Using Social Media for Hiring? Check Out These Three Companies with Winning Strategies

As digital users migrate from desktops to mobile devices and social media, they change the way companies do talent acquisition for hiring.
Using Social Media for Hiring? Check Out These Three Companies with Winning Strategies
Itamar Gero

Glassdoor reports that 58% of its users actively look for jobs through their phones, surpassing the number of applicants using desktops. In fact, 35% say they prefer to apply through these small screens. Because they’re glued to their phones, job seekers are bound to look for jobs on social media — often successfully. Seventy-three percent of recruits between 18–34 years old found their last job from social accounts.

As much as 84% of organizations use social media for hiring, while 9% plan to use it in the future.

In response, companies leverage these platforms to attract talent. In sum, you have a lot of competition for talent in mobile.

It’s no longer a question of whether you should use social media — it’s a matter of how you use it to the fullest to stand out from other employers. Attractive compensation and advanced recruitment automation software are not enough. It’s how you introduce your employee brand to digital job seekers.

So if you’re planning to use social media to hire, take cues from these three companies that are at the top of the mobile recruitment game. Find out how they leverage mobile technologies to their advantage.


UPS is a global brand, which means it needs the wide reach of social media platforms. In 2009, it hired 19 candidates through social media. In 2013, the figure ballooned to 24,475. By 2014, the company welcomed about 30,000 new hires from the digital space.

Before jumping into social media hiring strategies, the brand looked into the audience they wanted to attract. Its goal was to bring in more Millennial workers into the fold. It also wanted to reach out to the oldest members of Gen Z. During that time, UPS relied only on search engine marketing and online job boards, but they did not deliver the volume and quality of talents the company hoped.

Because the young age groups adopt social media at an incredible rate, UPS decided to go mobile. So in 2009, UPS launched its mobile recruitment strategy, which expanded and diversified its workforce.

Takeaway 1: Be Mobile-Friendly

The first thing that UPS did was to make its career website mobile-friendly. This allowed job seekers — especially those in the younger age groups — to search and apply for positions using handheld devices. By 2012, the entire application process was mobile-friendly.

By investing in its mobile-friendliness, UPS was able to capture talent who use their phones to look for vacancies. It recorded a higher rate of candidates completing the application process and making it to the interview stage.

Apart from expanding a candidate pool, a mobile-friendly careers page can lead to:

  • Better Chances of Ranking — Search engines prefer sites that are mobile-friendly. Google and other major players recognize that users prefer small screens, which is why they reward mobile-friendly sites with higher rankings.
  • Improved Applicant Experience — Candidates — especially promising ones with lots of options — don’t just assess the compensation package and opportunities for advancement within the organization. They also evaluate the applicant experience in choosing their preferred company.
  • An easy, mobile-friendly application process gives UPS a competitive advantage.

Takeaway 2: Tell Your Story to Build Relationships

For UPS, it’s not enough to go mobile; it has to use social media to showcase what makes it different. So, it uses its accounts to tell the brand’s story and show its employment value proposition.

UPS’ social presence covers LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, using different techniques to capture the followers:

  • Show a Day in the Life — UPS boasts several 60- to 90-second videos that demonstrate a day in the life of different employees. These effectively show how productive a recruit would be at UPS. Take this 3-minute “Women In Transportation” video for example. It narrates the experience of several female employees in different areas of expertise and shows the possibility of successful career advancement.
  • Target Diverse Audiences — Since UPS is a global brand, it produces videos in different languages. Its YouTube account features videos in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, and more.
  • Harvest Data — Since UPS has launched its social media campaigns, it monitors important metrics for the UPS jobs handles. For example, employers found out that Tuesday afternoons are a popular time when followers check the company profile, so they plan their posts accordingly.


Over 1.3 million people have liked the Marriott’s Facebook career page, showing its wide and powerful reach. It has grown tremendously since 2012 when, according to its About section, the page only had 40,000 followers.

Two things set the Marriott page apart from other hotel and food and beverage chains: clear information and engaging posts.

Takeaway 1: Clear, Concise Information

Put yourself in the shoes of somebody who wants to apply for a job at a hotel. You discover Marriott’s page either through ads or shares, go to the page, and quickly skim the posts.

Several questions arise: What positions are open? How do I apply?

Here’s where Marriott nails it: the page contains vital FAQ answers in its “About” page. It has the:

  • Complete mission statement
  • Company address
  • Company overview

All these can help a job seeker get to know Marriott more.

Moreover, the “About” section provided a link to their official careers page, where the candidate can search and apply for jobs for all of Marriott’s 30 brands. If the job seeker wants to be part of the candidate pool (in case a relevant position opens), there’s a link that leads them to Marriott’s “Stay in Touch” Page.

It even offers Application Tips under the Community Guidelines section — proof that Marriott looks out for candidates even before they get hired.

Takeaway 2: Engaging Posts

Another winning strategy by Marriott is that it never fails to post fresh, engaging content. You’ll notice that all its posts are tailored to a job-seeking audience because it:

  • Features Employees — The page is rich with personalities working for the hotel chain. The company shows that they appreciate their employees, which can be a deciding factor for some applicants. Moreover, it demonstrates how fulfilling it is to work for Marriott.
  • Joins Relevant Workplace Conversations — The Marriott finds a way to integrate trending conversations into its posts. For instance, for Women’s History Month, it featured exceptional female workers under the hashtag #WomenOfMarriott.
  • Dispenses Practical Advice — There are several videos where Marriott’s star employees provide tips for career success, which will surely pique the attention of potential applicants.

Home Depot

Home Depot recognizes that mobile is a gold mine for promising talent. In 2018, the brand needed to fill 80,000 temporary positions in preparation for the home improvement and gardening industry in full swing. After extensive market research, Home Depot found out that a long and tedious process prevented candidates from completing the application.

In response, they established a mechanism where people can express interest in applying via a text. The candidates will then receive vacancies based on their location. This increased the number of applicants by 50%. The system also allowed people to complete pre-screening and book an interview slot via their smartphones.

Home Depot also looked into social media strategies, which to this day, expands its workforce efficiently.

Takeaway: Excellent Responses

Even though they’re not customers, applicants deserve quick responses, too. Home Depot strongly holds on to this belief: each inquiry is answered quickly and personally by its hiring team.

By providing information that the applicants need, the brand elevates the candidate experience, which ultimately gives them an advantage over other employers.

  • Quick Answers — It’s not uncommon for social media job seekers to abandon and forget the inquiries they’ve made. Home Depot believes that it’s part of its job to respond quickly to their questions.
  • This goes beyond direct messages; this covers comments, too. By keeping up with the comments, Home Depot keeps candidates engaged and interested. An enthusiastic careers page keeps its followers motivated to apply.
  • Transparency in Application — One of the biggest communication gaps in application is the absence of notifications. Some candidates are neither updated nor informed of the status of their application. Home Depot takes care not to fall into this black hole. Its Facebook page has a lot of posts from candidates regarding application status, and nearly all have been answered.
  • Just like timely replies, being transparent with applications is key to motivating candidates to choose Home Depot as their employer.

Get started on your winning recruiting strategy

These brands show how powerful social media is in capturing recruits. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. After attracting talent, you’ll have to manage them to keep them engaged and interested.

Social media will bring you a wealth of applicants. You’ll need effective tools to filter the qualified individuals and select the best ones from the lot, like a pre-interview survey upon application. Services like QuickRef could also help you separate the wheat from the chaff, or you could also opt to list your jobs on localised listings like Get Remote (a jobs listing for South African remote work).

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