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Nonprofit HR’s Blog

Social networks are no longer strictly “social.” Today, platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are all being used by savvy hiring managers to identify, vet and reach out to top talent.

If you’re looking to integrate social media outreach into your hiring strategy, it’s essential to develop targeted, platform-specific approaches to further your mission and attract the top candidates. How do you choose the best social networks to leverage in your recruitment strategy? Here are the pros and cons of some of the biggest ones.


With a massive audience and ability to target your messaging, Twitter can be a powerful tool for recruitment. And yet its 140-character limit makes it impossible to send out a detailed job description and ensure your respondees are the best applicants out there. Additionally, the life of Tweet is very short, creating a need for multiple Tweets per day to reach the audience that you’re trying to target.

So why choose Twitter for recruitment? Here are some of the things it can help you accomplish:

  • Reach a wide (but targeted) audience. With over 300 million active users, chances are that your next hire will already be on this social network. Use hashtags strategically to target job postings toward the right people: a simple #npjobs tag on the end of your post can alert active job seekers to your position, but combining it with a hashtag for the specific type of position (think #finance or #hr) can help to further target your outreach.
  • Push your employment brand without getting specific about your positions. In 140 characters, you can make clear, poignant statements about why prospective applicants might be attracted to your mission and purpose. Something like: “Want to help us stop a culture of rape? Join our team.” or “Passionate about youth homelessness? Are you empathetic and a great project manager?”
  • Build your hiring culture. Twitter works best when you can engage with your followers and let them know all about what it’s like to work at your organization. Don’t just tweet out job openings. Your Twitter feed should broadcast your organization’s culture and entice applicants, not function like a classified employment listing. Mix in photos and messages about life at your organization to build engagement with job seekers.


According to Facebook, half of employers are using their social network in their hiring process. Facebook is an effective recruiting tool because it allows hiring managers to get an in-depth look into potential applicants, helps them to cast a wide net and enables them to engage their employees in the hiring process by gathering referrals. At the same time, there’s no Facebook job board, and while you can post positions to a company page, it can be difficult to drum up significant traffic.

So how should you use Facebook as part of your recruitment efforts? Here’s what it can do:

  • Engage your current employees. Encourage your organization’s staff to post job openings themselves. Whether it’s in a private Facebook group they belong to or simply on their wall, employees can attract and leverage their own network—and can then refer those they can personally vouch for.
  • Target through ads. The Facebook ad platform lets you target a very specific audience through filters including educational background, work experience, interests and location. Want to hire only people in Washington, DC with a masters’ degree and experience in education? Through Facebook, you can identify and recruit those people directly.


LinkedIn opens your organization up to over 330 million professionals. But unfortunately, this means that it can also provide you with too many applications, crowding your hiring pipeline and forcing you to wade through resumes from unqualified applicants.

That being said, LinkedIn offers strong benefits for recruiters. Here’s how you can use it to strengthen your recruitment efforts:

  • Identify 2nd and 3rd connections. LinkedIn allows you to see who your connections are connected with—and then who those connections connect to. This allows you to build a wide network of people who your organization’s employees and your professional connections can vouch for, and can help you get on the radar of a talented employee who might not be actively searching for a new job.
  • See a candidate’s full experience. It may be a social network, but LinkedIn is specifically designed to connect applicants with job opportunities. When you go to a candidate’s page, you’ll get a great look at their resume, accomplishments and how they want to present themselves to the world. Make sure to dive deep into their profile and explore all the information they offer.

Let us know: what social networks do you find most helpful in the recruitment process?

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