Social Media: Not Just for Candy Crush Anymore

Embrace Facebook and Twitter for Recruiting Technical Talent and You’ll Find Lots to “Like”

When you recruit for growth stage companies, especially sales or engineering candidates, it can be easy to focus on professional and niche sites (LinkedIn, GitHub) and overlook the social media we use every day primarily for fun—you know, Facebook and Twitter specifically. Why not use these platforms to engage talent as well? With a little smarts and effort, you can find talent and make connections that pays off nicely for your organization. Here’s what to do:


Create a company Facebook Page to where you can direct new connections to see current openings and learn about your company. Better yet, give them a full blast of your company culture through fun and interesting photos and postings. Remember, it’s not simply your FB page—it’s a key extension of your brand.

Facebook Groups are where potential candidates hang out, seek advice, and share information. Why not interact in relevant special interest or professional groups? It’s a good opportunity to build your company presence while possibly finding the talent you need.

Job Search Groups are another helpful resource. Not just for posting jobs, but for finding and reaching out to candidates with the qualities you seek.

The key thing is that you have access to the membership list of groups you join. As you read posts and join conversations, you will come across group members who are savvy about skills and technologies you need, and you can contact them directly. At the very least you will have a list of people you can cross-reference with other platforms (LinkedIn, GitHub, etc.) to find the talent you need.

Facebook Events are another way to tap into a source of talent. It’s easy to find events which will attract users with the desired background and fit. Looking for Java developers? Put “java” in the search bar, then choose the “Events” tab from the results. You can also filter results for events in your area. Then, voila! You’re off.

Facebook’s Search function is not particularly helpful, unfortunately. Facebook makes searching for anything other than names almost pointless. For example, a search for software engineers in Seattle yields zero results. Really?! There are thousands, right? I mean, Facebook even has an office there.

But all hope is not lost. The site Search is Back makes searching Facebook easier and more fruitful—within limits. You can search within a geographical area for certain job titles, but titles are limited to a dropdown menu of predictive text, and overly broad. For instance, you can search for “software engineer,” but not refine the term further.


As a company you can leverage Twitter’s social media platform just as you do with Facebook—connect with potential candidates as you build your brand and share important news, company events, job openings, etc.  

Twitter Search makes it easy to find communities of engineers and developers talking shop on Twitter, and those conversations are generally public and searchable. Twitter also has an easy-to-use advanced search function with lots of options, but getting to it isn’t exactly intuitive.

Let’s look again for Java developers. We’ll use a hashtag--#java in the search bar—to make sure our results are tweets where Java is the main topic and not just mentioned as an aside.

On the results page, there’s a pull-down menu with an “advanced search” option where you can search for individual words or exact phrases and hashtags, as well as geographical locations. Just click through to check out individual profiles of twitter users who might be the right candidate for your organization. Not too shabby, eh?

Twitter Profile Search is another useful avenue to follow. From the People tab at the top of Advanced Search results, search terms appear in account profiles. Better yet, try Followerwonk. This website gives you up to 50 searches per day for free, with far more impressive results. Check out this comparison: A Twitter search for the term “javascript” near Seattle yields 37 results. Followerwonk gives 166 (and in a more consumable format).

Twitter Lists are a valuable resource. When viewing someone’s profile, you can see the lists to which they subscribe and belong. You can mine them for other potential candidates who have the skills you need as well. Again, join in on conversations where appropriate and direct message (DM) potential candidates once they’ve started following you.

Kick Your Social Media Recruiting into High Gear with Us!

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are not only a fun place to spend online time, they open doors to new potential candidates when implementing and executing the right strategy.

HireLabs knows social media, and how to optimize its use to find and engage talent, especially if you’re in the market for top engineers. With more than two decades of experience, largely with tech startups, our full-service recruiting services include whatever you need from social media to long-term strategizing to contract negotiations and more. In fact, we support you throughout the entire talent acquisition process. Contact us today to learn more!

Authored by Lisa Offutt, Senior Recruiter