Social Storytelling for Recruitment


As a Social Media Community Manager at Shaker Recruitment Marketing, our team’s job is to engage candidates — both active and passive, as well as current employees — by positively impacting their perception of our clients’ organizations and connecting them with relevant and engaging content. While it might sound simple, it’s a multi-step process that requires strategy, execution, and reporting that are all flexible enough to swiftly respond to change.

So, how do we make it happen? While our approach looks different for each of our clients across a variety of industries, there are consistent themes that ring true when it comes to effective digital recruitment communications.

It’s important to have a strategy to ensure you’re not posting just for the sake of posting. We strive to give candidates an authentic inside look at what it’s really like to work at an organization. It’s not enough to simply share compelling content on occasion — companies must focus on sharing in-depth employee experiences and highlighting their unique employer benefits and values to garner the most engagement from followers, and, most importantly, spark consideration.

These are some of our top insights for companies looking to recruit through social media:

Leverage Video (and Boomerangs/GIFs)

In the highly-saturated, constantly evolving world of social media, it’s important to draw candidates into your feed with thumb-stopping visuals and movement. While photos are more effective than plain text and should be utilized regularly, videos allow you to tell a more compelling full story. Plus, according to Social Media Today, a third of the time people spent online in 2018 was spent watching videos. Keep in mind that videos around 30 seconds are ideal to ensure you keep the viewer’s attention.


Identify Storytelling Opportunities

There are no better advocates for an organization than its employees. Identify members of your team who embody the values that differentiate you. For example, if you’d like to emphasize the professional growth and development opportunities offered by your company, share a quote from an employee who started as an intern and moved up to a leadership position, or share live updates of your HR team at a training conference. The key is to show, not tell.


Leverage Thought Leadership

Share stories from employees across levels and job titles to showcase a variety of opinions and unique experiences. When it comes to senior and other long-term employees, it’s important to tap into their expertise by elevating them as thought leaders. What have they learned during their tenure at your organization and how has it made them experts on the subject? It’s a great opportunity for them and for your brand — that’s a win-win!


Think Outside the Box

Of course, you want your brand to appear professional and polished. But that doesn’t mean you should pass up the opportunity to showcase your company as a fun and engaging place to work. While showing the casual and lighthearted moments can feel risky (after all, you want your employees to work hard), we’ve observed the vast rewards of sharing fun, playful content. Sharing a selfie of your CEO with team members or a casual photo of employees playing ping-pong helps candidates connect with your company on a personal level. This will show them that there’s much more to the opportunities with your organization than just a job — it’s a positive and rewarding career. And don’t reserve this content for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — it’s perfect for LinkedIn!


Hashtags, Branding, and Engagement

Developing branded hashtags encourages your followers to share their own content, which can build even greater awareness of your brand. By creating a two-way dialogue and including employees in branding initiatives, you remove the boxes that professional and personable content live in and combine the two. In addition to leveraging branded hashtags, you can raise awareness of your content among a wider audience by including a few trending or industry-specific hashtags.


Pay Attention to Metrics

The only way to improve engagement is to evaluate what’s performing best. So, next time you see a spike in impressions, use metrics to glean the cause of the increase. It could’ve been that awesome photo of your team volunteering or maybe the short video spotlighting a woman in leadership during Women’s History Month. Whatever the case, these reports can help you measure what content resonates with your audience and what you should continue to develop.


Working in social media management and recruitment — two rapidly changing industries — is full of exciting opportunities. It’s thrilling to work in an industry where we’re doing more than simply posting job listings — we’re helping people tell their stories and write new ones. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to have a conversation. Get in touch with us through the link in the header.

And, stay tuned for Shaker’s insights on diving into paid social and leveraging employees as brand ambassadors.