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Recruiting on Reddit: best tools and strategy

May 7, 2019

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Recruiting on Reddit: best tools and strategy

If you’ve ever perused Reddit threads, you know that the community is a bit different. Unsurprisingly, recruiting on Reddit is also a bit different. Compared to other popular social sites, Reddit has a tight-knit community that doesn’t take kindly to rule-breakers. So, first and foremost, we’re here to help you  become an effective recruitment Redditor.

If you dare to recruit on Reddit, you are stepping into risky, yet valuable, territory. Erin Mathew, a Reddit sourcing expert, speaks to the nature of the site for recruitment:

erin mathew reddit recruiter

“Despite being one of the most visited websites in the US, most sourcers and recruiters have not ventured to explore the platform for talent. While it’s true that Reddit is not the easiest to navigate or understand, it’s an untapped goldmine of the most engaged and passionate talent you can find.”

reddit recruiting quote

Benefits of recruiting on Reddit

Reddit is one of the most visited social sites with 330 million users. At first glance, it has a clunky appearance. However, once you dive into the interface, you’ll realize it creates an inviting atmosphere that has an odd air of exclusivity about it. Reddit is chock-full of threads on every topic under the sun, so there will be no shortage of talent pools here. Determine whether or not to recruit on Reddit based on your current situation. Here are some points to consider:

Pros:

  1. High traffic and large talent pool;
  2. Tight-knit communities in subreddits;
  3. Natural feel to conversations;
  4. And low in cost.

Cons:

  1. User profiles are not overly detailed;
  2. It takes some time to become a seasoned Redditor;
  3. The interface is antiquated;
  4. And there are often large sets of rules for posting.

Recruiting on Reddit can give you insight into potential candidates, unlike any other social recruitment site. Redditors often feel freer to express themselves here. They will join subreddits that they are interested in and talk freely. If you are used to navigating Reddit or are quick to learn new social sites, recruiting on Reddit could prove beneficial to your hiring process. In the following sections, you will learn how to get started.

The art of Reddit hiring

Reddit is a hub where people can talk about anything and everything. However, there are some rules of the road. If you’re new to the platform, do the following:

  1. Check out the FAQ to get your bearings;
  2. Read about “reddiquette”;
  3. Open an account;
  4. And start interacting.

This will up your “karma”. This is a stat displayed on your profile that shows other users (and Reddit) how much you have contributed to the community. This doesn’t affect anything, but it may let other users (aka potential candidates) know that you are a credible poster. Further, some subreddits won’t let you post when you are a new account. Having an account up and running for a while will let you avoid these issues. For this reason, choose a solid username and stick with it.

Subreddits for sourcing

By now you should be aware of what subreddits are and how to search for and access them. The subreddit(s) that you use will depend on what field you are recruiting for. However, you can break them down into two basic categories: subreddits just for posting jobs and subreddits about topics your target candidates are interested in. Both are useful and can be broken down into even further subcategories (sub-subreddits?) such as location.

Job posting subreddits:

That’s just a taste of the subreddits available for recruiting on Reddit. For more, including field-specific subreddits, check out this extensive list by Erin Mathew (quoted above). There are subreddits entirely dedicated to certain career paths, which can be helpful in identifying which users are relevant to your recruitment search. They will vary from users offering each other career advice to users sharing funny stories and anecdotes about their field. This will not only show you talented individuals, but it will school you on some insider information that you may not be aware of.

Type in keywords in the search bar that appears in your job description. This should bring up a list of subreddits that you should join and start interacting in! Regardless of which subreddit(s) you choose to interact in, they will all most likely have their own set of rules. This can usually be found pinned to the top of the forum and/or on the right-hand side.

recruiting on reddit rules

They tend to be highly specific, unlike most other social media platforms. However, it’s important to follow them or your account may be banned by the subreddit moderators. Aside from the specific rules in each subreddit, there are some actions to avoid when recruiting on Reddit. Here are the most pertinent ones:

1. Don’t be dishonest.

Don’t try and pass for something you are not. You’re recruiting. Be transparent! This should go for every platform, but Redditors are especially critical. Don’t go into a tech forum pretending to be a software engineer. Reach out and let talent know your actual intentions.

2.  Don’t choose an immature username.

Just as you would judge someone for having a weird email address when applying, don’t choose an off-putting Reddit name. The company you are recruiting for and/or your name and some form of “recruiter” will be the best choice. Make sure it’s identifiable and doesn’t damage your respectability.

You’ll see some strange usernames on Reddit, however. That’s just the nature of the beast. Maybe be a bit more lenient with potential talent with strange usernames. If it goes against the culture and values of your company, that’s where you can draw the line. For example, don’t reach out to a user named AntiDogs if you are a dog walking business.

3. Don’t spam.

This is also a general rule of the recruiting road. However, this is also more important when recruiting on Reddit. The site caps all users at a certain number of posts, regardless of your member status (regular or premium). Instead, engage in natural conversation with posters. Post jobs where you are allowed and thoroughly review rules. Don’t post links without context. If your post is generic and boring, it probably won’t get a second glance on Reddit. Make sure you are interesting and interact in a way that’s representative of your company!

4. And don’t disappear.

If you just post jobs on job subreddits, you won’t do well. Recruiting on Reddit doesn’t mean using it as a job board. There are some of the best job boards out there, but this isn’t one of them. Treat Reddit as a social recruiting channel. You can follow the rules all you want. But if you aren’t there to follow up on conversations, you won’t get any leads (or at least the right ones).

If you’ve engaged in a conversation in a field-specific subreddit, make sure you check your notifications. Get email notifications from Reddit of comments and replies to your posts. What if a potential candidate has a question about your company? It won’t reflect positively on your employer brand to leave it unanswered. It’s also crucial to keep up with messages sent on the platform. If you start recruiting on Reddit, you need to maintain your profile. Make sure this is something that your recruitment team has time to put into. If so, you may reap the benefits of better culture fits and less expensive hiring!

Best Reddit recruiting tools

1. Reddit, itself.

Reddit’s best attribute is the site, itself. It differs from every social site out there in that it’s styled as an antiquated forum but still harnesses as many users as Twitter (and far higher engagement rates). Use recruiting on Reddit as a way to expand your talent pools with social recruiting. There will likely be subreddits for the field you are recruiting for. You have nothing to lose unless you break the rules! And even then, just make another account.

2. A sourcing extension

You should be using talent acquisition software. Getting talent leads from Reddit to your ATS shouldn’t be a hassle. Find one that offers a sourcing extension. Recruitee’s chrome extension will prefill data for you and add it to your talent database.  

3. Reddit Investigator

One of the drawbacks, however, of Reddit is that profiles are sparse. You often won’t be able to find out a Redditors real name or location. But fear not! Reddit Investigator will give you an overview of their probable location, activity, subreddits they are active in, and more. Do some snooping for the greater good (aka your team’s growth).

4. Later for Reddit

Most social media sites allow you to schedule posts in advance using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite. Later for Reddit is the answer to your scheduling woes. If you absolutely need to plan posts ahead of time, use this tool. Just remember to keep up with them in the future! Like stated above, you need to be available to follow up. Don’t just post and disappear. Redditors will notice.

5. Search strings

Reddit’s search bar also allows you to use certain strings to better find what you’re looking for. Find a couple in Erin’s Reddit sourcing toolbox and try them out.

6. You!

It may be cliche, but the most valuable tool when recruiting on Reddit is you. This social site is built on human interaction. It’s mostly written interaction. Use your charm, wit, intelligence, or whatever other positive attributes you have to sell yourself and, effectively, your employer brand! People are more likely to trust someone they know. If you’re recruiting on Reddit, don’t be a stranger. Interact in forums you like, just for fun. There is bound to be a subreddit you are interested in. This will build your credibility and propel you to Reddit hiring success.

Beth is the HR Community Manager at Recruitee. Based in Pittsburgh, Beth enjoys spreading the word about recruitment innovation. Follow @TAinnovatorbeth on Twitter for updates on the #TAinnovators community! 💙
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