable networks of influential leaders. 

They are aware of their value.

For recruiters, this provides a wealth of opportunities to tap into, and source great talent - it’s a case of playing them at their own game.

It’s no wonder social recruitment methods and referrals are on the rise.

However, talent seekers seem to be having a tough time attracting and retaining the right candidates.

Take a look at these stats:

  • 60% of employers are concerned about the the cost implications of unfilled positions.

  • On average, it takes 27 days to fill a position.

  • 67% of recruiters expect competition for candidates to increase.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at 7 non-traditional methods that you could consider integrating into your recruitment process to source better quality candidates:

#1: Social Media Platforms

Social Media Platforms

As 92% of recruiters already use social media, it’s pretty safe to assume that you are familiar with (and probably tired of hearing about) all the different tips and tricks that make for a successful campaign.

So instead of simply outlining how you can leverage your contacts across social media, let’s take a look at the other side of the coin - the successful candidates that have been recruited directly via social media, and evaluate what some of the largest recruiters are doing to attract talent.


Success Case Study: David Stevens

Like many of us, David Stevens created his LinkedIn profile back in 2008, with the intentions of maintaining and building his network of viable contacts, to help him to thrive in his brand new sales role - things were looking promising for David.

But everything changed 7 months in, when the economy plummeted, and David’s manager informed him that he would no longer be receiving a salary - but could keep his job and receive commission if he so wished.

David decided not to take up his managers offer, and promptly boxed up his belongings. Whilst he did so, he logged into LinkedIn and updated his status - he wrote: “I’m up for grabs, who wants me?”

En-route home from his short-lived sales position, he received a phone call.

It was one of his LinkedIn contacts, who knew of a suitable opportunity for David - a managerial role within the program and events team at the  Chamber of Commerce in Mountain View.

David scheduled an interview that very same day. Two weeks later, David began his new job at the Chamber of Commerce.

But David didn’t stop there.

Two years into his role at the Chamber of Commerce, David wanted a new challenge.

Again, he took to LinkedIn, and scrolled through his contacts who had positions that he was interested in.

He decided to call one of his contacts to find out more about their role. A few minutes into their conversation, David learnt that the person he was speaking to knew of an opportunity that sounded great.

He did it again- a few weeks later, David began his new job at Emeryville Calif, an events company.

This story highlights the importance of coming across as approachable on LinkedIn, as the more proactive candidates will be seeking you out for opportunities.


Company example: EY

What’s EY doing on LinkedIn asides from posting jobs?
They’re sharing valuable content consistently. Here’s an example of one of their recent updates:

EY updates on LinkedIn
  1. The short description informs the reader of what value the content offers
  2. The shortened link is the call-to-action

  3. Instead of stating the title of the webinar on offer in the description, it has been placed on the image to grab attention.

This post would provide value to a prospect who was looking to fill a vacancy within the cyber security practice at EY, by following the call-to-action, they would be taken led to further information that may aid their decision making, or help with their interview prep.


Key takeaway:
LinkedIn’s Recruiter tool

Here are some actionable tips to get the most out of LinkedIn’s Recruiting tool:

LinkedIn Recruiting tool

Take Notes:

The notes feature allows you to take brief notes on your prospects at anytime during the recruitment process. These notes will also be visible to your recruitment team, so that everyone is kept up to speed.

LinkedIn recruiting tools

Add Attachments:

The attachment feature allows you to attach links, files or resumes to candidate’s profiles.

This is handy because it allows you to keep extra information related to the prospect all in one place. These attachments can also be viewed by the other members of the recruitment team.

LinkedIn recruiting tools

Add Reminders:

Say if you want to check back in with a candidate in a few months time, you can set a reminder to be notified to do so on a particular date.

Adding a notification to a candidate's profile is good practice, as other members of your team will see the reminder, and know not to contact the prospect before the scheduled date.


Success Case Study: Robinson Meyer

Robinson Meyer mastered Twitter, and has leveraged the platform to get his first gig straight out of college.

In fact, Meyer is so good, that the person who recruited him, had his eye on him since he was a mere sophomore student!

Now I know what you’re thinking - this kid must have a huge social following.

Nope - that’s not what got Meyer noticed on Twitter.

What caught the attention of the recruiters at The Atlantic  was Meyer’s writing.

To give you a bit more of a background, the Atlantic produce monthly magazines filled with topics ranging from technology, to health.

Meyer began writing articles for the website, and his “network analysis was uncanny”

Before he knew it, he was networking with other writers and staff at The Atlantic, engaging, sharing his ideas, and building up his reputation.

Not only was Meyer a good writer, but a good reader too. His ability to build rich and engaging conversations online, really made him stand out.

Robinson’s story highlights the importance of keeping an eye out for potential talent who may still be students, but are demonstrating their skills online.


Company examples: Glazerite & J.P. Morgan.

Let’s have a look at what Glazerite and J.P. Morgan are posting on Twitter:

Glazerite post vacancies:

Glazarite post vacancies
  1. The hashtags: Vacancy, Job and Apply have been used to narrow down the target audience.

  2. The shortened link will acts as a call-to-action, prompting prospects to click to find more information.

  3. The image gives the prospect a glimpse of the job description.


J.P. Morgan shares posts that show the firm’s culture:

J.P.Morgan Shares posts that show the firm's culture
  1. The post is about current JP Morgan employees, and demonstrates that the firm embraces diversity.

  2. call -to-action: link enables prospects to find out more information.

  3. The GIF increases engagement.

Posts like these will be of interest to candidates who are interested in getting to know more about the firm’s culture, which can play a part in a candidate's decision to apply.


Key takeaways:
4 Tips for sharing updates via Twitter

  • Demonstrate your firm's culture though posts relating to company events and updates.

  • Use and create your own hashtags.

  • Add one clear call- to- action.  

  • Add rich media such as photos or GIFs.


Success Case Study: Graham Allgood

Graham Allgood used Snapchat to land himself a job at one the largest media agencies in the world - Horizon Media.

Graham new that he wanted to work for the media giant, and had his eyes set on an internship. So he devised a plan. Stage one involved putting his creative flare and technical know-how to good use and creating a Snapchat filter surrounding the agencies New York offices.

In stage two he caught the attention of the firm via Instagram…

And it worked!

Graham Allgood Snapchat Success

24 hours later, Graham was interviewed by the agency, and the rest is history.

Graham’s story highlights how creative individuals are taking it upon themselves to really demonstrate their capabilities- it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled across social media for this type of talent.


Company examples: Accenture & McDonald’s

Take a look at what McDonald’s and Accenture are doing:


Accenture Employee Takeover

Employee takeovers: This is when you give an employee access to the company’s snapchat account for the day, and they capture a day in their life as an employee. Accenture UK has regular employee takeovers to give potential grads an idea of what it would be like to work at the company.



McDonald's in Australia has recently started using Snapchat, and have directed users to ‘try on the uniform’ using their McDonald's filter and  encouraging them to upload a 10-second video to apply for a job as a crew member.


Key takeaways:
3 Tips for managing the firm’s Snapchat account.

  • Promote your company’s Snapchat via social media.

  • Be Innovative and creative about the content that you post.

  • Give viewers a glimpse of the firm’s culture.


#2: Social Referrals

Social Referrals

Having a great employee referral system in place takes a large burden off recruiters.

Whilst referrals aren’t a novel concept, the rise of social media is enabling employees to reach out to a wider network of prospective candidates.


Success Case Study:
Sean Nicholson

Sean Nicholson landed his position as a Director of Social Media via a personal referral.

At the time, Sean wasn’t even looking for a job, however, one of his colleagues went out for a coffee with the Executive Vice President of the hiring company, that Sean would later join.

His colleague was well aware of Sean’s passion for social media and expressed it to the EVP, who was impressed by Sean’s credentials, and knew of a position that Sean would be a great fit for.

The EVP, went on to reach out to Sean, and invite him for an interview, and Sean was then offered the position.

Sean emphasises the importance of leveraging genuine relationships with connections.  


Company Example:

In less than 4 years, Hootsuite has grown from a company with less than 20 employees in 2008, to one with well over 1000 in 2017.

According in Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of Talent at Hootsuite, from early on, the company adopted the philosophy that everyone within the company is a recruiter - that it is everyone's responsibility to bring in new talent.

The company created the hashtag #HootsuiteLife which helps to track hires directly to social media. All Hootsuite employees are given training, so that they know exactly how this hashtag works, and how the firm is to me represented online.

Hootsuite’s story highlights is the importance of educating all employees on what to look for in potential hires.


Key takeaway:

A key problem with referral programs is that employees can find the process of asking for a monetary incentive for referring talent  a bit awkward.

However, this problem is being resolved by Rebounty - a mobile company that makes it easy for employees and influencers to make money for their highly qualified leads when they introduce them to an opportunities.


#3: Slack


Slack, is an online platform, that facilitates communication between remote team members, bringing together all messages in one place.


Success Case Study:
Angela Bortolussi

Angela has a background in technology and product recruitment.

When she was first introduced to Slack, she saw it as just a platform where she could connect with talent, and have intimate communications with people.

The fact that Slack enables you to hone in on prospect’s turf, and gradually get to know their interest, contributes to Slack being a successful tool for recruiters.

Here’s Angela’s step - by - step approach for using slack as a recruitment tool:

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the platforms functions by visiting the site, watching the demonstration videos, and navigating the platform.

Slack Functions

Step 2: Find relevant channels. If for example you are looking for project managers, channels related to topics project managers are interested in is a good starting point.

Step 3: Start engaging with people.

Once you have spotted some relevant communities, join them, and post information about the vacancies that you are looking to fill.

You can engage with people based upon their interests. Slack users could then reach out to you directly if they are interested via direct message.  


Company example:

eFounders are huge fans of Slack as a means of facilitating their internal processes.

They don’t have a HR department - instead they use Workable as a tool to collaborate on job applications. The company have several methods for building a talent-pipeline however, what they find most effective is employee referrals.

All eFounder members can type in the command “refer”, prompts a list of job positions that are currently open at the company.

Job Positions on Slack

Then the referrer then has to simply type in the email of the referee along with the job ID of the recommended job


Key takeaway:
The benefits of using Slack for sourcing candidates

  • It’s quick: Slack enables you to send messages to prospects on real-time.

Slack Messages
  • It’s easy: In Slack, all public content is searchable, including attachments, conversations and user profiles, making it easy to find what you are looking for.

    Here’s an example of the ‘after’ search modifier:

Slack Search

You can use the advanced search feature to find potential candidates:

  • It has a large developer community: you can search through Slack communities based upon a specific skill set, such as Ruby developers, by engaging with the ruby developers community, or Android developers by engaging with the Android united community.

Slack Community
Slack Communities

#4: Host Courses

Host Courses

Success Case Study:
David Shanley

Dave Shanley, CEO of Notion built his founding engineering team by starting up a series of weekend courses that were geared around his domain, focused on mobile apps, and iOS development.

He found that by meeting the group of candidates in person gave him the opportunity to access each person's talents.


Example of a company using Online courses to Source great talent.

Tech City’s Digital Business Academy partners up with several tech start-ups, and offers a selection of online courses to its members.

As a reward for completing these courses some of Tech city’s partners offer members internship positions, jobs or fast-track interview opportunities:

Online Courses

Creating an online course, or a series of courses, related to the position you are recruiting for, and prompting your network to take part can help you to source high quality candidates.

Similarly to Dave’s example, getting prospects to take a course gives you an opportunity to access talent, and identify candidates that really want to learn.


Key takeaways:
Advice for hosting courses for recruitment

  • Create courses specific to the positions you are recruiting for.

  • Make the experience mutually beneficial by offering valuable courses to the participants.

  • Assess candidates carefully to spot talent.

#5: Networking Events

Networking Events

Success case study:
Alex Schulte

Alex found her previous networking experiences to be awkward. However, when she decided to change her career, she knew that networking was going to be a necessary evil.

So she mustered up the courage, and went to the networking event by herself, with the intention of meeting new people.

Before attending the event, she set herself a realistic goal, which was to meet other women in the tech and media space.

As she attended this event alone, instead of speaking with people she already knew, she spoke to a few new people.

At the event she exchanged business cards with a contact, who later reached out to her via LinkedIn.

A few weeks later, Alex discovered that the company her new contact worked at was hiring, so she reach out to the contact again who was able to get her foot in the door.


Company example: Codeclan

Codeclan offers a variety of software development courses aimed at helping young people start their digital careers.

They partner with tech companies looking to hire young talent, and arrange speed interview networking events.

Leigh-Ann Donoghue, a member of the student placement team has said that these events have proven to be a success, with students landing jobs.  


Key takeaways:
Advice on what networking events recruiters should attend

As a recruiter, you should strategically select the types of networking events that you attend.

If for example you want to hire a developer, whilst it seems obvious that the best type would be centered around UI design for example, you could also attend events that focus on methodology such as working collaboratively in remote teams, as the talent may possess the technical skills as well as  some of the softer skills required for the role.

For a visual example of this, take a look at the search results for: “Agile Working” events in Mountain View CA, on Eventbrite:

Eventbrite Search Results

The event highlighted above is aimed at developers, amongst other specialists:

Developer's Event

#6: Forums


Reddit is a social news and media aggregation online community, that has over 250 million users. There are over 100 subreddits related to finding jobs.


Success Case study:
Daniel Allen

David who is a Creative Director and Co-founder at Block Interval highlights that programmers, designers and artists are very prominent on Reddit, and highlights the fact that there are several subreddits specifically designed for people who are finding and posting jobs.

Here are some of his tips for how other recruiters can source talent on Reddit:

  • Familiarize yourself with how Reddit works: Each subreddit’s content is moderated by a set of volunteers who ensure that the community guidelines are enforced, and that  any spam has been removed.
    If you post on Reddit in a similar fashion to how you are used to posting say on social media, you may be left disappointed with the results.

  • Before you submit your job post, check that you have formatted it properly, and that you are posting it into the most relevant subreddit.
    Here’s an example of a job post on Reddit:

Job Post on Reddit

Company Example: Amazon

Heather Wood Rudulph interviewed an Amazonian, to get an insight into the hiring process aa Amazon.

Whilst the insider advised that the best ways to apply for a job at Amazon is via the company’s career website and via referrals - they also mentioned that recruiters at Amazon engage with candidates that they find and source through a variety of engagement channels such as LinkedIn or GitHub, and look to establish a relationship.


Key takeaways:
Tips for sourcing talent on forums

  • Source candidates through platforms such as GitHub and LinkedIn.

  • Familiarize yourself with how the platforms work beforehand.

  • Engage, and aim to build relationships with prospects.

#7: Presentation Sharing Platforms

Presentation Sharing Platforms

Success Case Study:
Jesse Desjardins

When you think of say,  LinkedIn’s SlideShare, the first thing that comes to your mind is unlikely to be, “ A great place to source talent”. However, there is a huge untapped opportunity to do just that.

Jesse discovered that a position that he was interested in had been closed for applications 10 days ago. However, decided to go ahead and inquire about the position with HR, who informed him that they would accept his application if he submitted it before the end of the day.

Although Jesse had never written a resume before, he searched online for tips, and submitted his application by 5pm that day.

Jesse’s hobby was designing PowerPoint presentations and posting them on SlideShare. That night, he posted a presentation, and to his surprise, by the morning it had 45 000 views, and 200 comments.

He was contacted for an interview by 8:30 the next morning, and went on to successfully get the job.


Company example:

Ubiwhere, has seen success from posting infographics in their slides, that outline the job description, and requirements.

Here’s an example of their job post for a business development manager, it has had over 8, 000 views:

Job post on Ubiwhere
  • Encourage your employees to share their experiences of working at the firm via slideShare, to give prospects a representation of the firm's culture, and the people who work there.

  • SlideShare’s are highly searchable, both on the website, as well as in search engines. Once you have found an interesting slide, you can see who produced it, and search for them via LinkedIn.

Here’s some tips for recruiting via SlideShare:

  • Represent your company’s culture: companies that have done this particularly well include HubSpot, Netflix and LinkedIn. Use your slides to show prospects your organization's ethos and culture.

Take a look at the example below from Hubspot’s SlideShare page:

Hubspot Slideshare
  1. This presentation gives prospects a glimpse of the firm’s culture, core engineering philosophies and key contacts within the department.

This presentation has been viewed 3,900 times.


Key takeaways: Tips for utilizing presentation sharing platforms

  • If a particular presentation catches your attention, search for the creator on LinkedIn.

  • When creating presentations to show prospects the culture of your firm, use employee experience stories.

  • Ensure that all the details are filled out on your company’s Slideshare page.

In Conclusion

This post has demonstrated the fact that there is a significant amount of untapped opportunity to source candidates via non-traditional methods of recruitment.

The truth is, some of the most talented candidates are no longer waiting around on the traditional job boards to be contacted.

They’ve migrated across the internet, demonstrating their capabilities, becoming thought leaders in their industries and leveraging their social networks to proactively source their next opportunities.

Here at Rebounty, we are helping this new breed of employees and influencers by ensuring that they are paid for the referrals they make - which makes your job as a recruiter easier!

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