Since Elon Musk assumed control of Twitter, the social media platform has endured a rough, rocky, and sometimes strange journey. Now, it no longer exists as a company, according to recent court filings outlining the merger between Twitter and X Corporation. And then on April 12, NPR officially quit the platform after Musk labeled the award-winning and nationally recognized public news agency as “state-affiliated media,” a term evoking the propaganda machines associated with Russia, China, and other autocratic countries. Hate speech and cyberbullying have also increased dramatically. Social media is one of the most effective and commonly used tools in recruiting, with Twitter ranking among the top. But as the company alienates users, staffing professionals may want to consider other platforms. Let’s look at some of the best alternatives.
Twitter in Turmoil?
Musk’s unilateral and very personal vision of how Twitter should operate has caused concern among users. For example, previously suspended proponents of hate speech have been reinstated, including accounts belonging to Neo Nazi groups and QAnon. “That was one of the driving factors, researchers told the New York Times, behind a rise in hate speech on the platform, including an over 200 percent increase in anti-Black slurs from when Musk took over until December 2022 — upsetting many users who already struggled with harassment on the platform,” Vox reported.
NPR announced that it would no longer “post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform. In explaining its decision, NPR cited Twitter's decision to first label the network ‘state-affiliated media,’ the same term it uses for propaganda outlets in Russia, China and other autocratic countries.”
Even after Musk revised the label to “government-funded media,” NPR refused to budge in its stance. This term, too, is inaccurate and misleading, given that “NPR is a private, nonprofit company with editorial independence. It receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”
When interviewed, NPR CEO John Lansing said the network would not return to Twitter, even if Musk removed the label, stating, “At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter.”
Of course, just a day before NPR made its decision to abandon Twitter, Ars Technica pointed out that Twitter isn’t really a company any longer: “An April court filing shows that Twitter, Inc. has officially merged with X Corp, achieving Musk’s goal of wiping out Twitter Inc. as a company. The court filing confirmed that Twitter, Inc. ‘no longer exists.’ Now, there is only X Corp.”
Ashley Belanger, writing for Ars Technica, added, “As usual, it’s hard to predict what Musk intends to do next with Twitter. This news follows one of the most unserious months in Musk’s tenure as CEO, where he replaced the Twitter bird logo with Dogecoin’s shiba inu logo and got in trouble with the landlord at Twitter’s headquarters when he erased the ‘w’ on Twitter’s signage so that the building was marked ‘Titter.’ Journalist Dave Troy tweeted that these moves and others—like Twitter's press team responding only with a poop emoji—were apparently signs that Musk was about to ‘kill off a beloved (?) global brand.’”
The growing lack of trust in the new Twitter will undoubtedly have repercussions, with users seeking other platforms. And this will impact recruiting.
The Power of Social Recruiting
Millennials and Gen Z are social generations. They are the pioneers of the social media movement, and they remain connected to friends, family and colleagues online 24/7. They place a heightened emphasis on family, community, and connectivity to their world through social networks. To remain competitive in today’s evolving labor market, forward-thinking staffing companies are investing in new sourcing tools and techniques to recruit these workers. Many organizations have found that traditional recruitment methods take too long, cost too much and produce too few qualified candidates. Social media has helped overcome those obstacles.
With the ability to reach passive and active job candidates, social media has emerged as one of the best sources of recruiting high quality candidates. According to research by Jobvite, 59% of recruiters rated candidates sourced through social media as “highest quality.”
Social networks are useful tools for all companies. And to stay competitive, outsourcing and global business services have found them mission critical. With over 2.96 billion monthly users on Facebook alone, the potential candidate pool is vast and growing daily. Social media is also one of the most economical alternatives available to recruiters for candidate mining and advertising. According to media analysts, some of the largest employers nationally and worldwide utilize social networking tools more than traditional career portals to find employees. These industry leaders include Citibank, Accenture, Intel, Oracle, L’Oréal, Microsoft, GAP, Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC. Within each organization, you will find hiring managers and recruiters utilizing a mix of media: LinkedIn, YouTube videos, microblogs, Facebook, Twitter, and others.
So if Twitter, now X Corp apparently, is less reliable, what options do recruiters have? Plenty, it turns out, from well-established social networks to new platforms and even some sources they may not have considered. Let’s take a look.
Best Social Media Platforms for Recruiting
The Big, Established Leaders
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is still the most popular social media platform for recruiting, and it's only getting more powerful. With over 800 million members, LinkedIn is a great place to find qualified candidates for your open positions. You can search for candidates by job title, location, and other criteria. You can also join groups and connect with other professionals in your industry.
- Facebook: Facebook is a more general social media platform that can be used to recruit for a variety of jobs. You can create a job posting on your company's Facebook page and target it to specific demographics. You can also use Facebook groups and events to connect with potential candidates.
- Instagram: Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Meta Platforms. If you're looking to hire candidates who are creative and visual, Instagram is a great place to start your search. You can search for candidates by their Instagram handle, and you can also follow relevant hashtags to find candidates who are interested in your industry.
Newer Platforms Worth Trying
- TikTok: TikTok has rapidly grown in popularity, particularly among younger audiences. Some companies have started using TikTok to showcase their culture, behind-the-scenes footage, and job opportunities in creative and engaging ways.
- Clubhouse: Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app that allows users to participate in live, voice-based discussions. It has become popular among professionals in certain industries, such as tech and entrepreneurship, and some companies have started using it to host recruitment events and engage with potential candidates.
Existing Platforms You May Not Have Considered
- GitHub: GitHub is a social coding platform that's popular with developers. If you're looking to hire developers, GitHub is a great place to start your search. You can search for candidates by their GitHub profile, and you can also join GitHub communities to connect with other developers.
- Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer website that's popular with developers. If you're looking to hire developers, Stack Overflow is a great place to find candidates who are passionate about coding. You can search for candidates by their Stack Overflow profile, and you can also join Stack Overflow communities to connect with other developers.
- Reddit: Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, discussion website. If you're looking to hire candidates who are passionate about your industry, Reddit is a great place to start your search. You can search for candidates by their Reddit profile, and you can also join Reddit communities to connect with other professionals in your industry. Some companies have started using Reddit to share job openings and engage with potential candidates in niche communities that align with their industry or job requirements.
- YouTube: YouTube is a great platform for sharing videos about your company and your open positions. You can create videos that introduce your company, describe your open positions, and answer frequently asked questions about your company culture.
- Slack: Although not traditionally thought of as a social media platform, Slack is a workplace communication tool that can be an effective way to engage with potential candidates and build relationships. Some companies have started using Slack to host virtual job fairs, chat with potential candidates, and share job openings with their network.
Best Practices for Social Media Recruiting
Start Early: Leading staffing agencies do more than post open job links to social networks. While this approach can capture the interest of viable candidates, adroit recruiters reach your target audience by cultivating your company’s online personality early on.
Create an Online Presence that Reflects Who You Are: Having a slick avatar, concise bio and current contact information will encourage prospects to connect with you. Now drive that interest to the next level. Staffing leaders can help you organize your social media profiles to provide potential candidates with a fully formed idea of who you are, giving them a compelling reason to communicate actively and form a relationship.
Know the Audience: These days, it’s rare to find social media holdouts – people who’ve avoided creating Facebook profiles or Twitter accounts – and yet the sites you use must be chosen carefully. Social networks such as Clubhouse or Reddit generally have a younger audience. Older professionals may feel uncomfortable posting personal information on Instagram or TikTok. To locate talent of this caliber and experience, recruiters find greater success through professional networks such as LinkedIn. If you’re seeking technical talent, GitHub would be an excellent choice.
Individualize the Approach: A savvy staffing professional uses social media to connect with people who have a genuine interest in the client’s target business and industry.
Be Authentic and Open: Recruiters want to see the “real candidate.” Finding candidates through social channels means asking them to share information via public means. For the process to work, recruiting professionals must be equally willing to share information.
Be Creative: When making the foray into social recruiting, sourcers and recruiters are entering a space in which passive and active job seekers have already shared or collected massive amounts of information on a daily basis. In order to make candidates take note, your company’s message must stand out above the unrelenting traffic. Presenting your job openings in creative ways allows staffing professionals to showcase the personality of your organization, which in turn helps job seekers get a feel for whether your business culture will be a good fit.
Share Interesting Content: Sharing news, tidbits and other items of general interest creates the equivalent of “social media small talk,” which leads to bigger conversations.
Focus on Substance: Many staffing professionals realize that when it comes to recruiting, social media tools are just that – tools. The real value lies in how the tools are handled. Using social media for recruiting initiatives requires a focus on substance, not just resume details. Look at how candidates are connected in the social arena: are they contributing to their professions or just lurking? If they appear engaged online, they will likely be engaged when working for your company.
Choose Your Platforms Wisely
It's important to keep in mind that the effectiveness of newer social media platforms for recruiting may vary depending on the industry, job type, and target audience. Companies should evaluate whether these platforms align with their recruiting goals and consider the potential risks and benefits before investing time and resources into them.
Even with proven social networks, each platform has variances in user demographics and engagement rates, so it’s important to select the platforms that best align with your target audience and recruiting goals.