Social Media Sourcing

Social Media Sourcing: How to Use Social Platforms to Reach Passive Candidates

Published on April 2nd, 2023


Who are passive candidates and why are they so valuable to recruiters?

In simple terms, a passive candidate is someone who is currently employed but open to new job opportunities. These individuals are not actively seeking a new job but may be open to considering new opportunities if they are presented to them.

Passive candidates are often considered to be the hidden gems of recruiting because they are typically high-quality candidates who are already gainfully employed and not actively looking for new job opportunities. This means they are less likely to be inundated with job offers and more likely to consider a new opportunity if it aligns with their career goals and aspirations.

Social media sourcing is an excellent way of connecting with these candidates and securing them for your company. This is because the focus is not to find a pool of candidates looking for employment but to build relationships with high quality candidates who would choose to shift to the company from their current organization or company due to opportunities for career advancement or a better working environment. Therefore conventional means such as recruitment agencies cannot help in this regard. Social media sourcing is helpful as many of the best practices for hiring on these platforms also end up helping passive candidates find your company.

In this blog we will be exploring some of these best practices and highlight the ways to source candidates from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as they are the most popular platforms with features that can assist you in your hiring endeavors.


With over 2.93 billion monthly active users, Facebook is an avenue for social media sourcing that provides an excellent opportunity to source candidates for your job openings.

How to source candidates on Facebook?

1. Create an attractive Facebook Profile

When you begin sourcing candidates on Facebook, it's essential to optimize your Facebook profile. A professional profile is vital in this regard, conveyed through an accurate bio that reflects your role as a recruiter and your company's mission and values. This will make it easier for candidates to find and connect with you on Facebook.

2. Join Facebook Groups

One of the most effective ways for social media sourcing of passive candidates on Facebook is through groups. There are many groups on Facebook that cater to different industries and job functions. Facebook groups provide a platform for professionals to connect and discuss industry-related topics. Joining relevant groups can give you access to a large pool of potential passive candidates, and establish relationships to utilize when job openings become available . Once you've joined a group, engage with its members by sharing job postings, answering questions, and providing insights into your company and industry.

Use Facebook's search bar to search for groups related to your industry, location, or job function. For example, if you're looking for a software engineer in New York, search for groups like "Software Engineers of New York" or "Software Engineers US."

3. Utilize Facebook Job Board

Facebook also has a job board that recruiters can use to post job openings and source candidates. Facebook Job Boards also let you post job openings, view applications, and communicate with candidates.

When posting a job opening, make sure to include detailed information about the job requirements and responsibilities. Also, add relevant keywords to make it easier for candidates to find your job posting. You can also boost your job posting so that it reaches a broader audience.

4. Search for candidates

Social media sourcing on Facebook requires you to find the relevant keywords related to the job opening and search accordingly. You can also use Facebook's advanced search options to filter your search results further.

How do you engage with candidates on Facebook?

Once you find potential candidates, engage with them by sending them a message or commenting on their posts. When directly reaching out to candidates, a great tip is to personalize your outreach message. Mention their skills and experience to show that you have taken the time to research their profile and are genuinely interested in them as a candidate.

  • Use Facebook Messenger
    Facebook Messenger provides a convenient way to communicate with candidates. You can use Facebook Messenger to schedule interviews, send follow-up messages, and answer any questions candidates may have about the job opening. At the same time, it's important to use Messenger responsibly and avoid spamming users with unsolicited messages while being respectful of users' time and privacy.


Twitter is a platform that can help recruiters connect with top talent and source candidates. With over 330 million active users, Twitter provides an excellent opportunity to find passive candidates and engage with them.

How to source candidates on Twitter?

1. Use Hashtags to find relevant candidates

Hashtags are extremely prevalent on Twitter and are an excellent method of refining your search for candidates on Twitter. Using relevant hashtags related to your industry, job function, or location is vital when sourcing candidates on Twitter. For those new to the platform it is possible to use tools to find popular hashtags related to your industry or job function.

For example, if you're looking for a marketing manager, you can search for hashtags like #marketing or #digitalmarketing. By using these hashtags, you can find potential candidates who are already discussing relevant topics on Twitter.

2. Monitor conversations

Twitter is a platform where people share their thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics. By monitoring conversations related to your industry or job function, you can identify potential candidates who are actively discussing relevant topics. To achieve this use Twitter's search bar to search for keywords related to your industry or job function. It is also beneficial to use software and tools that allow you to monitor relevant conversations in real-time.

3. Engagement with candidates on Twitter

Once you find potential or passive candidates, engage with them by following them, retweeting their posts, and commenting on their tweets. This will help establish a relationship and make them more likely to consider your job opening.

It is important to ensure that your engagement is professional and respectful. Avoid sending unwarranted direct messages or bombarding the same candidates with job openings.

4. Twitter Advanced Search for social media sourcing

Twitter's advanced search feature works much like Facebook’s and allows you to filter your search results based on specific criteria. This can help you find candidates based on their location, job title, keywords, hashtags or other relevant criteria.

5. Use Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are a powerful tool that can help you organize potential candidates and stay updated on their activity. Therefore you can track potential and passive candidates and keep note of when they express their professional goals and desire to find more lucrative opportunities.


LinkedIn is the world's largest professional networking site, with over 740 million members in over 200 countries. It is the go-to platform for recruiters to source potential candidates, with 94% of recruiters using LinkedIn to find candidates.

How to source candidates on LinkedIn?

1. Use Advanced Search to find relevant candidates

LinkedIn's Advanced Search feature is the most extensive of all social media platforms. It allows you to search for potential candidates based on specific criteria, including job title, location, industry, and more. You can also filter your search results based on years of experience, education, and language.

Boolean search is a powerful technique that allows you to refine your search results based on specific keywords and phrases. By using Boolean search, you can search for multiple keywords and phrases at once, making your search more efficient and effective when social media sourcing on LinkedIn.

To illustrate, let's say you're looking for a software engineer with experience in SQL. In this case the Boolean search string would be written as: "software engineer" AND SQL.

3. Join LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are a great way to connect with potential candidates who are already engaged in relevant conversations. Find LinkedIn Groups related to your industry or job function to connect with potential candidates and stay updated on industry news and trends.

4. Engage with potential candidates

Once you find potential candidates, engage with them by sending a message or connection request. Personalize your message to make it relevant to the candidate's skills and experience. Avoid sending generic messages or connection requests that don't provide any context as they are more likely to be flagged as spam or irrelevant by the candidate.

You can also engage with potential candidates by commenting on their posts or sharing relevant content.

5. Use LinkedIn Recruiter

LinkedIn Recruiter is a powerful tool that allows recruiters to find and connect with potential candidates on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn Recruiter, you can search for candidates based on specific criteria, send messages, and track your recruiting metrics.

To use LinkedIn Recruiter, you will need to purchase a subscription. LinkedIn Recruiter is a paid tool, but it can be a powerful investment for recruiters looking to source top talent on LinkedIn.

So what are the best practices for Social Media Sourcing?

  • Use Keywords and Hashtags: When searching for passive candidates on social media platforms, use relevant keywords and hashtags related to the job opening.

  • Engage with candidates: Engagement with candidates through social media platforms varies depending on the platform, its unique features and its demographic. For Facebook it is liking, commenting, and sharing posts, whereas for Twitter it is done via tweets, retweets, etc. Active research on the platform is needed to optimize engagement for social media sourcing.

  • Showcase your company culture and build your employer brand: Use social media platforms to showcase your company culture and values. Share posts that highlight your company's mission, vision, and work culture. This will help attract passive candidates who are looking for a company that aligns with their values. At the same time build a strong employer brand to attract people to your company as an ideal place to work.

  • Leverage employee advocacy: Encourage your employees to share job openings on their social media profiles. This will help reach a wider pool of candidates and increase the visibility of your job openings.

  • Personalize your outreach: When reaching out to passive candidates, personalize your outreach. Mention their skills, experience, and interests to show that you have taken the time to research their profile and are genuinely interested in them as a candidate.

  • Use paid advertising: Social media sourcing can be boosted by using paid advertising on different platforms to target passive candidates. Paid advertising allows you to target candidates based on their job title, location, interests, and other demographics. Each social media platform offers its own set of benefits and demographics . Twitter ads provide an excellent opportunity to target candidates based on their interests, job titles, and other demographics. You can also select your ad campaign objective and set your targeting criteria. Twitter ads also let you set your budget and schedule for your ad campaign. This is also offered by both LinkedIn and Facebook with similar features.

  • Stay professional: While social media platforms provide an opportunity to engage with candidates in a more casual setting, it's essential to maintain a professional tone. Ensure that your outreach messages and comments are professional and respectful.

We can help you source and assess candidates with ease!

We at HireQuotient understand the importance and need for effective candidate sourcing. With access to over 600 million candidate profiles across the globe and a concise pre-screening procedure, HireQuotient can help you finish your candidate sourcing in days rather than weeks with the use of automation. Utilize our job description builder to quickly create the ideal job description when you decide to hire candidates and access and communicate with HireQuotient’s vast pool of candidates via our targeted mass outreach procedures. This has saved over 70,000 hours for recruiters and with our pre screening you can sort out candidates and find the ideal candidate in under 5 minutes!

HireQuotient integrates with social media sourcing on LinkedIn through our new product EasySource, which allows you to sort between the multitude of candidates available on LinkedIn based on the categories that are important to you. Systematically filter candidates based on the job title or location of the work to quickly obtain candidates that are needed on short notice. Get a list of candidates sorted according to the relevant experience, skills or education demanded of the job or role in question. We also make it possible to filter candidates based on the industry, course and authorization for work in the US. Therefore you get access to an immense pool of candidates, boiled down to the ideal candidates for your needs.

HireQuotient also provides an entire plethora of skill assessments that you can employ in gauging the skill of your employees. Our repository is constantly updated with the latest industry relevant tests and assessments pertaining to all non-tech related positions. The questions are created by dedicated subject matter experts in the relevant industries and are categorized based on the difficulty levels so that you can effectively assess the candidate you choose to hire.

All of this is available in a few clicks of your mouse, so check out the company website to book a demo or get on a call with our experts here at HireQuotient to learn how we can help you integrate LinkedIn sourcing in your hiring practices, assess and hire candidates of all roles for your company.



Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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