Social Media Recruiting Beyond Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 1.41.59 PMRecruiters have nailed the big three of social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, but going beyond the big three is the next step. Some of us were dragged into the social media world kicking and screaming. It has been derided and called a passing fad, but it has become apparent that social media in recruiting is effective, inexpensive, and … fun? Expanding your company’s reach via these newer social networks is the next natural step.

Think bigger … or smaller, whichever way you want to look at it. You’re expanding your reach through smaller outlets like Quora, Dribble, Github, Foursquare, and Instagram.


That best way to describe Quora is like Wikipedia with a Facebook twist or LinkedIn Q&A forums (but about everything). The gist of the site is a question-and-answer forum, but it likes to keep it clean and organized. As the collection of Q and As grows, it is monitored, edited, and organized by its users. Used optimally, the idea is that each question page should be the best resource for that topic formed by your peers. But how is this used in recruiting?

Quora enables you to take a deeper look into potential candidates. Other sites might scratch the surface, but Quora will highlight competitive intelligence, dialogue, and a reflective experience. When you can use a site to find relevant information about candidates, it’s a win. Quora is also a great way to follow passive candidates and their interactions.

Quora answers the question: Do they really know their stuff? For recruiting outside your comfort zone in highly technical fields or those above your pay grade, this can be invaluable, because there is the added benefit of the crowd up and down voting the answers.

For your own use, Quora can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. This is a powerhouse of data that at first may take some time to navigate. But when you first sign on, you can choose to follow those on your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages. You can refine your search and browse by specific topics. Quora is largely used by startup and tech folks for recruiting purposes but there are plenty of regular people who swap recipes, car tips, and more on this popular site.


Dribbble itself put it best when it said it is “Show and tell for designers.” All types of designers use this site to flaunt their work, process, and projects. Unlike Quora, which was not designed for recruiter and sourcing uses, Dribbble is for just that. It is meant to showcase work and generate leads for designers.

This is a niche site meant specifically for the professional networking of designers and their counterpart sourcers. For the purposes of the recruiter, you can instantly see a designer’s work. If you like what you see, you can then follow them on other networks, or go right in for a recruiting contact.


This one is for all things code. It too puts it best when it says it is a site for “powerful collaboration, review for code management, and open source and private development projects. Obviously, this is another niche site, but this one is for coders and developers. You get snapshots of coder insights, reviews, and work. Sites like these enable recruiters to save time and resources by giving them quick and easy to access samplings of candidates’ work, whether they’re passive or not.

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This is one of the more familiar ones. Followers are able to see your location check-ins with comment and pictures. The world can see your hangouts and what you have to say about them.

Obviously, this site wasn’t built for recruiters, but that is pretty irrelevant. As recruiters we have to figure out what we can get out of these tools. This is another great way to interact with candidates on a more personal level. This is not intended as a spy tool’ your profile should be full, updated, and you should actually check into places. It’s okay to be a real person. You are one.

For your use, you can see conferences people attend, if they telecommute, and where they spend their free time. If there are daily check-ins at the gym for instance, you might want to let them know about the gym facilities at the company in your recruitment contact. If their home is closer to the company than the one that they are currently at, that might also be something to highlight.


If you haven’t heard of this one before, let us now redirect you to social media 101. Instagram was a hit from the get-go. It provides unique filters and easy sharing ability of pictures. Like other networks you follow and are followed back.

There was recently a fun story going around the Internet about a young college grad being offered her dream job via an Instagram picture. She followed ePrize throughout her college career and they followed her right back. The company was able to get a feel of her work, photography, and attitude. In turn, she was able to get a feel for the company culture and employer brand.

Knowing about sites like this and establishing a presence is the key to good recruiting. Just browsing won’t cut it. The best way to use these tools is to engage your community. Become a part of what they’re doing, interact, comment, and follow. There are endless possibilities with these easy to use tools. If you don’t know how to use them, or how to get started … Google it! Don’t shy away from the fun and exciting world of recruiting in social media simply because you’re stuck in your old-school ways. And furthermore, sites like these shouldn’t be ignored because of their “smaller reach,” but should be embraced for their niche and engaging qualities.

Raj Sheth is the co-founder of Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software and applicant tracking system designed especially for growing companies. Prior to Recruiterbox, he founded two other web startups -- a classifieds portal and an ecommerce site. He is a graduate of Babson College and spent the first three years of his career as a financial analyst with EMC Corporation in Boston. Visit his website at


14 Comments on “Social Media Recruiting Beyond Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

  1. I would also add Pinterest, which is being used for recruiting very cleverly by Taco Bell, Ann Taylor Loft, PETA, and Bridgepoint Education.

    Perhaps obvious, but YouTube is also worth a look. UPSjobs has a great channel, as do Microsoft and Starbucks.

    And don’t forget Google Plus! It’s the second-largest social network in the world and has the SEO help from its parent company. Easy to post status updates, links, and photos, just like Facebook.

  2. Thanks, Raj.
    1) Like other SM tools, these don’t seem particularly useful at getting people RIGHT NOW, which is what we’re usually paid to do.
    2) The more recruiters use these tools and the faster recruiters start using them, the less effective they’ll be to recruit, as LinkedIn has been choked/clogged by increasing recruiter overuse. Consequently, I urge my colleagues to start using these tools (and others that access them like TalentBin, Entelo, Gild, etc.) RIGHT NOW and tell all their recruiter friends to do likewise. Meanwhile, inform your hiring managers that they’ll have perfect people available in 6-18 months, just not right now. 😉


  3. Raj, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add the concept of social evidence. What’s great about these networks is that they actually show evidence of work–so you can see code produced and how well people are respected, and their advice is respected by peers in the network. RemarkableHire ( actually aggregates all of that for you so you can source in one place and have access to all of these networks instead of going on each one.

    What’s great about RemarkableHire and other tools doing some similar things out there is the sophistication of the algorithms that measure the value of the content someone contributes in those networks. So much better than assuming someone is Ruby savvy just because it’s listed on their resume.

    Also, for those searching, note that Dribble is actually Dribbble (three bs instead of two).

  4. @ Everybody: these also tend to bias things in favor of people who are able/willing to be out there promoting themselves publicly, as opposed to folks just methodically going about doing great work. Also, how likely is it that you’d be getting people through these sources that you couldn’t find elsewhere- isn’t it *getting the same “Fab 5%,” just on different sites? Finally, finding them isn’t usually the problem,- the problem is usually getting great people to talk with you about your so-so job, company, etc., just like dozens of other recruiters…


    *Maybe not- maybe you’d get hordes of incredible people you couldn’t find through other means. Does anybody have evidence one way or the other?

  5. @Keith two things to reference important to your post. These sites in the tech world aren’t just about being out there–people spending time have a strong reputation as leaders in the space and it demonstrates their goodwill to help peers who are having problems. Plus, it shows that they like what they do so much, they spend extra time helping others. I also know from tech recruiting I’ve done in the past that sites like StackOverflow are just part of their daily routine–it’s like Facebook for the rest of us.

    Second, volume isn’t the problem. Quality is. And that’s what tools like RemarkableHire yield–quality talent–they go beyond what someone purports they can do and actually yield people who have evidence of actually doing it. Sure, many of these candidates ar passive, but learning how to talk to passive candidates, build relationships with them and not hard sell them in the first line of an email is key. That’s why it’s great to see evidence of their work. It allows recruiters, hiring managers and future peers to actually engage them in discussion.

  6. Thanks, Susan.
    1)”people spending time have a strong reputation as leaders in the space and it demonstrates their goo ALL kinds of people get lots of good job offers, just technical people get good job offers, or just create good will for them?

    2) As the saying goes:
    “If you have time to build a ‘relationship’ with a candidate, you don’t have enough reqs.”

    3) IMHO, quality ISN’T the problem- the problem is getting wannabe companies and their spoiled founders/CXOs/sr. execs/managers to realize that the people they want are not interested in their marketing-hype- the “Fab 5%” are not going to be interested in “Top-30% companies”. Most companies/managers need to realize that they JUST CAN’T HAVE the people they think they’re entitled to, and it’s a lot easier to try and convince them that you just need to look someplace else or a little harder/deeper than have them face *that fact. However, arrogance, fear, and ignorance/incompetence are three strong motivators to get people to get people to spend their money on something….

    Happy Friday, my ‘Cruitaz!


    * A scarier implication is that they REALLY DO NEED people that they can’t realistically expect to hire. That signals BIG PROBLEMS ahead.

  7. Seriously? How many social media sites does it take to screw in a light bulb? A good recruiter is ALWAYS recruiting and that’s IRL social networks (human communities not the virtual ones) as well as online. Like any media choice, SM needs to target a real live audience. So before you spend hours trolling for candidates among the pretty pictures on Pintrest, make sure that there are actual people there. Social media is not FREE when it takes up valuable time. Invest wisely, and be where your audience is. This is not unique to social media – it

  8. sorry, continued… it’s like job boards isn’t it? there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands or even millions counting the one on your own web site. You choose your job boards (free or paid) based on the audience; social media is no different than any other media choice/s.

    I’d also like to note that social NETWORKING transcends all media, nothing beats a referral and isn’t that the whole point of building relationships? All the tools in the world won’t make you a better recruiter if you don’t know how to add value to a relationship. A bigger toolkit is not necessarily better, and it’s more important to choose the right tool for the job – sometimes a hammer will do better than a nail gun.

  9. @ Sylvia: the real intent isn’t to actually hire good people quickly and affordably through SM, it’s to make lots of money off recruiters’ bosses convincing them that they CAN…
    It’s like the original ’49s- you don’t make money looking for gold, you make money off the people who ARE looking for gold: selling them secret maps to rich claims, special tools to get more out of the claims, etc.


    Keith “Native Californian” Halperin

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