The potential of social recruitment: The pros and cons

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Last updated on
20th Apr, 2021
07th Jun, 2016
The potential of social recruitment: The pros and cons

Recruiting through social media is becoming popular with every passing minute. Employers across the globe are beginning to recognise this style
of recruitment as effective, cost-efficient and engaging.

The demand for skilled workers has made this segment extremely competitive. Engagement and relations make a lot of difference, which has made recruiters to touch base with candidates at every possible opportunity. Recruiters say the competition will increase further now, increasing the need for such means. Recruiters intend to invest more in social recruiting (up to 73%) and then on other channels, as per a survey was done in the year 2014 by JobVite.

Various social media sites are developing tools to enhance and support social media recruitment or social recruitment. Social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn have already been recognised as effective social recruitment websites. LinkedIn supports more than 125 million workers across the globe to create and update profiles for employment. Google’s Google+ is becoming more popular at a breath-taking speed. Facebook has exclusively opened access to recruiters for this process. 69% of recruiters expect competition to increase in 2015.

This development in the field is a result of the strength, power and popularity of social media itself in the everyday lives of individuals across the globe. Some extremely powerful sites such as the Social CV accumulate information both personal and professional from various social media profiles to provide an unparalleled insight into the lives and personalities of the potential candidates. These sites offer free and paid services that also help recruiters track the change in direction of the mood and interests of the people. Radian 6, for example, enables employers to listen in on conversations taking place in the social media arena based on the keywords set by the recruiter or when there is a shift in the sentiment.

An additional feature being used for social recruitment is the creation of ‘closed’ or ‘private’ groups such as in LinkedIn and Facebook. This is a great way for potential candidates and the recruiters to keep in touch and provide exclusive information beneficial to both sides. This also helps candidates looking for jobs save time since you can now avoid sending information to individual venues and people.

The key to social recruitment is not just learning how to use the tools effectively but it also depends largely on the communication carried out between the employer and the candidate. It is important to maintain the dialogue and engage actively. Miscommunication is a major drawback to this process. One of the major concerns for social recruitment is authentication of information. The information available on social media can be deceiving, outdated or unclear. Moreover, the social media allows recruiters access to unnecessary personal information such as marital status, political inclinations, religious affiliations and social class, all of which is irrelevant and might generate discomfort and biases.

A study in 2013 showed that many employees disagree to the social recruitment tool gaining support rapidly this decade. The internet is viewed as a public forum and many individuals believe that it is unfair to lose a shot at a deserving job based on what they appear in social media. This is building pressure on individuals to maintain a “neutral” online persona that doesn’t represent the real self. On the other hand, many look at it as an invasion of their privacy and personal life. Imagine walking in for an interview to have a photo of yours pointed out where you were goofing around in an inebriated state, as casual as possible giving no semblance of any capability whatsoever! Even better that you had no idea that this photo was a matter of public knowledge! The recruiter might consider this to be a deal breaker, but it most likely doesn’t have anything to do with your professional capabilities.

But above all, it is important to remember that social recruitment is not a replacement for the old school techniques of recruitment, it is probably an addition. The rule to keep in mind while engaging in social recruitment is to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. As Matt Alder, Strategy Consultant for HR and Founder of MetaShift has rightly said,” Social Recruiting is a concept, not a defined technique. The three primary activities of Social Recruiting as Push, Pull, and being Genuinely Social”.

Social recruiting does have some disadvantage, but one can’t deny that it is a cost-effective and time-saving first step to recruitment. Though it is definitely not as full proof as conventional methods of screening and recruitment, but what really works for this form of social recruitment is that along with assisting recruiters to look at potential candidates, it also helps market and advertise the brand at various social media platforms. It is a step towards finding inexpensive and time-efficient recruitment processes that also has greater geographical reach than any other method used before.

“Social Recruiting is more than sourcing candidates and advertising career opportunities on Facebook or Twitter. It’s about being present and active in a space that lends itself to conversation, feedback and the sharing of information between an organisation, job seekers, and even consumers. You never know which customers today will be candidates tomorrow.” -Autumn McReynolds, Employment Brand Sourcing Manager at Sodexo Careers.



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