Only effective together: Social Media Recruiting and Employer Branding

Wanted! Full-time or part-time: qualified employees. Just 15% of skilled workers are actively looking for a new job, often including young professionals. What to do when talents with experience are needed?

The trick is to attract the attention of potential candidates who would not change employers on their own. It is no longer a secret to start where everyone is these days - on social media platforms. After all, more than 70 percent of skilled workers could be reached and recruited through well thought-out and well-implemented social media recruiting.


Here we explain the different approaches to social recruiting, what to look out for and why employer branding forms the basis for sustainable recruiting.

According to Statista, 764,326 vacancies were registered in Germany in January 2023. Looking at Q3 2022, there were 1.82 million job vacancies registered, an increase of around 437,000 vacant positions compared to the same period last year. For companies, recruitment has become a major challenge. To exaggerate, one could say that experienced workers are usually already "taken" by other companies. The shortage of skilled workers is perceived more strongly by workers than the economic downturn, because 69% of those in employment are not afraid of their professional future in their current job (source: XING Job Happiness Study by forsa) and are aware of the value of their labour. 

The other side of full employment, however, is that every third person has to work longer hours to compensate for missing colleagues. Every tenth person works overtime without compensation. This fuels dissatisfaction: employees mostly criticise stress, unfair pay and lack of appreciation. Employers who are not perceived as a strong and attractive employer brand and fail to respond to the needs of their employees will lose the war for talent in the long run. The tension between labour shortage and dissatisfaction is an opportunity for competitors to poach talent - even if they are not actively looking for a new job.

Why social recruiting?

According to the online study by ARD and ZDF, 94% of the German-speaking population was online in 2021. By now, this figure is likely to be significantly higher. Supported by the Corona crisis, our social life now also takes place online to a large extent. The most important device here is our mobile phone! According to Statista, the number of smartphone users is expected to rise to 69 million in 2023. 
While waiting for the bus or standing at the checkout while shopping, messages are sent via WhatsApp or we scroll through the feed of social media. If we come across a suitable job offer and we are dissatisfied with our current employer, we become amenable to a job change. 
While only 15% of talent is actively looking for a new job, significantly more can be reached in an easy mobile way. About 50% of employees are latently dissatisfied but not actively looking for a new job. 25% are satisfied but open to new offers.
The potential for recruiting in social networks is high, as Germans have an average of three social media accounts. 
Those who do not rely on social recruiting in times of a shortage of skilled workers have only themselves to blame.

Different approaches: Active sourcing and performance recruiting

There are two different approaches to recruiting in social networks: Active Sourcing and Performance Recruiting. Both approaches have their own strengths and should be chosen according to the type of vacancy and the desired candidate profile.

Active Sourcing

Top positions or positions that require a high degree of specialisation are often very difficult to fill. In these cases, it is worthwhile to approach suitable candidates directly via active sourcing. 
(For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that active sourcing does not have to be limited to social media channels. The direct approach of talent can of course also be implemented offline in the context of career events and recruitment fairs). 
In the digital implementation of active sourcing, one actively searches for suitable talents via profile mining on social media platforms or a search on Google, (niche) forums, publication portals, blogs or the website of competitors. The more specialised the networks, the better the chances of attracting attention and interest. On mainstream platforms, making contact can get lost in the sheer flood of enquiries. 
Especially there, you should take the following top 3 tips to heart to ensure that your talent acquisition is successful:

  • Choose an individual approach and use personal words when making contact. Ideally, you can refer to the last activities of the person you are contacting. Arouse trust and do not appear arbitrary!
  • Study the profile and, based on it, consider which EVP and which benefits seem particularly attractive to the person in question. Then communicate in a targeted manner with the appropriate mix of information to arouse interest in the employer and the position to be filled.
  • Make sure that the exchange and flow of information takes place quickly. Long waiting times have a deterrent effect and interest quickly wanes.

Take-home message: In summary, active sourcing is very time-consuming and generates few applications. However, the talents found are highly qualified and have the right skills for the advertised position. This method is particularly suitable for targeted headhunting.

Performance Recruiting

Performance recruiting is currently in vogue and is being hyped in the field of recruitment via online recruiting. This form of social media recruiting scores points by simplifying and accelerating the application process for talents. The two pillars of this recruiting variant are an attention-grabbing social media ad with campaign and the separate landing page to which it leads - the social recruiting funnel. 

Top 3 advantages of Performance Recruiting compared to Active Sourcing:

  • Your ads are played out in a targeted manner without you having to spend a lot of time and effort searching for suitable addressees. In the ad managers of the various social media platforms, the target group can be defined per click. This saves time and increases the reach.
  • Only people who are interested in your ad will click on it. Scattering losses due to contacting talents who are not interested in a job change are eliminated.
  • The landing page can achieve high application rates by being mobile optimised and streamlining the application process. For example, it takes little time to apply via mobile phone. Our tip: Use the social recruiting funnel with a small quiz or game to learn more about the talents and to select them. This increases the quality of the applicants and channels relevant contacts.

The success of performance recruiting in talent acquisition stands and falls with the quality of your advertisement. In the first step, it must attract attention, which leads to a scroll stop among users. This means that they don't scroll any further, but stay with your ad. The best way to achieve this is with unexpected images and titles that arouse emotions and curiosity. 

Take-home message: Performance recruiting as a variant of online recruiting saves time and generates many applications. The prerequisite for this is an attention-grabbing advertisement and a landing page optimised for mobile devices. In the recruiting funnel, you can increase the quality of applications by playfully selecting candidates with a quiz or game.

Employer branding as the basis for sustainable recruiting

All recruiting efforts are based on a general understanding and a clear definition of the employer's own value proposition. This is the only way to present the employer brand to the outside world in a clear, authentic and attractive way within the framework of a well thought-out employer branding strategy. Vague, arbitrary or even contradictory formulations scare off new talent. The employer brand should be communicated consistently and coherently not only on the company's own career site but also on the relevant social media channels in order to be credible as an employer.

Social media recruiting and employer branding via social media must go hand in hand in order to fully exploit the power of social media recruiting in talent acquisition.

In general, it is advisable to maintain an appealing company account on the social media channels used for recruiting. Then interested talents can find out about the employer brand directly where they are online. 
Only if the employer brand with its unique selling propositions is communicated authentically can candidates weigh up for themselves whether they fit in with the company and feel comfortable there in the long term. 

Our tip: The benefits advertised should be perceived as real added value. Emphasising pseudo-benefits, which are expected as hygiene factors anyway, will have the opposite effect. The "one size fits all" principle is outdated. Truly attractive benefit packages should be flexibly tailored to the respective life situation of the employees and regularly updated.

Honesty and continuous employer branding throughout the entire employee live cycle lead to sustainable results. Regular satisfaction surveys among the workforce help to measure the effectiveness of internal employer branding measures. If the mood changes, a prompt reaction should be taken to ensure that employees remain loyal to the company. After all, competitors also dominate social media recruiting.

Social Media Recruiting at Full Moon Brandcode

Do you have a tough nut to crack when filling a vacancy? Leonie has the nutcracker!
As an employer branding agency, we support you in all aspects of recruitment marketing.

Your contact for social media recruiting at Full Moon Brandcode:

Leonie Herzer
Social Recruiting Manager

Tel.: +49 711 925 388-21
E-Mail: [email protected]





Epplestraße 225
70567 Stuttgart