Use social media to find and hire quality new employees

Columnist Dean Swanson says small businesses must open up to Facebook, LinkedIn, other platforms to find workers.

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Have you seen the most common sign in the windows of area small business? It usually says “Now Hiring."

Finding employees has become the biggest problem for CEOs these days. I have talked to so many that express this frustration. ”I just cannot find enough people to work," they say. In fact, several CEOs have said they have had to reduce the number of hours that their business is open because they do not have people to work.

I asked CEOs what ways they are using to seek new employees. My observation is that most are using what they have done for years, and it is not yielding results.

I have one suggestion: Try something new.

Social recruitment may be worth trying. One of SCORE’s content partners, Rieva Lesonsky, has some guidance on this available on the SCORE website.


Lesonsky is president and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog

According to a survey by LiveCareer, many businesses turned to social media as a recruitment tool. The company says the social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook allow businesses to learn “a lot about a candidate’s personality.”

From the small business’s point of view, most will search online to see if a candidate has a social presence. The survey shows that 77% use social media to search for job candidates and 80% of companies screen candidates through social media before hiring. In addition, the social media components most often checked by companies when recruiting are:

  • Main posts — 66%
  • About me section — 63%
  • Photos — 60%
  • Candidate’s comments under posts — 43%
  • Followed profiles — 25%

And here’s what they look for:

  • 66% are looking for any red flags on a candidate’s social media.
  • 62% want to get an idea about the candidate and their life.
  • 57% check to see if someone would be a good fit for their company culture.

The specific red flags hiring managers look out for include:

  • Discriminatory comments regarding race, gender, and religion — 66%.
  • Provocative or inappropriate content — 57%.
  • Information about drinking or doing drugs — 57%.
  • Bad-mouthing or sharing confidential information about a previous company or fellow employees — 51%.
  • Extreme political views — 36%.
  • Bad language — 34%.

Of course, the job candidate may have deleted or made some of their posts private, so you still need to conduct other due diligence before hiring.
The LiveCareer survey shows that Facebook was the number-one site searched when checking potential candidates’ online presence on that platform.

  • Facebook — 74%.
  • LinkedIn — 56%.
  • Instagram — 49%.
  • Twitter — 45%.
  • TikTok — 12%.

For some, this may be surprising since LinkedIn is the social network best known for B2B interactions. But, but its sheer numbers — and the reported number of job offers received, Facebook is the most popular professional social network. That said, most (68%) of the hiring managers and recruiters expect potential candidates to have a presence on LinkedIn.
The benefits of social recruiting, as cited by PostBeyond include:

  • You can connect with more candidates. It helps businesses “get their job listings in front of candidates you wouldn’t otherwise reach” — those who aren’t necessarily looking at job boards but are looking at their social feeds.
  • You’ll save money and time. PostBeyond says, “In general, it costs businesses over $4,000 to hire new talent and takes 42 days on average to fill a given position.” One of the keys to social recruitment is leveraging not only your social platforms but those of your employees. Essentially, you’re reaching out through their networks to find job candidates.

PostBeyond also lists the seven steps to building an effective social recruiting strategy.


  1. Set goals and metrics.
  2. Know your ideal candidate.
  3. Check out what your competitors are doing.
  4. Define your employer brand.
  5. Choose the right social media platforms.
  6. Launch an employee advocacy program.
  7. Measure, optimize, repeat.

Dean Swanson is a volunteer Certified SCORE Mentor and former SCORE chapter chairman, district director and regional vice president for the North West Region.

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