how executives can contribution to social recruiting with their online presence

How Executives on Social Media Can Attract Top Talent

What Is Social Recruiting? 


More job applicants than ever before are using online resources and social media in their job search. One study found that 79% of job seekers use social media to look for new opportunities. The majority of job searches these days are done online, so for businesses to effectively engage in social recruiting (also known as social hiring), a social presence is more important than ever before. 

Social recruiting is when companies use social media to tap into this large group of online job seekers by sharing relevant content and appealing directly to potential talent. Social recruiting can include a variety of different processes, such as posting job ads on social media platforms or using social media to learn more about candidates. 

An effective part of social recruiting is leveraging a brand’s internal resources in order to appeal to potential job candidates. One effective way to do this is to incorporate a stronger employee voice on social media. Internal employees can serve as “brand cheerleaders” and a company’s executive is one of the most effective and visible individuals that can engage in social recruiting. In fact, in one survey, 78% of respondents said they preferred working for a brand where executives were active on social media. In this article, we will be focusing on one specific strategy: how a brand’s executive social media presence can be used to attract top talent to the company.



Why authenticity and engagement are important for executives


Simply having an account on LinkedIn or Twitter is not enough. After all, these platforms are called social media for a reason. In a Brandfog survey looking at CEOs that are active on social media, 93% of respondents felt that active social engagement led to better and stronger connections with the company’s investors, employees, and customers.

Research shows there is a high degree of interest from the general public in terms of hearing from top-level executives themselves. While there is the misconception that having a social media presence is not important for top-level executives or that it is too risky, there is a clear benefit for both the executive and the brand.

Audiences want to feel like they understand the brand. By engaging on social media, executives can build credibility and transparency that also extends to the brand they represent.


How Executives can Showcase Authenticity and Engagement


Showing authenticity on social media can be done in a variety of ways. One way to do this is for executives to present a more candid side of themselves that not only gives people a look at their personality but also effectively humanizes the brand. Top-level executives typically appear too far removed from the general public, but social media is an effective way to bring them closer to other people. Once a personable executive presence is established on social media, it often entails a higher degree of engagement. One example of a CEO that excels at using social media to engage with the audience is John Legere. By curating custom content across his social media profiles and showcasing his energetic personality, this translates to the appearance of a more personable executive. It makes him seem like a fun and interesting person to work for; this, in turn, reflects positively on his brand.



Another way to showcase an executive’s authenticity is by being upfront with the people who engage with them, especially when comments are negative. An example of this was when a customer complained to Elon Musk about charging stations always being full because others were leaving their cars idling. Musk responded by empathizing with the individual and, within six days, a new “idle fee” was implemented.


screenshot of customer giving feedback to Elon musk



After the change, Musk was praised for his quick actions and the fact that on social media he not only engages with users that leave positive comments but also those that leave negative feedback as well. 


Why showcasing company features publicly is important


Job seekers want to learn more about a particular company before they apply and executives can use social media to showcase company features to attract top talent. Being transparent about features such as the work culture and career advancement opportunities can make job seekers more interested in the brand.


What Company Features To Portray on Social Media

Executives on social media have options in terms of discussing what their company offers. Some frequently use social media to comment on a wide variety of features their company has, while other executives target one particular company feature they want to highlight. We have included some examples below.

In one LinkedIn study, having a healthy work/life balance was ranked as the third most important factor when candidates accepted a new job. There are executives who are particularly passionate about this topic, such as Jason Fried and Gravity Payments’ CEO Dan Price. When top-level executives are vocal about improving the work environment, this is a positive signal to prospective talent who are equally invested in these issues.

In a study looking at employee engagement, 82% said they would rather receive praise for their work is better than getting a gift. Another feature executives can highlight on social media is employee recognition, which is an important part in creating a more positive workplace environment. This is especially important at larger businesses where prospective employees may feel as if they have no opportunity to stand out.

Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon, is an excellent example of an executive on social media that uses his platform to highlight high-performing employees. On Facebook, he frequently shares positive stories about employees, makes note of their work ethic and dedication, and congratulates individuals on their promotion. 


Lastly, in a survey by Harvard Business Review, one of the biggest reasons why employees leave their current position is to find a new job with better career advancement opportunities. Brands with long-tenured executives will automatically attract this particular type of job seeker. Emphasizing these executives and, simultaneously, their internal career journeys, will show that the company is open to hiring and promoting from within and that there are opportunities for advancement. 


Why Highlighting An Executive’s Values Is Important


One study found that 52% of job seekers want to work for a brand that had similar values as theirs. In another survey, 24% of respondents said they left their previous job because the work culture did not fit with their own values. When a brand’s mission and values align with those of potential top talent, this creates an instant connection that makes prospective employees more invested and interested in the company.



When executives use social media to comment on important social issues, this reflects positively on both the individual and the brand they represent. In one study, researchers found that 56% of respondents said they dislike when CEOs remain silent on important issues happening in society. Social media is an effective way for executives to share their thoughts and connect with people with similar values.


How To Effectively Convey Core Values 

One of the most crucial aspects to keep in mind when executives on social media want to convey a brand’s values is that he or she must remain consistent. It is not enough to retweet or post a few times about a particular issue, but to comment on it on a regular basis. For example, Richard Branson‘s posts are typically centered around having a positive outlook on life, entrepreneurship, and addressing social issues. He has built a reputation of being invested in humanitarian efforts.

With these types of posts, there are a variety of ways executives can respond on social media. For example, they can make a comment as to why the issue is important to them or the wider public, how it has impacted them as an individual, their thoughts on what needs to be changed, and so forth.

Another way to convey an executive or brand’s core value is to make announcements on social media and share it with their audience. Rick Steves certainly did this when he announced he would be placing a carbon tax on his own company. 



When executives comment on social issues, he or she may want to tie it back to their company. Leading by example is also an effective method, such as when Dan Price announced he would be cutting his own salary so that his employees could all get a raise. 


Social Recruiting: An Executive’s Social Media Presence Makes A Difference 

Executives who are waiting to get onto social media platforms risk falling even further behind their peers who are using social effectively. Over 60% of respondents in one survey strongly believe that top-level executives who do not use social media will eventually become less relevant. While getting executives on social media is a time-intensive process that will require future on-going maintenance, statistics prove that it is a worthwhile investment, not only in amplifying the brand, but also in speaking to potential top talent.

Executives can be an integral part of the social hiring process, not necessarily by sharing job postings, but by engaging with their followers and posting relevant content. In LinkedIn’s study, it was found that when executives are active social media, the company was 58% more likely to garner attention from top talent. 


Interested in learning more about executives on social media? Be sure to read our previous article, Branding Your Executive Social Media Presence for Success, and follow Influential Executive on LinkedIn for the latest leadership news!