Thankfully there are ways to streamline an often tricky process, so here are just a handful of tips that will make it less arduous.
Work out what skills you need
Hiring the ideal candidates for your social media team has to be done strategically, and things will go much smoother later on if you plan thoroughly up front.
That means looking at your current setup and determining the kinds of skills you need to add to your team through recruitment.
For example, if your Instagram presence leaves a lot to be desired, or your levels of engagement on Twitter are lacking, then you will know that you need to look for team members with skills and experience in these areas.
It also saves time to make clear which kinds of tools and solutions they will be using. So if you want team members to be familiar with using a social media content scheduling tool of a particular type, put this front and center in the job listing.
All this should go towards narrowing down the field of applicants, rather than leaving you bombarded with resumes from every angle even if only a handful of prospects have the skills you actually want.
Analyze your budget
The scope of your budget will determine how many people you can recruit, or shape the seniority of those experts you can court.
Obviously you will see any spending here as an investment in the growth of your business, but you need to balance your long term goals against your short term cash flow to avoid overcommitting.
Look for talent internally
An excellent and affordable alternative to recruiting from outside the organization is seeing whether you have people on the staff already who could make a major contribution to your social media team.
This could be an especially appealing and efficient choice if your budget is tight, or you simply do not want to go through the additional admin of hiring externally.
Following on from thinking about what kinds of social media skills you want your team to provide, having tangible targets to strive towards makes sense.
This is helpful not only for the organization as a whole, but also in terms of setting out what you hope to achieve and making this apparent to applicants. They will then be able to show how they can contribute towards this, and give you a clearer set of criteria against which to judge them.
These goals can be quantifiable and direct, such as reaching a certain number of followers on the platforms you occupy by a specific date. They can also be more nebulous, such as building brand awareness and authority with your target audience.
Whatever the case, the hiring process will be less ambiguous if applicants know what your company’s aims are.
Consider team structure
How your social team functions, as well as how it fits into the wider organization, will be instrumental in how you put it together during the recruitment phase.
You could be eager to allow the social media team to operate almost autonomously, or you might prefer to have it integrated more closely with existing teams and departments so that more employees have an input in the direction it takes.
While you can always change this arrangement further down the line, it is worth making an overriding decision ahead of recruitment so that you can answer applicant questions on this topic.
Optimize the interview process
When it comes to interviewing candidates for roles in your fledgling social media team, you can make this more efficient through the use of technology.
Fielding interviews with prospective employees via video conferencing rather than through face-to-face meetings is a great example of this.
You might even consider hiring team members with the intent of allowing them to work remotely, in which case your pool of potential applicants will be larger still.
Ultimately it is all about working hard during the planning stages so that when the recruitment process is up and running, it is as lean as possible.