Social Sourcing: What Every Recruiter Needs to Know


It should come as no surprise that in our online-focused world, tech-savvy recruiters everywhere are increasingly turning to social media to gain intelligence on candidates and source their very own super-skilled job seekers.

With a wealth of information both professional and personal (sometimes a little too personal) very often publicly available on the web, social media can provide some fantastic and exclusive recruitment-related insights into the background and everyday pursuits of potential candidates.

Channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, can offer up all kinds of important details that help recruiters get to know who they’re really dealing with, and assess their suitability for clients and job roles.

But be warned: when embarking on a social media investigation session, it can be all too easy to get lost in a maze of posts, tweets and status updates. It’s important to stay focused and know what you should be looking out for amongst the global maze that is social media.


The modern-day equivalent of the traditional resume LinkedIn is, of course, the ideal place to begin researching and building a picture of potential candidates’ career experience and education. Pay particular attention to endorsements and recommendations, particularly non-work-related elements such as volunteering and causes they care about.

Other valuable areas to consider include the type of groups that users join, the Influencers they follow, their interaction and engagement with other users’ content, and the type of content they post themselves.

Warning! Recommendations may not always be what they seem – it’s worth performing a quick check on who provided that ‘glowing review’ to establish whether it is, in fact, a legitimate and relevant reference.


Putting the ‘social’ firmly into social media, Facebook can be used to dig deeper into a candidate’s personal interests. Recruiters can develop a more well-rounded view of who the person in question is outside of their 9-5, by looking out for hobbies and extracurricular activities.

Review posted content and status updates, and remember too, that in the world of social media, the ‘pictures are worth a thousand words’ concept often rings true – so a quick look through that photo album may be a valuable undertaking.

Warning! Don’t rely on names alone when researching job applicants – make sure that the profile you’re poring over is, in fact, the right person and not a random user that you now know far too much about!


It’s surprising how much you can learn in a mere 140 characters, as online networking site Twitter confirms. With its real-time, trend-focused approach, tweets can reveal a whole lot about a candidate’s areas of interest – for example, whether their tweets fall more into the ‘celeb gossip’ basket or the ‘political commentary’ box.

Warning! Controversial or inflammatory viewpoints on areas such as politics and race can act as a major red flag, with 1 in 5 hiring managers saying that strong political affiliation is viewed as a negative.


Popular image-sharing app Instagram is a great platform with which to further develop the profile of your potential candidate. Personal and highly social, Instagram can often showcase the more creative leanings and cultural interests of job seekers, with a series of image-based posts creating a visual blog or ‘life diary’.

Warning! Don’t be a victim of the ‘accidental double tap’! For non-Instagrammers, that’s the action to ‘like’ a photo – and if done in error (which is all too easy to do) on an unsuspecting candidate’s page that you’re not following, it can make you look a little, well, creepy…

Use these social media tricks to boost your candidate knowledge, seek out the hottest talent, and get those valuable insights that will keep you well ahead in the recruitment game.


Want to take your sourcing efforts to the next level? Get the new ebook, Straight to The Source: Why Candidate Sourcing Matters and Tips For Success for interesting findings around the candidate acquisition landscape and sourcing tips that work.

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