How Staffing and Recruiting Firms Are Using Social Media

This is a guest post by Alison Kenney.

Social media has not only shaken up job-seekers’ lives – it’s also changed the way staffing and recruiting firms operate.  Perhaps you linked to this blog from Twitter, or Facebook.  Do you also interact with recruiters or staffing firms on those social media platforms?

There are two general ways that staffing firms use social media:

  1. To build their brand and position themselves as thought-leaders by passing along news, links to articles, etc that are industry-related
  2. To post open job opportunities

Boston-based temporary staffing firm Hollister is one of the most social media-savvy firms in the industry.  Earlier this year, Hollister partnered with 451 Marketing, a Boston-based new media communications agency, and launched its “Recruiting 2.0” for using social media to recruit candidates.  The effort includes building more than 30 online communities across LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  The communities are for both active and passive job seekers and are organized by profession to mirror Hollister’s service lines, including Accounting and Finance, Administrative, Creative and Marketing, Technology, and Human Resources.

For example, on LinkedIn the Hollister/451 Marketing team manages groups called Boston HR Leaders, Boston Accounting & Finance Professionals, Boston Creative Group and Boston Technology Hub.

On Twitter, Hollister posts job openings with links to longer descriptions on the Hollister web site and provides links to articles with tips for job seekers.  Hollister has several identities on Twitter, including @JobsBoston, @BostonHiring, @BostonTechHub, @AccountingMA, @CreativeBoston and @BostonMarketing.

Hollister also provides content via two different blogs – one for hiring managers ( and one for job seekers (  Hollister uses its social media communities to position clients’ job opportunities and identify more qualified candidates for job openings, including passive seekers who are more likely to engage with a professional community than visit a job board.  Hollister also instructs its recruiters on best practices for creating and using personal accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, enabling them to get a more complete picture of job candidates and build relationships.  According to Hollister’s Director of Marketing, Meg Toland, the communities, which have more than 1,000 members, are a strategic way to break through the clutter of job boards and home in on qualified candidates by using technology to interact more effectively.

Adecco Group NA, part of one of the largest staffing conglomerates in the world, has also built a presence on Twitter.  Its @adeccoGroup, with more than 2,000 followers, tweets insights on the job market and economy, shares links to relevant news and promotes company news or executive opinions.  In addition, Adecco has created separate Twitter identities for promoting job openings in specific fields, e.g. @jobs_accounting, @clerical_job, @jobs_callcenter, @jobs_CS, @jobs_engineers, @jobs_finance, @jobs_healthcare, @jobs_industrial, @job_marketing, @job_scientific, @jobs_operations, @jobs_payroll, @jobs_warehouse, @jobs_technology and @searchandapply (the last is a listing of all Adecco jobs).  Regional Adecco offices also tweet under their own identities and post local job openings.

Staffing firms with the heft of a big brand, like Adecco, or those who are first to act, like Hollister, are staking their claims in social media.  They’ve identified that the way to recruit candidates and promote job openings is by enabling interaction and sharing content via online communities.

Alison Kenney is an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience.  She is based on Boston’s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries.  She can be reached at [email protected].

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