The following post was written by Noya Lizor, who was Director of Content at Viola from 2014-2019.

Do you know anyone who isn’t on Facebook or LinkedIn? If you’re like me, then you can probably think of only a few (rebels, the “technologically challenged” or privacy freaks), which means that pretty much the rest of the world (or a significant chunk of it, anyway) is online, and most likely searchable on a social network. But while most of us have some sort of social presence (including businesses who have company pages), when it comes to either looking for work or hunting for fresh talent, some are using social media more effectively than others.

I asked the HR leads at a few of Viola’s portfolio companies to talk about how social media has affected the way they go about recruiting fresh talent, and to share their top tips for using social media effectively either as part of a recruitment strategy (for the benefit of HR professionals) or job hunting efforts (for the benefit of job seekers).

A couple of tips that particularly resonated with me are:

If you’re looking for work (or currently employed): Be conscious of the type of content you’re posting, sharing or “liking” on social media and consider how it might be interpreted by future or current employers.

Although you’re free to do whatever you like with your social profiles, remember that they are also accessible to people (including work colleagues or even bosses that you’ve “connected” with or “friended”), so think twice before posting that “hilarious” photo of you passed-out drunk at a recent party, or sharing something that could be construed as highly controversial or inappropriate. You’re free to do it, but be aware that it might jeopardize either your current or future job opportunities.

If you’re looking for candidates – don’t just post boring, professional stuff on your company pages. When people are actively looking for work and trying to learn about potential employers, many of them turn to social networks to get an idea not only of what the company does, but also to get a feel for what it might be like to work there.

If you’re going to take the trouble of maintaining a company page on Facebook and LinkedIn, don’t just post links to articles, and don’t just talk about your product features. Try to also share items that reflect your company culture so that followers or potential new employees can get a sense of your company’s ‘personality’ and the ‘vibe’ of your work environment. Often this is even more important to job hunters than the links you’ve posted to professional articles. Also, don’t ignore social channels that are mostly visual, like Instagram, for example. Potential job candidates are active on those channels too.

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And now, on to the HR experts:
Click on an expert’s name in the table below to jump straight to their insights & tips for recruiters
Click here to jump to a summary of their tips for job hunters.

Dana Primo

Dana Primo, VP People @ ironSource

Q. How has Social Media influenced hiring practices and what are your best tips for using Social Media effectively to hire new people?
A. Social media has had an incredible impact on how people get hired and look for jobs today, and not just because of LinkedIn.

Any social network – from Facebook to Twitter and Instagram – provides a platform where happy and engaged employees can act as impartial and objective advocates for the company they work for.

A great example of this is ironSource’s recent company trip to Crete. We were thrilled that after the trip the employees posted their own pictures on social media. This not only meant that we had a much larger reach than if we had simply posted them on our own, but more importantly, it strengthened personal, objective voices about the company.

[Editor’s Note:] There are 4 really clever things about this video:
1. The fact that it was produced specifically for the purpose of furthering ironSource’s HR efforts demonstrates true ‘out of the box’ thinking when it comes to attracting potential talent (and millennials in particular). It’s fun, funny and inspiring all at once.

2. The concept for the video – “The Heroes of ironSource” – suggests that every employee has the potential to become a “superhero” at ironSource, and that ironSource is already full of them but searching for another superhero to join the team. It’s a really appealing notion if you’re a job hunter.

3. The last part of the video shows photos of the ironSource team at their recent company holiday trip to Crete. It’s not just the fact that treats of such magnitude exist at ironSource that boost its appeal by a factor of about a thousand, but also the visuals of the staff comradery and enjoyment of one another’s company that make the prospect of working at ironSource so attractive.

4. The team responsible for creating the video included a hashtag in the video’s title (#ironTrip2015), making it instantly social-ready for their staff to share.

Dana’s top tips for using social media to strengthen your HR efforts are:

Create a culture where employees want to share “big news” about your company’s wins on social media. People are much more likely to respond to something that their friends have posted, and we’ve noticed that whenever we post something great about ironSource on social, we often get messages asking about job opportunities.

Our friend-bring-a-friend program also works great on social media, where we help employees share job opportunities with eye-catching, fun and engaging images or videos for them to use when they post. They feel proud of their company, and potential hires respond to that.

Finally, it’s important to remember that these days, many job candidates don’t only check the company’s website to learn about the company and products, but also the company’s social media pages to get a feel for the company’s culture, so social feeds should aim for a balance between content that’s about the company’s products and achievements, and content that reflects the culture of the company.

Get more tips from Dana both for recruiting and job hunting >

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Michal Zeira

Michal Zeira, former HR Director @ SundaySky

Q. How has Social Media influenced hiring practices and what are your best tips for using Social Media effectively to hire new people?
A. The development of social media over the past few years has opened a lot of doors (and new sources of talent) for the recruiting world. Thanks to social media, both recruiters and job seekers can gain greater exposure to people that they could otherwise never have accessed.

As recruiters, we no longer need to rely on networking only with contacts from our closest circles in order to find candidates. Also, unlike before this “revolution”, the employer is now an active participant in the recruiting process.

Michal’s top tips for using social media as part of your HR efforts are:

Identify your target audience, figure out where to best reach them online and engage them with fun and interesting content, not just standard job ads. Many of our job openings are particularly appealing to Millennials, for example, so we recently collaborated with “MaVeze” – an Israeli Gen Y portal (in Hebrew) – on a project where we published content in their Careers section that included not just the expected company intro and job descriptions, but also interviews with employees from the company’s various departments and a gorgeous photo gallery full of photos of our office.

We concentrated on giving readers a taste of the ‘vibe’ at SundaySky because we know that company culture is super important to this particular audience, and this sort of content is far more conducive to inspiring a connection with the reader (plus it’s also more likely to be shared).

Broaden your view of potential candidates beyond the computer screen. By hosting professional events (like meetups, for example) you can invite strategically targeted audiences that allow you to scout for new talent.

Make sure you get good PR in whichever websites your audience is likely to be visiting. The PR should include not only posts about your business and technology, but also about your organizational culture aspects such as work environment, social events, and interviews with members of the team.

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Dafna Michaeli

Daphna Michaeli, VP People & Culture @ Outbrain

Q. How has Social Media influenced hiring practices and what are your best tips for using Social Media effectively to hire new people?
A. The evolution of technology and social media over recent years has completely changed the way in which job seekers and employers interact, impacting mostly on the information that’s available for both candidates and employers to learn about each other. Candidates can find out much more information about employers and job openings than they could in the past, and employers have new avenues for candidate research.

In the past, much of our company branding was done at recruitment fairs or our website’s “careers” pages. Also, we relied a lot on recruitment companies which not only limited the access we had to information about candidates who we’re interested in applying for our jobs (because the selection of candidates presented to us was at the discretion of the headhunters) but it was also very costly.

Thanks to company blogs, branded LinkedIn pages and company “Careers” page twitter handles, we now have a lot more control over the messaging we want to send out into the world and we’re able to reach a much broader audience than before. We’re able to give potential candidates glimpses of what it would be like to work in our companies, share events, updates, celebrations, and blast out possible openings to our networks all over the world.

Now, not only can we place job postings on specialized job sites, but we can utilize social media, blogs, groups and forums to reach potential candidates – both active and passive – rather than wait for candidates to come to us. The viral nature of social media and the ability for content to be shared with people that you don’t even know or have access to, are what make it such an effective channel for finding new talent. We can even reach out to people who aren’t actively looking for a job and really “hunt” for candidates, ensuring that we’re able to find the right person for the right role at the right time.

Searching methodically for potential talent via social media is a big task that can be daunting at times, but we have found it to be well worth our while at Outbrain.

Daphna’s top tip for HR professionals is to master LinkedIn as a recruitment tool.

Make sure that your LinkedIn company page is always up to date with new happenings and insights.

Publish interesting and relevant content on a regular basis both on your company page and on relevant group pages. You will be surprised by the amount of people you can reach this way, and while they might not be looking for a new job right now, they might forward your post along to a friend who is.

A video from Outbrain’s Careers page on LinkedIn featuring Co-founder & CEO Yaron Galai explaining what Outbrain is and how it works.

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Leeyha Laor

Leeyha Laor, former VP HR @ Payoneer

Q. How has Social Media influenced hiring practices and what are your best tips for using Social Media effectively to hire new people?
A. At Payoneer, many of the people who are either most qualified or most interested to fill our open positions are young, dynamic and spend many hours on social networks, blogs, online communities, etc. so this is where we like interacting with them.

80% of our recruitment process is done through social media networks. This type of recruitment has clear advantages, and our staff specializes in recruiting in this way. It saves the company a significant amount of money on recruiting agencies, and also allows us to speed up the recruitment process and cut down on the bureaucracy.

Leeyha’s top tip for using social media to strengthen your HR efforts is:
Speed is critical.
There is a tremendous amount of demand, as well as competition, for talented people. If we want to target top talent online it’s imperative to constantly be on the lookout and move quickly and be ready to move as soon as possible.

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Tips for using social media to look for work

Tips for job hunters on how to best use social media when looking for work:

1. Update your LinkedIn profile so that it’s tailored to your specific job search. One of the best ways to do this is by editing your profile summary so that it includes the industry buzzwords you’d expect recruiters to use when looking for someone for your dream job. (Dana Primo)

2. Remember that your social profiles are searchable, so make sure that they are always “recruiter friendly”, even while you’re still employed. Make sure that you’re constantly updating your LinkedIn profile with rich and engaging content that emphases your skills and professionalism including blog posts and presentations. Not only will this make it easier on you when you do start the job search, but more importantly, it will build a timeline of success for companies looking at you as a potential hire. (Dana Primo)

3. If there’s a specific company you’d like to work at, follow them across all your preferred social media channels. This will keep you updated regarding the company’s activity (which is important for the eventual interview, plus you’ll also see when they post openings. (Dana Primo)

4. Make sure that your social profiles are up to date (especially your LinkedIn profile). You never know who might be looking at your profile or when they might looking at it, and if your profile is up to date and reflects something that they are looking for, it could lead to an interesting job opportunity. (Michal Zeira)

5. Become active – and effective – on Linkedin: (Daphna Michaeli)

Create a strong profile with a professional picture, show your achievements and make sure it includes carefully selected keywords that potential employers may be searching for.

Get recommendations and endorsements to attract recruiters to your LinkedIn profile and to boost your profile higher in search results.

Join groups to connect with new professionals, get more engaged on discussions within your industry, and sign up to get job alerts.

Research your industry and target specific companies you’d love to join. Reconnect with people you know who work for those companies or contact the HR manager at those companies directly (that shows great initiative, which is a trait that recruiters appreciate). 

6. Take responsibility for your online presence. This means keeping your social profiles business appropriate, updating content, and being interactive. (Leeyha Laor)

7. Utilize your social media networks… for networking! If you’re job hunting, don’t be shy about it, let it be known. Use your social media connections to search for a relevant position and at the same time share your professional knowledge with the world. A potential employer will definitely notice your go-getter approach. (Leeyha Laor)

8. Make sure that you are easily contactable and respond promptly to potential employers. Don’t let a great job opportunity slip away just because a potential employer wasn’t able to reach you. If they can’t reach you easily, they’ll just skip on to the next candidate on their list. (Leeyha Laor)

9. Diversify. Make sure you are present in more than one social media network. (Leeyha Laor)

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