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Develop a Social Media Plan for HR

Put the social back in social media − build stakeholder partnerships to effectively reach talent.

  • Social media is typically owned by Marketing or Communications rather than HR, but without HR’s involvement content creation can become misaligned with the employee value proposition.
  • HR sometimes lacks the resources, competencies, or mandate to actively drive social media use.

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Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • HR shouldn’t go at it alone. Partnership with other stakeholders − Marketing, Communications, hiring managers, and employees − is key to success on social media.

Impact and Result

  • HR should focus on a social media strategy that allows them to promote and build the employer brand, plan to actively source potential candidates, and eventually leverage the power of employee ambassadors on social media.
  • To effectively do so, HR needs to identify and partner with current social media owners and learn the necessary competencies to harness this powerful tool.

Develop a Social Media Plan for HR Research & Tools

2. Optimize the employer brand on social media

Assess current social media usage to determine how HR should get involved and develop guidelines on content creation.

3. Create a social media sourcing and direct outreach plan

Prioritize roles to fill and work with talent acquisition specialists to integrate social media into the sourcing process.

4. Evaluate metrics and refine your approach

Evaluate against identified metrics using each platform’s analytics tools and identify areas for future investment.

Master Social Media

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How to complete this course:

Use these videos, along with the Project Blueprint deck above, to gain an understanding of the subject. Start with the Introduction, then move through each of the Course Modules. At the end of each Module, you will be required to complete a short test to demonstrate your understanding. You will complete this course when you have completed all of the course tests.

  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Learning Outcome

Identify short-, medium-, and long-term goals of a social media strategy, define HR’s role in social media for recruiting and employer branding, engage in social media content creation, and evaluate social media metrics to refine efforts.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Identify short-, medium-, and long-term goals for HR’s social media efforts and determine metrics to assess these efforts.
  • Identify HR’s role in organizational social media.
  • Understand the competitor social media landscape.
  • Develop guidelines for how to create social media content.
  • Evaluate social media efforts against identified metrics.
  • Predict areas for future investment for long-term social media success.

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Course Modules

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Module 4

Develop a Social Media Plan for HR

Put the social back in social media − build stakeholder partnerships to effectively reach talent.

Executive Summary

McLean & Company Insight

HR shouldn’t go it alone. Partnership with other stakeholders − Marketing, Communications, hiring managers, and employees − is key to success on social media.


  • The world is on social media. Candidates are now highly informed consumers who use social media to learn about the organization and its culture.
  • HR needs to actively participate in social media to ensure the consistent communication of the employee value proposition (EVP) and employee-centric content.
  • Social media is a powerful tool that allows talent acquisition specialists (TASs) to target and reach hard-to-find candidates.


  • Social media is typically owned by Marketing or Communications rather than HR, but without HR’s involvement content creation can become misaligned with the EVP.
  • HR sometimes lacks the resources, competencies, or mandate to actively drive social media use.


  • HR should focus on a social media strategy that allows them to promote and build the employer brand, plan to actively source potential candidates, and eventually leverage the power of employee ambassadors on social media.
  • To effectively do so, HR needs to identify and partner with current social media owners and learn the necessary competencies to harness this powerful tool.

HR cannot afford to ignore social media

91% of employers use social media for recruitment and 99% of employers believe brand management on social media is crucial for attracting top talent (CareerArc, 2019).

Social media is different from other communication channels because conversations can be initiated and sustained completely in your absence – candidates are talking about your industry, your competitors, and your organization. That conversation will continue even if you’re not there to respond.

Choosing to ignore social media is not an option.

Social media has staying power, and it’s constantly evolving. Companies need to be refining and optimizing their social media strategies rather than waiting and seeing.

Social media conversations may not be under your direct control, but they can be under your influence:

  • If you want to know what people are saying about you, start listening.
  • If you want to guide what people are saying about you, start engaging.

Social media by the numbers:

  • On YouTube, people watch around 1 billion hours of video every day (YouTube, 2020).
  • LinkedIn has more than 700 million members worldwide and 14 million job postings (LinkedIn, 2020).
  • About 2.6 billion users visit Facebook each month (Clement, 2020).
  • Approximately 500 million tweets are posted on Twitter every day (Sayce, 2020).

“Of course social media is scary for companies. You know what else used to be scary?
Email. Fax. Telephone. Elevators. Witches.”
(Tweet by @Jaybaer, Social Media Strategist)

Social media is increasingly being used for recruitment and employer branding

Social media is a vital means of communicating and promoting your employer brand along with competing in an increasingly competitive recruiting environment.

The use of social media continues to trend upward

Organizations plan to increase their spend, focus, and use of social media to promote their employer brand.

  • Spending on social media advertising alone is expected to grow 6.5% annually in the next five years (Statista, 2020).
  • Increasing brand awareness is the top priority for social media for 70% of marketers (Sprout Social, 2020).
  • 59% of social marketers use social media to drive sales goals and generate leads (Sprout Social, 2019).
Percent of organizations using social media for: Change year over year:








Employer branding


(McLean & Company, HR Trends Survey 2018; N=337-405)

Effective social media use by HR boosts employer branding and recruiting

Targeted social sourcing boosts recruiting success because it increases:

Access to passive candidates
  • 80% of employers use social media to access passive candidates (Betterteam, 2020).
Cost savings
  • Companies using strategic recruitment, including marketing on social media, see upwards of a 20% cost reduction in the overall hiring process (Chertok, 2018).
Recruiting effectiveness
  • McLean & Company’s HR Trends Survey 2018 found that use of social media was associated with better sourcing and talent acquisition (TA) effectiveness (N=353).

Candidates interact with the employer brand in their job search:

  • 51% of job seekers use social networking sites to search for jobs (Glassdoor, 2020), and 68% of millennial job seekers use social media to learn about an employer’s brand (CareerArc, 2018).
  • 75% of job seekers consider employer brand before even starting a job application (LinkedIn, 2019), and 55% of job seekers have discarded an application after finding negative reviews on social media (CareerArc, 2019).

Social media allows organizations to:

  • Access millions of candidates at low cost.
  • Increase the visibility of job openings, allowing HR to attract active and passive candidates who don’t necessarily know about the organization.
  • Tap extended networks for candidates with desired skill sets that would not be found otherwise.
  • Build better relationships with passive candidates and those in the talent pool.
  • Provide an improved candidate experience.
  • Access and analyze data that can be used to improve recruiting efforts.

Social media use is increasingly strategic and has changed HR’s job

Social media has changed HR’s job…

  • Many falsely believe social media is a Marketing or IT responsibility and that policies and appropriate use of social media are HR’s only responsibility.
  • Organizations are increasingly including social media in their strategic plans for recruitment and learning & development and to influence organizational culture and change. There is great opportunity for HR to leverage social media for the organization’s benefit.

…and HR needs to need to upskill to meet that demand.

  • Social media hasn’t traditionally been owned by HR. As a result, HR departments often lack the social media skills and know-how to plan and build an effective social media presence. Unless they master these skills, they risk being left behind.

The good news? HR has an opportunity to upskill and leverage social media to drive organizational results. An effective TA process, including online brand promotion, is strongly related to overall HR effectiveness and efficiency (McLean & Company, HR Trends Survey 2020; N=838).

“A lot of companies go out and find social media people, who might not know anything about recruiting. They bring their branding know-how to the employer side, which can work to a certain degree, but employer branding can go much deeper.” (Larry Kihlstadius, Solutions Czar, KinetixHR)

Pairing HR’s EVP knowledge with social media skills is the best approach

HR stewards the employee value proposition (EVP).

Leaving HR-related content in the hands of someone else can prove dangerous if they misrepresent the EVP. HR’s participation in social media ensures that employee-related content is accurate and representative.

Social media is traditionally owned by other departments:

Marketing, Communications, or a dedicated social team.

HR should partner with these departments to learn existing processes, avoid off-brand inconsistencies or duplication of work, and master valuable social media skills.

  • Social media is all about engaging with and adding value to an online community, which are also two of the biggest challenges of using social media.
  • Pairing HR’s EVP knowledge with social media skills and know-how from outside of HR is the best approach.
  • While Marketing may excel in content creation and creating customer leads, they aren’t as well-versed in creating and conveying the employee experience.

The bottom line? HR needs to hone its skills and lend its voice to social media.

“Ironically, marketing departments have the expertise that talent attraction professionals require to build effective social media programs, but little collaboration exists between HR and Marketing to help facilitate learning.” (Universum, “2020 Outlook: The Future of Employer Branding Part Four: Using Social Media for Talent Attraction”)

Social media strategy should both create talent communities and source candidates

The aspects of the HR function’s social media strategy are:

  • Employer Branding Employer branding allows HR to create online talent communities filled with passive candidates who have expressed an interest in your organization. HR can use social media to build awareness of the organization’s employer brand, attract potential candidates, and create a talent community.
  • Social Media Sourcing Social media sourcing allows your organization to use powerful and readily available tools and take an active role to find and reach the talent it needs. In addition, many potential candidates use social media, giving your organization access to a large talent pool.

This blueprint will address the two foundational aspects of a social media strategy: employer branding and a social media sourcing plan.

Employee Ambassador Programs

For more information on employee ambassador programs, refer to McLean & Company’s Develop an Employee Ambassador Program blueprint.

Use McLean & Company’s four-step process to master social media skills for HR

1. Determine Social Media Direction and Set Goals

2. Optimize the Employer Brand on Social Media

3. Create a Social Media Sourcing and Direct Outreach Plan

4. Evaluate Metrics and Refine Your Approach

If you are new to social media, see McLean & Company’s Social Media Primer.

This tool provides information on popular platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Glassdoor), background on social media management platforms (SMMPs), and information on alternate and emerging platforms.

Step 1

Determine Social Media Direction and Set Goals

1. Determine Social Media Direction and Set Goals

2. Optimize the Employer Brand on Social Media
3. Create a Social Media Sourcing and Direct Outreach Plan4. Evaluate Metrics and Refine Your Approach

After completing this step you will have:

  • Identified short-, medium-, and long-term goals for HR’s social media efforts.
  • Determined metrics to assess efforts against.

Identify internal social media resources and processes

Social media is rarely, if ever, owned by HR.

  • Identify who owns your organizational social media accounts and arrange to meet with them. Generally, social media is owned by Marketing, Corporate Communications, or a dedicated social media or community management team.
  • In this meeting, understand what social media your organization currently runs, what the overall organizational approach to social media or social media strategy is, and how HR can best get involved.
  • Partnering with other teams will allow you to gain additional expertise in social media while being able to inform and craft HR-related or employee-specific content that those who own the platform might not be well-versed in.
  • Once you have met with your social media liaison, ensure you understand your organization’s current practice or approach to posting content.
  • Clarify what platforms your organization uses, whether your organization uses a social media management platform, who is responsible for posting, and who is responsible for responding to interactions.
  • Use the HR Process Mapping Template to visualize your processes.

Identify your social media purpose and goals

Understand how social media fits with your department’s priorities and audience demographics and establish a plan for using social media platforms to reach specific organizational objectives.

Below are some guiding questions for determining social media goals.

Ask yourself:

  • Why did we decide to start using social media?
  • What is our objective(s) for using social media?
  • Do we just have general goals, like “grow the workforce”?
  • Do we have goals beyond simply making hires? Such as:
    • Build the employer brand.
    • Drive more relevant candidates to the corporate careers page.
    • Make candidates in our sector more receptive to receiving recruiting calls from our organization.
    • Increase the number of referral hires.
  • Do we have time-bound goals: next month, quarter, year, and beyond?
  • Is there a vision for the social strategy a year from now?

Answers to these questions will determine which social media activities you do and which don’t make sense for you to do.

These answers will also help you know how you can evaluate the results of your social media efforts (i.e. which metrics are most appropriate).

Quantity versus quality:

Some social media platforms expose you to a greater audience, whereas others provide you with a smaller, targeted, but higher quality audience.

Whether you want quantity or quality depends on the organization’s goals.

Record your social media goals in Section 1 of the HR Social Media Plan.
Use the guiding statements in the tool to review previous social media efforts.

Set goals for different time spans, from weekly to yearly

Setting goals for varying time periods will help you continuously monitor and manage your social media efforts and ensure that they are delivering what you want today, tomorrow, and a year from now.


Set goals for different time spans: long-term (one year), mid-term (quarterly), and short-term (weekly to monthly).


Social media changes fast, and your goals must reflect that quick pace. Setting goals for varying ranges of time will help you continually monitor the success of your efforts and allow you to change your goals along the way.


  1. Determine the goal thresholds that are appropriate for your organization.
    • What is the ideal time frame for long-term goals? You should set yearly and quarterly goals.
    • What is the ideal time frame for short-term goals? Monthly? Weekly?
    • How often should you measure?
    • Set milestone dates for when you will evaluate progress toward goals.
  2. Use the SMART model for goals.
    • Start with long-term goals and drill down from there.
    • See the next slide for an example of how to drill down on long-term goals to establish short-term goals.


  • Specific: Focused description of what and why
  • Measurable: Progress can be seen
  • Achievable: Within reach
  • Relevant: Applicable to the job or organization
  • Timed: Limited to a specific time frame

McLean & Company

To be successful with social media, you need to think more like marketers and salespeople. Setting goals for varying ranges of time is a hallmark of successful sales organizations. Goals are critical for HR social media too!

Drill down on long-term goals to establish short-term goals

Work backwards to move forwards

A simplified example of short-term goal extraction:

Increase applicants by 25% by end of the year. Increase applicants by 10% by first quarter. Long-term goals
  • Set annually and quarterly.
  • Should be aligned with your organizational goals.
  • Identify a few main goals; a long list is not realistic.
Social Media Participation:
Increase reach.
Employer Brand:
Increase brand awareness.
Professional Development:
Increase TAS personal brands.
  • Set annually, revisit quarterly.
  • The achievement of your goals will be driven by strategies.
Identify new platforms to use for recruiting. Identify content to promote EVP. Create and maintain profile on LinkedIn. Short-term goals
  • Set monthly, weekly, daily.
  • Follow the SMART model for setting these goals.
  • Time-box to contain efforts and achieve these goals.
Create a Twitter account for recruiting. Share content to promote EVP one or two times per day per platform. Post on LinkedIn once daily; spend one hour on group discussions per week.

Select metrics based on SMART social media goals

Sample SMART social media goals Sample metrics
Decrease recruitment costs
Decrease the average direct costs for external hiring by 5% by December 31, 2021.
  • External cost per hire
  • Total external hiring costs / external recruits
Decrease average time to fill
Decrease the average number of days from when the hiring requisition is issued to when an external candidate accepts the position by 5% by December 31, 2021.
  • Average external time to fill
  • External days to fill / external recruits
  • Time to hire
Reduce new hire employee turnover (i.e. increase employee retention)
Reduce voluntary turnover of employees in their first year at the organization by 5% by December 31, 2021.
  • First-year voluntary turnover rate
  • Resignations within 1 year of service / headcount 1 year or less of service
  • Cost of turnover
Increase recruitment source rate in selected platform(s)
Increase in hires from selected social media platform(s) by 10% by December 31, 2021.
  • Recruitment source rate
  • Rate of hires from each recruitment medium or platform

Record and track metrics using McLean & Company’s HR Scorecard. For additional metrics, see the HR Metrics Library.

Supplement with valuable social media metrics to continuously improve your social presence

Record and analyze data from your social media accounts so that you can continuously improve your presence. We will cover metrics in Step 4, but make sure you set baseline metrics at the beginning of the project and record account analytics at appropriate intervals throughout.

  • Identify if you track your total reach by monitoring the number of followers, friends, fans, or page likes.
  • Do you measure social conversions by tracking the total number of clickthroughs to the corporate website from your account(s)?
  • Do you monitor your social media presence or that of your competitors? Tools such as Social Mention, BuzzSumo, and Hootsuite allow you to track social media and compare social data, including reach.
  • Identify if you leverage technology to track your social media metrics (such as Google Analytics, SMMP, CRM suite) and/or the analytics reported on social media sites.
  • Are social media activities part of talent acquisition specialists’ evaluations?

Use metrics to determine how engaged your audience is, including:

  • Facebook
    • Likes, comments, or shares of a page/post
    • Event responses
    • Page mentions
    • Photo tags
  • LinkedIn
    • Connection requests
    • Inbox messages
    • Post likes and shares
    • InMail acceptance rate
  • Instagram
    • Likes, comments, or shares of a page
    • Direct messages
    • Hashtags
    • Follows
  • Twitter
    • Tweets directly from content
    • Retweets
    • Favorites
    • Replies
    • Hashtags
    • Direct messages
  • YouTube
    • Video likes and comments
    • Video shares
    • Embeds
  • Blogs
    • Shares
    • Page hits

You will be recording account analytics (including the ones suggested above) in tabs 2 and 3 of the Social Media Metrics Tracking Tool. Make sure you are consistently reporting account analytics as you work through this project.

Step 2

Optimize the Employer Brand on Social Media

1. Determine Social Media Direction and Set Goals

2. Optimize the Employer Brand on Social Media

3. Create a Social Media Sourcing and Direct Outreach Plan4. Evaluate Metrics and Refine Your Approach

After completing this step you will have:

  • Identified how social media is currently being used by your organization and determined how best to get HR involved.
  • Developed guidelines for how to create social media content.

Assess your current social media activity and that of your competitors

Map out your organization’s social media footprint and determine where to compete and how to differentiate. Use the directions below to fill out Section 2 of the HR Social Media Plan.

Our organization

  1. Assess organizational social media efforts
    Search for and record all of your organization’s social media platforms.
    Note: Other departments who are active on social media platforms may have already gone through a social media audit exercise. If this is the case, ask them for this information.
  2. Determine HR’s involvement
    Look at each platform and record whether there is an HR presence or if the content features career-related topics.
  3. Ensure EVP alignment
    If a platform features career-related content, note whether messaging in these platforms is aligned with your organization’s employee value proposition.

Conduct an audit of existing social media activity in Section 2.1 of the HR Social Media Plan.

Our competitors

  1. List known competitors and uncover unknown competitors
    Identify which organizations you compete with for talent. Start by listing the competitors you know of, then dig deeper – use keywords to research organizations you compete with that might not come to mind.
  2. Analyze their social media presence
    Observe competitor platforms and document their following size and growth, their posting frequency and content, and their level of audience engagement.
  3. Conduct a SWOT analysis
    Based on the results of the account monitoring and competitive analysis exercise, conduct a SWOT analysis to better understand how your organization can compete.

Analyze competitors’ social media activity in Sections 2.2 and 2.3 of the HR Social Media Plan.

Use audit learnings to enhance, align, or build HR’s social media presence

  • Evaluate all social media platforms. If there is no HR presence on the platform in question, determine if there should be – HR will need to build this content.
  • Before beginning this process, ensure you understand what the platform owners require from you.
  • This is the easiest point of entry because the organization already has a presence on the platform; HR will simply need to provide or request HR-related content.
  • If there is already career-related content on your social media platforms, make sure it is aligned with your EVP. If candidates or employees feel that your social media messaging is not aligned with their actual experience, this will be a red flag to them.
  • This is especially important if HR is not currently involved in social media and social media messaging is largely in the hands of other teams who may not be as familiar with your organization’s EVP.
  • For career-related social media platforms that your organization doesn’t currently use, explore building out the platform.
  • Discuss with those who currently own social media and request a new platform. Depending on your organization, they might own it with input from you or you might take over ownership of that particular platform.
  • Remember, even if HR owns the platform, plan content up-front to maximize your efforts. We cover the planning process in the following slides.

If you need to develop or review your organization’s employee value proposition, see McLean & Company’s Uncover an Impactful Employee Value Proposition blueprint.

Record new platforms you would like to add to your organization’s social media roster in Section 2.4 of the HR Social Media Plan.

Clarify options for social media ownership and accountability, and select one

  1. Social media platform owners continue to own and manage the account exclusively. If this is the case, prepare and provide owners with ready-to-post employee- or HR-related content.
    • HR will establish, draft, and create HR-related social media content.
    • Social owners will post content to appropriate organizational platforms and will monitor and report metrics.
  2. HR takes over the ownership and management of one or more social media platforms. In this case, be diligent about planning content using a platform-specific planning document. Constantly monitor your organization’s other social media platforms to ensure your tone and messaging are consistent, and keep social media liaisons close.
    • HR will establish, draft, create, and post HR-related social media content.
    • HR will also monitor organizational social media platforms and the metrics on the accounts they own.
  3. Establish a cross-functional editorial team. This should include any current social media owners, HR, and anyone else who would like to be involved in your organization’s social media initiatives. The editorial team should meet regularly to brainstorm content, schedule posts, and discuss metrics.
    • HR will brainstorm and propose content. A designated member of the editorial team will be responsible for posting predetermined content to platforms, and another member will be responsible for reporting metrics.

Document account management details in Section 3 of the HR Social Media Plan.

Set up your editorial calendar or integrate into an existing one

What is an editorial calendar? An editorial calendar allows you to generate and record social media post ideas and topics, assign writing and other tasks to editorial team members, remain accountable to a consistent publishing schedule, and visualize the layout and content mix on various social media platforms (Cohen).

Editorial Meeting Process
Set up a recurring meeting with your editorial team, ideally once weekly. A sample agenda for this meeting includes:

  • Review weekly platform metrics.
  • Share content ideas and leads.
  • Refine and develop content ideas in progress.
  • Delegate editorial assignments.
  • Set written assignment deadlines and outline multimedia project schedules.

The Editorial Calendar
Your editorial calendar should record the basic information:

  • Description of the content
  • Author
  • Deadline
  • Links to supporting documents such as video or images
  • Platform(s)

If your organization’s social media owners already have an editorial calendar established, ask them how you can participate and contribute.

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of content standards and the posting process.

Use McLean & Company’s Editorial Calendar Template to plan and publish content.

New to content creation?
Not to worry!
We will provide some content tips and tricks in the following slides to get you started.

If you will be taking over ownership of one or more social media accounts, it is still a best practice to use an editorial calendar to brainstorm and schedule posts. Use the same process and tool as you would with an editorial team.

Master HR social media content creation

Now that you have set up an editorial calendar, create HR- and employee-related content to share. The following slides will provide some good starting points and case studies to use as inspiration.

The Basics

Brainstorm upcoming events that would be good to share on your social media platforms and mark them in your editorial calendar.

These include:

  • Employee appreciation days
  • Team-building events
  • Community involvement events
  • The start of a new hire class
  • A individual or team hitting a milestone

Build social media skills

To build their social media skills, HR practitioners should become familiar with the following:

  • How to brainstorm content.
  • How to create content in whichever medium – print, photo, or video – you are comfortable with.
  • How to post to social media accounts.
  • How to read social media analytics dashboards.

Photos add significant interest, so have a camera on hand at these events, but remember that privacy matters. Make it known that pictures taken will be going on the organization’s social media accounts and make sure you get consent – this gives your employees the option of not being in the photo if they don’t want to.

Create a hashtag bank

The hashtag bank should consist of hashtags specific to your organization that are relevant to your industry, region, or target audience.

First, create a hashtag that you can use whenever you post employee-centric content.

The benefits of this are twofold – it aggregates all employee-centric content in one place under that hashtag, allowing potential candidates to easily access all employee-related content from your company.

In addition, you can encourage your employees to use the hashtag when sharing their own work-related content and begin to collect employee-generated content.

Need to create an organization-specific hashtag? Start with some of these words:
Team, Careers, LifeAt, Life, People

Potential candidates may conduct an online search using job-related hashtags specific to a region, industry, or educational institution.

Look for hashtags that you can start using in your posts to expand your reach. Research job hashtags related to the region you are hiring in or your industry.

If you are hiring new grads and doing campus recruitment, remember to include hashtags of the appropriate universities.

Looking for more related hashtags?

There are many free and paid tools that can help you find related hashtags that you can then integrate into your posts to increase your reach. Popular options include Hashtagify, Keyhole, or Trendsmap.

A word on hashtags

While hashtags can help you expand your reach, too many hashtags are an eyesore and can make you look like a spammer. Stick to three hashtags or less per post.

Showcase real employees and your workspace

Showcase your employees

Employees are the human face of your organization. Highlight them as a part of your social media presence.

Spotlight employees with mini-interviews. Ask them some questions about what they do on a daily basis, their favorite project or most recent accomplishment, or what they like about the organization.

If you have their permission, post a photo. This helps the audience relate to your workforce.

Employees of the month or those who truly embody your culture and values are great employees to feature. In addition, they will likely appreciate the public recognition and see it as affirmation for a job well done. Win-win!

“‘Authentic’ photos and quotes tend to convert users better than super-glossy photos or (shudder) stock art. So sprinkle employee-generated content (EGC) into your other recruitment marketing materials.” (James Ellis)

Showcase your workspace

Another easy option to demonstrate your culture is to open the doors and show off your workspace.

Even if your office space isn’t state of the art, showcasing your employees at work allows both customers and potential candidates to get a behind-the-scenes look at how your organization operates (Weeks).

This adds interest to your social media content and provides a more personal feel than traditional advertising.

Share organizational milestones and achievements

Leverage awards, accomplishments, and accolades as a testament to your culture and, most importantly, as a talking point with your current and future employees.

Sharing milestones and achievements provides your followers with insight into the areas where you excel, but make sure it isn’t seen as bragging. Here are some tips to share achievements gracefully: (Adapted from Kleiman)

  1. Don’t overshare. Make accomplishments a component of your content mix but not the only focus. Ensure your content is varied and brainstorm other equally effective ways to demonstrate what your organization excels at.
  2. Offer recognition. Highlight organizational accomplishments but make sure you give credit where it is due. Publicly recognize those who were instrumental in receiving the awards.
  3. Celebrate others’ achievements too. This goes for employees and customers. If an employee achieved something they are particularly proud of, recognize them! You can also celebrate the success of your customers – this is especially powerful if your people were vital in achieving it.
  4. Let others share in your success. Offer some kind of takeaway – for example, a link to your careers page or a post on how to be a better diversity employer – so that you aren’t just bragging but are adding value and letting your followers get in on your success.

Step 3

Create a Social Media Sourcing and Direct Outreach Plan

1. Determine Social Media Direction and Set Goals2. Optimize the Employer Brand on Social Media

3. Create a Social Media Sourcing and Direct Outreach Plan

4. Evaluate Metrics and Refine Your Approach

After completing this step you will have:

  • Identified critical and hard-to-fill roles to target with social media sourcing.
  • Made key social media governance decisions and identified organizational resources available to HR.
  • Worked with talent acquisition specialists to integrate social media into the sourcing process and helped them build social media capabilities.

Plan to use social media for sourcing

The process outlined in this step will help you plan to source candidates using social media. It is recommended for critical or hard-to-fill roles or specific demographic groups you are looking to attract and hire.

There are strategic accountabilities at the senior level of talent acquisition and also those that apply to the talent acquisition specialists (also called TA specialists or TASs):

  • TA Leader
    Responsible for determining organizational sourcing needs and making brand and governance decisions.
  • TA Specialists
    Responsible for identifying where to source potential candidates and carrying out end-to-end sourcing and recruitment processes.

This step provides guidance to both of these roles. Look for the icon in the top left corner to determine who is responsible for what.

Remember: Talent Acquisition shouldn’t act alone. Close contact and touchpoints with Marketing and hiring managers will greatly improve the social sourcing process.

McLean & Company Insight

Social sourcing can help your organization target groups you might otherwise have trouble reaching. For example, referrals may hinder diversity recruiting efforts, so add social sourcing to your toolbox to target certain groups more specifically.

Evaluate the use of social media in volume recruiting

Direct sourcing is a resource-intensive process. In this step, we outline a process to source for critical or hard-to-fill roles. However, it is also possible to use social media for volume recruiting. Below are a few strategies to increase application volume:

Targeted advertisements
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other large social media platforms have extremely robust targeted advertisement capabilities that allow you to push custom ads to specific demographic groups, locations, or job titles. Speak to your marketing department for more information.
  • Chatbots, which are software that interacts with candidates and answers their questions, have proven to be an effective way to drive applications through a careers page.
  • For critical role sourcing, customized messaging is best. For volume, it’s best to use software that automates the sending of large numbers of similar messages.

While direct sourcing individuals is very time intensive for TA specialists, direct sourcing in volume is very expensive and technology dependent.

A partnership with Marketing will be key, since they will be familiar with many of the strategies employed in sourcing for volume on social media.

Research in Practice

Using social media campaigns to meet hiring needs
  • McDonald’s needed to hire 250,000 employees, more than half of whom would be under 24 years of age.
  • To meet these young candidates where they are, McDonald’s launched a Snapchat campaign where the app’s users could apply directly through the app and be directed to the careers page.
  • McDonald’s saw a 35% increase in applications and a 30% increase in traffic to their careers page.
Key takeaway
  • Recruiting for volume on social media is possible! The key is to know which platforms your target candidates will be found on in large numbers.
  • (McDonald’s Newsroom)

Identify or confirm the organization’s sourcing needs — TA Leader

You may have already identified the organization’s sourcing needs. If applicable, consult these documents:

  • Talent strategy
  • Talent acquisition strategy
  • Strategic workforce plans
  • Succession plans
  • Sourcing strategies or plans

Use these existing documents to inform the decisions made about how and when to source on social media.

If you are starting from scratch, get an idea of sourcing needs using the questions below:

  • Role-based
    • What are the critical roles?
    • Is there a need for new talent in our organization?
    • What are the recurring roles that we are continuously hiring for?
    • Is there a department that is unsatisfied with TA efforts?
  • Demographic-based
    • Would you like to increase diversity hiring?
    • Are there groups in your organization that are underrepresented?

Need to take a step back? See McLean & Company’s related research:

Identify when and where to invest in social media — TA Leader


Has Talent Acquisition already invested in any platforms (for example, LinkedIn Recruiter)?


  • What are the premium features?
  • Would they benefit TASs in their social sourcing efforts?
  • Can TASs be given access to these premium features?

Have other departments such as Communications or Marketing already invested in platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook?


  • What are the premium features?
  • Are there opportunities to work together?
  • How can Talent Acquisition capitalize on the talent communities that may already exist on those platforms?

Tool Sharing

TASs have a wide variety of programs and Chrome extensions available to help them make the sourcing process more efficient. Many of these are completely or partially free, meaning that TASs may be using them without an investment by the organization.

Conduct a knowledge-sharing exercise with your Talent Acquisition team to find out more about the tools they use.

Ask the team to share:

  • What tips and tricks do team members use to make their work more effective?
  • What free tools do they use?
  • What are the features they value?
  • Is there an opportunity for the organization to make an investment in one or more of these tools to make it available to all team members?

This exercise will help team members share their personal best practices and will help the organization identify any software that could improve the effectiveness of the team.

Align the social sourcing approach to employer branding efforts — TA Leader

Employer Brand Voice

Establishing an employer brand voice ensures messaging consistency. Brand voice is an expression of the people behind the brand and helps to better communicate your values. This helps your audience − whether they are consumers or candidates − better understand your organization from their first interaction.

Through their interactions with potential candidates, TASs are brand ambassadors. Ensure they are aligned with the organization’s employer brand and their tone, style, choice of platform, and medium are on-brand.

First, check in with Marketing or Communications partners and discuss any existing brand guidelines. They may also be able to assist in creating employer brand guidelines that apply to TASs’ direct outreach.

Use Section 4 of McLean & Company’s HR Social Media Plan to draft and create employer brand guidelines.


Depending on your organization’s social media account management practices and the leeway of the employer brand, TASs will have differing levels of autonomy.

This will depend largely on the HR function’s structure and size and on the organization’s social media strategy, brand, and culture. A range of options exist, from complete autonomy to strict guidelines on social media use:

Complete autonomy
as long as TASs bring in candidates.
‹——› Restricted autonomy
to align with policy and brand standards.

McLean & Company

There is a risk associated with misalignment between Talent Acquisition and the rest of the organization’s social media messaging. Consistency in candidate experience is an important part of the social media sourcing process, so make sure you have a solid understanding of your organization’s branding efforts before you begin.

Develop a social media sourcing plan using McLean & Company’s Sourcing Plan Template — TA Specialists

If social media sourcing is a focus, use Section 3 of the Sourcing Plan Template, which has been designed specifically for social media sourcing. The process you will follow looks like this:

Before completing the intake meeting with your hiring manager, work through Section 3 of the Sourcing Plan Template:

  • Identify sourcing and recruiting challenges using the guiding questions provided.
  • Brainstorm potential platforms to address those challenges.

– – – Intake Meeting – – –

After completing the intake meeting and validating your initial research, revisit Section 3 of the Sourcing Plan Template to incorporate hiring manager and stakeholder feedback.

Sample of McLean & Company's 'Sourcing Plan Template'.

Optional: You can use Sections 4 and 5 of the template to:

  • Build stories to handle objections and develop effective messaging.
  • Develop an action plan for how the sourcing process will happen.

Use McLean & Company’s Social Media Sourcing Guide for advice on sourcing and recruiting candidates.

For more details on the full template, see McLean & Company’s Drive Organizational Success With Purposefully Sourced Talent blueprint.

McLean & Company Insight

Laying the groundwork with a plan that clearly identifies challenges ensures social sourcing efforts stay focused and mobilizes TASs to act rather than being paralyzed by a deluge of social media platforms.

Conduct research to match challenges with platforms — TA Specialists

When brainstorming and researching potential platforms, TASs should evaluate any challenges they anticipate in sourcing the particular role and how they can use social media to overcome it.

For example, they can:

  • Source technical skills on niche tech sites.
  • Use Facebook’s search capabilities to find people in specific geographic locations.
  • Search Instagram to find creative candidates who may not be on LinkedIn.

Use Section 3 of McLean & Company’s Sourcing Plan Template tool to identify potential sourcing challenges and start to research different platforms that could address those challenges.

Many social networking sites have restrictions against posting for marketing or research purposes and may have restrictions on posting anything that could be considered spam.

TASs should do their due diligence in identifying community rules and etiquette. Remember that some social media networks may only be suitable for sourcing a candidate and the TAS should find alternate channels to contact the candidate.

Research in Practice

Tailoring recruitment efforts to connect with talent
  • A recruiter was looking to source tech roles for an organization located in Virginia.
  • They found that LinkedIn information on the candidates’ locations was either missing or inaccurate since many Virginians commute to Washington, DC, and beyond for work.
  • By including Facebook in their search efforts, they were able to accurately determine who fit their target segment and reach out to them on the appropriate platform.
Key takeaway
  • Evaluate the unique challenges each role presents and decide which platforms can solve that problem. Remember, this doesn’t need to be the platform you reach out on.
  • (Angela Bortolussi, Partner, Recruiting Social)

Validate research findings with the hiring manager and other stakeholders — TA Specialists

Prepare to validate the social networks you have identified in your research with hiring managers and gain insight about other social networking sites to source from in the intake meeting.

You can also involve the candidates’ future team members. Crowdsource suggestions from the team and ask them which social networks they use and if they have any other suggestions that may have been missed in the research process.

Involve hiring managers in the recruitment process to improve the candidate experience and response rate.

Determine the desired level of hiring manager or team involvement. This may be low for entry-level positions, but for roles that require niche, in-demand skills, involve current employees and managers as much as possible.

  • Ask if they know anyone in their networks who would be a good candidate.
  • Ask if they would they be comfortable posting the position in their own networks.
    • If so, provide support by crafting an online-ready job posting and outlining the referral process.

82% of hiring managers believe the candidate experience is very or extremely important (CareerBuilder, 2017).

94% of candidates say being contacted by a manager can make them accept a job faster (LinkedIn, 2015).

Use the Intake Meeting Guide to facilitate a conversation about social media — TA Specialists

An intake meeting is an initial conversation between a TAS and a hiring manager to clarify needs and understand what the hiring manager is looking for in the role. This occurs once the requisition has been launched.

Use the intake meeting to validate social media research findings from your sourcing plan. You can also customize the Intake Meeting Guide with social media questions to uncover:

  • Social media platforms the hiring manager participates on and their level of social media involvement.
  • Challenges encountered in the past when hiring for this type of role. The TAS should start to think about how social media can address some of these challenges.
  • Which organizations might have talent your organization is looking for. This could be the best place to start a social media search.

Sample of McLean & Company's 'Intake Meeting Guide'.

Use McLean & Company’s Intake Meeting Guide to structure intake sessions and collect the necessary information to guide sourcing efforts.

McLean & Company Insight

Recruiting starts with your hiring manager. Build relationships and collaborate closely with hiring managers to improve Talent Acquisition effectiveness and improve candidate response rates on social media.

Use McLean & Company’s step-by-step Social Media Sourcing Guide — TA Specialists

McLean & Company’s Social Media Sourcing Guide provides advice from industry experts to help target valuable skills and hard-to-fill positions. It includes research-supported suggestions on how to improve response rates on social media.

The Discover, Engage, Connect process is supported by McLean & Company tools to make targeted sourcing easier without the need for expensive third-party software.

  • Discover qualified candidates, using your sourcing plan as a starting point.
  • Engage the candidate with an initial communication and begin to build a relationship.
  • Connect the candidate to your applicant tracking system (ATS) or to the next step of the process.

McLean & Company Insight

It’s difficult to measure and improve the effectiveness of an ad hoc approach to social media recruitment. By using a consistent approach, you can more easily measure the pain points and discover what aspects of the process need improvement. The Discover, Engage, Connect process allows for pain points to be isolated at any step and for Talent Acquisition to take the steps needed to improve and iterate according to its unique needs.

Step 4

Evaluate Metrics and Refine Your Approach

1. Determine Social Media Direction and Set Goals2. Optimize the Employer Brand on Social Media
3. Create a Social Media Sourcing and Direct Outreach Plan

4. Evaluate Metrics and Refine Your Approach

After completing this step you will have:

  • Evaluated your social media efforts against identified metrics using each individual platform’s analytics tools.
  • Identified areas for future investment for long-term social media success.

Evaluate your social media efforts with the Social Media Metrics Tracking Tool

Use the Social Media Metrics Tracking Tool to record and analyze content and account metrics.

Sample of McLean & Company's 'Social Media Metrics Tracking Tool'.

Use tab 1 to record content and audience engagement.

  • Trends to look for here include how your audience engages with different platforms, topics, and media, and at different times of the week, day, or month.

Use tab 2 to record and measure network penetration, network growth, engagement and amplification, and conversion.

  • Trends to look for here include the types of engagement and amplification you are getting (e.g. validation, conversations, or sharing) and whether your social media is directing candidates to your site (evaluate conversion and site visits).

Have TASs use tab 3 to measure the effectiveness of the Discover, Engage, Connect process.

  • Trends to look for here include message response rate, most effective platforms, and the number of applications and interviews coming from social media.

Then compare your content data with your account data month over month:

  • What months demonstrated the most success for your accounts?
  • Where did your account see the most engagement?
  • What content did you post?

We will cover how to access your account analytics in the following slides.

Access LinkedIn analytics Logo for LinkedIn.

To view the performance of your LinkedIn page, visit the “Analytics” tab at the top of your page.

See impressions, clicks, and engagement for any given post.

This module allows you to compare your performance over any given time period.

See how many members clicked, liked, commented on, and shared your posts.

Follower Demographics:
See information on the people following your page, including geography, industry, and the function they work in (e.g. Sales, Operations, HR).

Screenshot of the LinkedIn analytics tab.

Access Facebook analytics Logo for Facebook.

To see your Facebook Page Insights, click “Insights” at the top of your page.
From here, you can view metrics about your page by clicking the sections on the left (e.g. likes, reach).

See how many likes your page gained and lost each day, and learn where on Facebook your likes are coming from.

Find which posts got more likes, comments, and shares; show up more in News Feed; and are seen by more people. Also find out what posts are hidden, reported as spam, or cause people to unlike your page.
If you notice a spike or dip, look at what you posted that day to learn more about how you might have influenced your reach.

Page Views:
See where on the internet people are coming from to get to your page and where on your page they're going once they arrive.

Understand how people are responding to your posts to help you create content that your audience cares about.
See how specific posts and types of posts perform so you can focus your efforts on what works.

Screenshot of the Facebook insights tab.

Find out more about who likes your page and who likes, comments, and shares your posts to improve your targeting.
See how they're similar or different from other people on Facebook.

Access Instagram analytics Logo for Instagram.

To access your insights on Instagram, go to your business profile and tap at the top left corner.
From here you can view metrics about your business profile, audience, specific posts, stories, or promotions.

Instagram Insights consist of three main tabs: Activity, Content, and Audience.

Determine overall performance, influence, and level of interaction between users and your account by looking at the number of profile visits, number of times your posts were seen, number of unique accounts that have viewed your posts, and more.

Discover insights on each individual post, including photos, stories, and videos, by looking at the number of likes, comments, visits, website clicks, saves, etc. You can also delve deeper into each post and view more in-depth analytics by clicking on the post and then selecting “View Insights.”

Discover insights on who your audience is, including gender, age range, location of your followers based on city and country, and the most active time of day and week for your followers.

Screenshot of the Instagram analytics tab.

Instagram Insights is only available for business profiles. For more information, visit Instagram’s Help Center – About Instagram Insights.

Access Twitter analytics Logo for Twitter.

To review Twitter’s built-in analytics, go to
From here, you can view metrics about your page by clicking the sections at the top (e.g. tweets, audiences).

See an overview of Twitter activity.

Review a detailed summary of your tweets and interactions. Use this tab to see your latest interactions and best tweets.
This tab outlines activity in terms of mentions, follows, unfollows, engagement, and engagement rate associated with each tweet.

See information on your following, including increases or decreases, gender, location, and which topics your followers find most interesting.

Screenshot of the Twitter analytics tab.

Review analytics from several social media platforms Logo for Hootsuite.

For an overview of key metrics across various platforms, go to the “Analytics” tab (on the left side) in your Hootsuite account.

Provides an overview of your accounts across various platforms.

See follower growth, follower demographics, keyword mentions, account engagement, top posts, etc.

Screenshot of the Hootsuite analytics tab.

Think outside the box to evaluate your social media presence

Put yourself in the shoes of your audience to see how others are experiencing your social media presence

Sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed allow people to anonymously review the organization. Discover new insights and areas for improvement by looking at your profile through the lens of an outsider.

Is your profile:
  • Easy to find? Search on each site to find your profile.
  • Visually appealing or boring?

If you have job postings on your profile, are they easy to find?

Do the links take you where they should?

The site you direct people to should function efficiently and be easy to use. There’s nothing worse than being redirected to a site only to discover it’s clumsy and slow.

Tip: Log out of your account and go through your public profile. This will allow you to experience your social media presence as others would.

“If you were to think about your candidate experience as a product that you were selling, would you buy it?” (Kim Benedict, CEO & Cofounder, TalentMinded Inc.)

Gather feedback

Social media is about sharing information, so your networks, followers, and fans won’t mind sharing what they think. Review the comments and feedback your posts generate, and ask for direct feedback on:

  • Your employer brand image.
  • How the site, posting, or campaign is coming across.
  • What is good and what needs improvement.
Social media metrics are useful, but you can be more direct.
  • LinkedIn: Post an update asking for feedback on your organization’s profile.
  • Twitter: Ask your followers how you’re doing. They can send a direct message, or you can link to a short external survey.
  • Facebook: Post a “How can we improve this page?” message to the wall on your corporate profile.
  • Instagram: Post a “Do you like what you’re seeing from us?” caption to the feed on your corporate profile.

Ask people in your personal network to start following your profile and give you feedback on their experience with your social media sites.

Use analytics to evaluate your current state and predict areas to invest in for future success

Social media enables you to track engagement and participation in real time.

You can use a variety of analytics, from metrics to predictive analytics, to get a better idea of the impact your social media is having.

Some examples of where you could leverage different types of metrics include conducting a sentiment analysis of your employer brand, using content metrics to further tailor your content and increase audience engagement, or targeting Facebook or LinkedIn advertisements to users who have used certain keywords.

Recruiting should develop alerts to warn hiring managers and TASs of upcoming problems and talent opportunities.

The cycle of predictive analytics: 'Measure', 'Plan', 'Execute'.

Use real-time and predictive analytics to evaluate your current progress and predict areas to invest in for future success.

For more information related to analytics, refer to the McLean & Company Glimpse Into the Future Using Predictive HR Analytics blueprint.

McLean & Company Insight

Use your evaluation, experiences, and debriefings with key stakeholders such as new hires or hiring managers. Take time to reflect and learn to move efforts forward and improve. What went well? What didn’t? How can you do better?

Empower TASs to identify pain points and tweak the Discover, Engage, Connect process

Provide your talent acquisition specialists with the Social Media Metrics Tracking Tool. Encourage them to customize and use the metrics to measure outcomes of each step in the Discover, Engage, Connect process in tab 3.


Ask yourself:
  • How many qualified candidates have you been finding in your search?
  • How many successful interviews has the search led to?

Hiring managers will be a valuable resource here to help you gauge the quality of candidates that your social media sourcing yields.


Ask yourself:
  • What is the response rate of your outreach efforts?
  • How many times do you contact a potential candidate before receiving a response?

Don’t be discouraged if you need to reach out to a candidate more than once before they respond – one recruiting agency reached out to a candidate five times across different platforms spanning almost a year before they were finally able to hire them! (Angela Bortolussi, Partner, Recruiting Social)


Ask yourself:
  • Once candidates respond to your message, how many apply to a position at your organization?
  • How is the candidate experience perceived by candidates?
  • How many are hired?

Your ATS is a valuable tool here. Make sure that any of your social media tools are linked with your organization’s ATS.

Evaluate whether to use an ad hoc or formal method to measure the candidate experience from initial contact to the end of the application process.

Social media evaluation and optimization isn’t a one-time thing

Social media is constantly evolving – keep up with trends to stay relevant.

A flexible and agile social media plan is necessary. Commit to reading and staying current with social media.
  • With a social media plan in place, you can start tracking metrics and build up a baseline of data. This will allow you to take your evaluation to the next level.
  • Your social media plan needs to be flexible. As technology inevitably evolves, so should your approach. To stay competitive, you need to leverage your experience, be adaptable, and be aware of emerging technology and social media trends.
Evaluate often to ensure continued success.
  • Be responsive to change and optimize the return on your efforts. Perform a yearly audit at the minimum. Ideally, conduct more frequent audits, as social media is a rapidly changing medium.

McLean & Company Insight

Stay on top of current trends with these quick and easy actions:
  1. Follow some bloggers or tweeters active in your industry to stay up to date. They will tell you about what is new and trending.
  2. Talk to an internal marketing professional about social media. Share information and tips, and get advice.
  3. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn or Slack and subscribe to their weekly updates to take advantage of others’ expertise.

Don’t neglect HR metrics! Review your HR Scorecard to evaluate the impact of your social media program on organizational goals.

New social media sites are popping up all the time.

  • For example, Solaborate is a new social networking platform dedicated to enabling technology professionals and companies to connect, collaborate, and create an ecosystem around products and services. Solaborate provides technology professionals with a central place with the right tools and services to collaborate in real time – both internally and externally – and solve business problems.

Key insights

Insight 1

HR traditionally lacks the competencies to engage in social media because other business units, like Marketing or Communications, own it. HR shouldn’t go it alone. Partnership with other stakeholders − Marketing, Communications, hiring managers, and employees − is key to success on social media.

Insight 2

Pairing HR’s EVP knowledge with social media skills and know-how from outside of HR is the best approach. While Marketing may excel in content creation and creating customer leads, they aren’t as well-versed in creating and conveying the employee experience.

Insight 3

Ensure that content creation is consistent and aligned with the EVP, particularly if HR does not own social media. Use social media to showcase real employees and your workspace to give potential candidates a realistic preview of your organization.

Insight 4

Social media sourcing can help your organization target groups you might otherwise have trouble reaching, and powerful social media tools can help you fill critical roles.

Insight 5

Continuously evaluate your efforts using external analytics tools and your own metrics. Evaluating and optimizing social media isn’t a one-time thing.

Workshop Overview

Pre-work Post-work
McLean & Company Analysts
Client Data Gathering and Planning
  • Discuss participants, logistics, overview of workshop activities
  • Discuss workshop readiness (GI: relevant strategic documents, project team stakeholders, resources)
  • Deliver Teams orientation session
Implementation Supported Through Analyst Calls
  • Support in finalizing the Social Media Sourcing Guide
  • Identify and share McLean & Company resources available to support next steps
  • Gather strategic documents (e.g. talent strategy, talent acquisition strategy, EVP, calendar of upcoming events) and provide copy to McLean & Company analysts
  • Determine constraints and resources allocated to HR social media projects (e.g. timing, HR capacity)
  • Document marketing and HR social media processes using the HR Process Mapping Template
  • Complete social media audit (section 2 of the HR Social Media Plan)
  • Review the Social Media Sourcing Guide
  • Complete the Social Media Sourcing Guide
  • Implement identified actions
  • Launch initial social media content

Workshop Overview

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Establish goals and metrics
  • 1.1 Identify talent needs
  • 1.2 Evaluate organization’s current social media strategy
  • 1.3 Establish high-level social media goals
  • 1.4 Set benchmark metrics and take baseline measurements
Optimize the employer brand on social media
  • 2.1 Enhance current HR social media presence
  • 2.2 Align current social media presence with the EVP
  • 2.3 Plan for social media process participation or improvement
Identify trends and opportunities
  • 3.1 Analyze competitor trends
  • 3.2 Analyze competition with a SWOT diagram
  • 3.3 Research and identify new platforms to build a presence on
Plan for content creation and distribution
  • 4.1 Brainstorm ideas for content creation
  • 4.2 Build a content calendar
  • 4.3 Assign content creation responsibilities and deadlines
Create a social media sourcing and direct outreach plan
  • 5.1 Pinpoint roles for direct outreach
  • 5.2 Examine social media resources available to HR
  • 5.3 Review and customize the Social Media Sourcing Guide
  1. Prioritized needs for HR social media
  2. Goals and metrics
  1. Process developed for shared platforms
  2. Plan for social media improvements
  1. Competitor analysis
  2. SWOT analysis
  3. List of new social media platforms
  1. List of content ideas
  2. Social media content calendar
  3. List of responsibilities and deadlines for content creation
  1. List of critical or hard-to-fill roles for direct sourcing
  2. Social Media Sourcing Guide

Leverage Feedback to Drive Performance

Identify impactful initiatives using our diagnostic programs to collect feedback from employees, stakeholders, and the HR team.

Optimize the HR Department for Success

HR Stakeholder Management Survey
Align HR initiatives with business strategy and stakeholder needs.

HR Management & Governance
Improve HR’s core functions and drive project success.

Improve Employee Experience and HR Processes

Pandemic Engagement Pulse Check
Assess the effect of pandemic response plans on employee engagement.

New Hire Survey
Ensure recruiting and onboarding programs are effective by surveying new employees.

Employee Engagement
Move beyond measuring job satisfaction with a comprehensive view of engagement.

McLean Employee Experience Monitor
Evolve to leader-driven engagement with a real-time dashboard and results.

Employee Exit Survey
Understand why people leave the organization to proactively retain top talent.

360 Degree Feedback
Empower employees with a holistic view of their performance to prioritize development.

View our diagnostic programs for more information.

McLean & Company offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation



"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful." "Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track." "We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place." "Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Research Contributors and Experts

  • Karen Azulai
    Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder
    HRTech Nation
  • Sabrina Baker
    HR Consultant & Recruiter
    Acacia HR Solutions
  • Kim Benedict
    CEO & Co-founder
    TalentMinded Inc.
  • Gurprit Bhambra
    Global Talent Acquisition Director
    Arvato Bertelsmann CRM
  • Amanda Blum
    Senior HR Assistant
    Capital Farm Credit
  • Angela Bortolussi
    Recruiting Social
  • Sean Burkett
    Manager, Product Development and Innovation
    Info-Tech Research Group
  • Orlando Castillo
    Organizational Effectiveness Manager, (Talent Development, L&D, OD, Compliance, and Employee Engagement)
    Capital Farm Credit
  • Eric Clemons
    Senior Manager – Employment Brand Strategies
    U.S. Cellular
  • Katrina Collier
    The Searchologist
    Social Recruiting Trainer & Keynote
  • Sarah Cortese
    Director of Communications
    Capital Farm Credit
  • Heather Coy-Robinson
    HR Manager
  • Ben Dickie
    Senior Manager, Research
    Info-Tech Research Group
  • Mark Diker
    Senior Manager, Recruitment and Talent Planning
    Woodbine Entertainment Group
  • Matthew Doucette
    Global Talent Acquisition Leader
  • Ben Eubanks
    HR Generalist
    Pinnacle Solutions, Inc.
  • Whitney Headen
    Managing Partner
    19th & Park Inc.
  • Chris Hodge
    AVP Talent Acquisition
    RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing
  • Leslie Hughes
    LinkedIn Trainer, Profile Writer, Public Speaker, Social Media Marketing Strategist & CEP
  • Kristiana Hurley
    Human Resources Manager
  • Carmen Jeffery
    Recruiter & Managing Director/Founder
  • Larry Kihlstadius
    Solutions Czar
  • Carly Kleisinger
    Manager of Corporate Strategic Communications
    City of Lethbridge
  • Shell Lohmann
    Director of Talent Programs & Employment Branding
    U.S. Cellular
  • Michelle Lusen
    Senior Corporate Recruiter
  • Jeff Watson
    Employer Relationship Developer
    Western University
  • Anonymous Contributor
    Social Media Community Manager
    Telecommunications Industry
  • Gemma Matthews
    Senior Internal Recruiter
    Reward Gateway
  • Ashlyn Schneider
    Talent Acquisition Specialist
    Worthington Industries
  • Jacob Shriar
    Director of Content
  • Lisa Smith-Strother
    Senior Director, Global Head Employer Branding, Careers Channels and Diversity TA
  • Kathleen Teixeira
    Manager, Talent Acquisition
  • Mamta Wadhwani
    Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition Strategy

Works Cited

“2020 Outlook: The Future of Employer Branding Part Four: Using Social Media for Talent Attraction.” Universum Global, 2016. Web.

“40+ HR and Recruiting Stats for 2020.” Glassdoor, 2020. Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

“About Us, Statistics.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

“Candidate Experience From End-to-End: What’s Your Weakest Link?” CareerBuilder, 2017. Web.

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Develop a Social Media Plan for HR preview picture

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 7 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Determine social media direction and set goals
  • Call 1: Identify and set social media goals and determine relevant SMART and social media metrics.

Guided Implementation 2: Optimize the employer brand on social media
  • Call 1: Review organizational social media efforts and determine how HR can get involved.
  • Call 2: Evaluate content suggestions and brainstorm additional content creation ideas.

Guided Implementation 3: Create a social media sourcing and direct outreach plan
  • Call 1: Identify critical and hard-to-fill roles that could be targeted with social media sourcing.
  • Call 2: Discuss organizational resources and limitations around social media and individual talent acquisition specialist usage.
  • Call 3: Review the Discover, Engage, Connect process and customize the Social Media Sourcing Guide.

Guided Implementation 4: Evaluate metrics and refine your approach
  • Call 1: Review social media and HR metrics to pinpoint social media program successes and identify areas for improvement or growth.


  • Karen Azulai, Editor-in-Chief and Cofounder, HRTech Nation
  • Sabrina Baker, HR Consultant & Recruiter, Acacia HR Solutions
  • Kim Benedict, CEO & Cofounder, TalentMinded Inc.
  • Gurprit Bhambra, Global Talent Acquisition Director, Arvato Bertelsmann CRM
  • Amanda Blum, Senior HR Assistant, Capital Farm Credit
  • Angela Bortolussi, Partner, Recruiting Social
  • Sean Burkett, Manager, Product Development and Innovation, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Orlando Castillo, Organizational Effectiveness Manager, (Talent Development, L&D, OD, Compliance, and Employee Engagement), Capital Farm Credit
  • Eric Clemons, Senior Manager – Employment Brand Strategies, U.S. Cellular
  • Katrina Collier, The Searchologist, Social Recruiting Trainer & Keynote
  • Sarah Cortese, Director of Communications, Capital Farm Credit
  • Heather Coy-Robinson, HR Manager, CarProof
  • Ben Dickie, Senior Manager, Research, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Mark Diker, Senior Manager, Recruitment and Talent Planning, Woodbine Entertainment Group
  • Matthew Doucette, Global Talent Acquisition Leader, Mimecast
  • Ben Eubanks, HR Generalist, Pinnacle Solutions, Inc.
  • Whitney Headen, Managing Partner, 19th & Park Inc.
  • Chris Hodge, AVP Talent Acquisition, RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing
  • Leslie Hughes, LinkedIn Trainer, Profile Writer, Public Speaker, Social Media Marketing Strategist & CEP, PUNCH!media
  • Kristiana Hurley, Human Resources Manager, Inventa
  • Carmen Jeffery, Recruiter & Managing Director/Founder, i-identify
  • Larry Kihlstadius, Solutions Czar, KinetixHR
  • Carly Kleisinger, Manager of Corporate Strategic Communications, City of Lethbridge
  • Shell Lohmann, Director of Talent Programs & Employment Branding, U.S. Cellular
  • Michelle Lusen, Senior Corporate Recruiter, Slack
  • Gemma Matthews, Senior Internal Recruiter, Reward Gateway
  • Ashlyn Schneider, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Worthington Industries
  • Jacob Shriar, Director of Content, Officevibe
  • Lisa Smith-Strother, Senior Director, Global Head Employer Branding, Careers Channels and Diversity TA, Ericsson
  • Kathleen Teixeira, Manager, Talent Acquisition, OLG
  • Mamta Wadhwani, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition Strategy
  • Jeff Watson, Employer Relationship Developer, Western University
  • Anonymous Contributor, Social Media Community Manager, Telecommunications Industry

Search Code: 82189
Last Revised: May 6, 2021