We have come a long way since dial-up internet was introduced in the 1990s! In today’s world, most people have a digital presence, a traceable footprint. In our mission to find viable talent, we’re able to source quicker and more effectively than in previous years thanks to the digital age we live in.
Overall, given the current economic environment, I would say that sourcing is evolving and innovating at an unprecedented rate! Social sourcing may be an all-time classic, but with today’s increasing hiring demand coupled with the corresponding popularity of tapping into alternative talent pools, social media sourcing seems to be becoming more of an everyday unique sourcing method.
Why social media sourcing?
Major recruitment sites maybe our standard go-to and are of course effective to some extent, however, let’s keep in mind that such sites are also heavy in recruitment traffic. The ambition here is to move away from a saturated, competitive space to challenge ourselves, as sourcing professionals, to move beyond the traditional approach into untapped talent pool networks. If we go beyond our comfort zone by diversifying our passive sourcing strategy in new ways, we could increase overall efficiency, effectiveness, and levels of productivity through reaching passive, viable talent otherwise not contacted or unavailable.
Social media sourcing is also great because it allows for more personalized, genuine connections with candidates, which is particularly helpful when supplementing outreach vectors using the multi-channel approach, or when networking for referrals. From an employer standpoint, this is a cost-saving measure that also provides value-add to company culture.
There is a growing number of social media platforms available these days. The larger ones are defined as top influencers given the reach they have to their global user base. My proposition is to carefully consider your presence and choose platforms that are best aligned with desired outcomes engaging the targeted target pool. To provide further insight, if you are targeting college students, Facebook may not yield the same ROI as TikTok or Twitter, which are statistically represented by a larger group within this age demographic.
Social media allows you to listen to what people are saying. Interacting with different audiences on social platforms will not only help establish relationships in a different way, but it can also provide new and helpful insights on candidate persona behaviors, trends, and competitive positioning. Keep in mind the value of real-time insights you could gather about your employer or client brand as you learn more about brand perceptions and competitive intelligence.
Now let’s review select social media platforms and proposed sourcing strategies.
With more than one billion active users, Instagram is another great global resource for sourcing. The platform has grown at a higher than average rate than other social platforms and is expected to grow at an 8% rate quarterly. Users between the ages of 18 and 24 comprise most of the daily user total, according to research from Hootsuite. The average Instagram user will spend seven hours a week on the platform.
Sourcing on Instagram is a great way to promote your employer brand, advertise opportunities, network within your designated talent pools, and engage viable talent. Get creative by either conducting a Boolean search specifically geared to using branding hashtags or create a simple string that contains all the elements you are looking for. Here is an example: site:instagram.com (“marketing manager”) AND Dallas
A sourcing goldmine at 2.8 billion monthly active users worldwide, no other app comes close to these engagement numbers. The Facebook app alone has had more than 4.6 billion downloads in the past decade. An estimated 74% of its membership base uses the app daily, while the average user spends about 38 minutes per day using this platform. Users between the ages of 25 and 43 are the largest represented age demographic. As of January 2021, 72.8% of Facebook users worldwide are between 18 and 44 years of age.
Facebook offers a wealth of information that can be a valuable resource to tap into the “deep end” of the talent pool, allowing us to distinguish ourselves from common strategies such as using LinkedIn where a large portion of everyday recruiter traffic is directed. Facebook can also be a great resource for Group engagement, networking.
I’ve included my reference below:
 About Instagram | Explore Features, News, Resources & More
 Digital 2020: October Update (hootsuite.com)
 Yellow_Social_Media_Report_2020_Consumer.pdf (netdna-ssl.com)
 • Facebook MAU worldwide 2020 | Statista
 Most Downloaded Apps of the Decade: Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok, More (businessinsider.com)
 • Facebook: users by age and gender | Statista