Over the last decade, social media has become mainstream for recruiters and job applicants. It’s the go to place for jobs. Pew Research reports that 86 percent of job candidates between the ages of 18 and 29 – who represent the majority of today’s job market – use at least one social media site to communicate, socialize, get the latest news, be entertained, and of course, find employment.

An article published in Inc. magazine also reports that 45 percent of job seekers use their mobile devices to search for jobs at least once every day; 54 percent read company reviews from employee on their cell phones, and 52 percent research salary information.

Social media is here to stay, at least for a long while. So, it makes sense that recruiters turn to social networking to recruit, attract or find skilled workers. However, some of the best recruiting strategies are integrated, combining both online and offline tactics.

How to Use Social Media in Your Recruiting

  • Expand your agency’s client offerings

As of last July, LinkedIn ranked No. 1 with 87 percent of HR professionals promoting their jobs on the site compared to 43 percent on facebook, 22 percent on twitter, 11 percent on blogs, and another 17 percent using Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat.

While LinkedIn rules, it creates a highly competitive environment between staffing agencies for talent. Job candidates usually apply for more than one job that’s promoted by recruiters at different agencies.

Providing your clients with a thorough job search process – everything from creative online job ads to in-depth interviews, background checks and drug testing – can help you beat your competition and more importantly, supply your clients with well-screened and well-qualified applicants.

  • Create employer brands that appeal to job candidates

A company’s brand can influence whether people apply or accept a job. Consider that “About 11 percent of job seekers said they would decline a job offer from an employer with a bad reputation–even if they were unemployed.” Likewise, 84 percent of survey participants would consider quitting their job if offered a position by a company with an excellent reputation.

Recruiters can adopt a segmented branding approach and promote the brands online. Does the job require someone who is very experienced or entry-level?  Recognize that what motivates or attracts one group of workers may not appeal to another.

“When you’re talking to a 21 year old who’s about to embark on the first step of their career, the tone needs to be fundamentally different from when you’re talking to someone who is an experienced professional,” states LinkedIn’s blog.

  • Add a layer of personal interaction to the hiring process

After screening online candidates, invite select applicants to a group session. Try something unique – speed interviewing, which is similar to speed dating. Depending upon how many candidates attend, every individual gets one or two minutes to ask each recruiter or company representative questions about the job, pay or benefits, or the employer’s mission, history or culture. You can also flip the process where recruiters or representatives ask questions of candidates.

At the end of the meeting, candidates can then present one fact about the company to the group that they find appealing, which can help recruiters narrow their candidate choices for the job.