Using social media to recruit hidden job candidates

Use social media to recruit hidden job candidates you can’t find on job boards.

IT recruiters have many ways of leveraging social media to reach out to passive job candidates. You’re probably already doing some of the most obvious things like tweeting jobs or searching for profiles on LinkedIn. If you want to dig in deeper, I’m going to show you some of the latest new techniques for leveraging social media as an IT recruiter.


LinkedIn is an IT recruiter’s best source for talent. You may already using LinkedIn to post jobs, browse profiles, contact candidates, build connections and network with thousands of people. Here are some other ways to use your LinkedIn profile for IT recruiting that you might not be aware of:

  • Use “Add Sections” to post jobs for free in your profile: If you have a blog where you publish jobs as blog posts, you can use the new “Add Sections” feature that appears below your LinkedIn Bio to publish those posts right in your LinkedIn bio.
  • Boolean Search for LinkedIn: If you’re not using Boolean searches such as to source on LinkedIn, you are missing out on a huge source of potential candidates. Read more about using and expanding this particular Boolean search string here: Get More Out of LinkedIn with Google Site Search
  • Join groups and get active: Groups give you a chance to interact with exactly the qualified people you want to target. If you’re a top recruiter, you are probably already following many groups and posting jobs in these groups. To become an active and trusted member of the community you need to do more than post jobs in your favourite groups. Post links to relevant articles and ask questions to generate discussions. This gives you allows you to brand yourself as a recruiter, rather than just spamming the group with job posts. Groups are also a good way to evaluate potential candidates. The people that reply to your comments, have a quick response, and great answers are probably the ones you’ll want to consider for jobs.


At Stafflink we find that Facebook is more of a social network for our friends and families. It hasn’t been a great source for IT job candidates. So far. Hopefully that will change when Facebook introduces a job board in the near future. With the sheer number of people of this social network, you can’t ignore Facebook as a part of your IT recruiter tool belt. Here are a few other ways to use Facebook for recruiting:

  • Facebook Ads: You can target ads by a number of factors including profession, location, gender, age, and even specific keywords you’d like to target based on user interests. This is deeper ad targeting than even Google provides at the moment. As you are creating your ad, you can immediately see how many users your ad will target based on your criteria. You choose whether you want to pay per click or per impression, and whether your ads run continuously or during a set time frame.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Go to > Click ‘jobs’> Post your job. It’s that easy. The best thing about it is it’s free. Unfortunately you can’t target who sees your ad like you can with Facebook Ads. But you can ‘share’ the jobs you post in the Facebook Marketplace to your company Facebook profile page. A few companies that have posted jobs in the marketplace recently for Toronto based jobs include Target, Loblaw, Thomson Reuters, and Microsoft.
  • Facebook Pages: You probably already have a Facebook company page. Make sure it’s staying updated with content and especially jobs. The greatest thing about social media and especially Facebook is that it enables two way communication and sharing. The content on Facebook is set up to be social – ie. people can share the post, like it, and pass it on to friends. Urge your followers to pass on your posts or share them with friends that may be looking for a job.


Use your Twitter account to get found by IT recruiters

Image care of Gopal Raju

You’d be surprised at how many recruiters we come across that don’t use Twitter for recruiting. While some people are hesitant to use Twitter for recruiting because they think of it only as a stream of people’s diary entries, telling the world what they had for breakfast and lunch, this simply isn’t the case. Twitter can be a goldmine for business use and there’s no doubt in our minds that it’s a great recruiting tool. Below are a number of useful uses of Twitter for recruiting:

  • Twitter Advanced Search Directory: Many people use their job titles, certifications, education or job industry to identify themselves on Twitter. You can use that information to locate people on Twitter. Michelle De Rubeis, our expert Boolean search expert at Stafflink, recently wrote a post on how to use Twitter to source for candidates using Twitter’s Advanced Search Directory. For more on searching Twitter using the Advanced Search Directory read, How to Find Those Tweeters: Sourcing on Twitter
  • Tweet jobs and blog posts to attract candidates to your site: Using a Twitter feed you can promote jobs, company events and engage in discussion about topics that relate to recruiting. You’d be surprised at how many people respond to job tweets. Keep in mind that you are limited to 140 characters, so you’ll want to use a shortened URL when posting links. This also allows you to track the reach of the tweet for each particular job.
  • Using hashtags: You might want to consider using a hashtag every time you post a new job opportunity on Twitter. With a hashtag, your post becomes searchable so people can search for tweets specifically for the type of job your post is about. Example #torontojobs #itjobs #itspecialist

Google +

  • Searching for IT job candidates on Google+
    Find profiles using Google +
    : If you login to Google+, you can use the search bar at the top of your profile to search Google+ profiles. You can then set whether you want to search “People & Pages” or “Everything” and type in what you’re looking for.
  • This website lets you search Google + for profiles and allows you to filter results based on criteria like education, gender, employer, education, occupation, country, state, city, and more.

To learn more see Using Google+ for recruiting IT Candidates

Blogs and Portfolios

Blogs and portfolio sites authored by technology experts are an often overlooked source for recruiting talent. Laura Upcott recently wrote a blog post on Sourcing IT Talent Via Blog Portfolio Sites in which she explains how to mine the Web for these individuals with a Boolean search technique that uses the Inurl syntax to search within URLs.

For More Recruiting Tips…

You might want to check out our recruiter resource pages:

Do you have any other tricks for leveraging social media for recruiting? Let us know in the comments section below.

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