Social media in the recruitment process

Social media in the recruitment process

A woman working from home at her desk

As more and more job seekers are using social networking sites to find jobs of interest, employers must determine how to integrate this into talent sourcing, engagement and the recruitment process.

Candidates are mainly using LinkedIn when they look for a new job but also popular are forums, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. They are using these tools to find jobs of interest, to research the organisation and to see what others have to say about the organisation. They are also using these tools to promote themselves actively or passively.

For employers, social media should be considered for its ability to connect with potential recruits. The most common tool employers are utilising is LinkedIn. Organisations should be using such tools to communicate their employee value proposition, although the uptake is far from universal.

Social networking has an important part to play in the recruitment process with many candidates much more strategic in their approach to online networking.

Taking advantage of the sites linked to career-related groups and forums is essential. But it must not be done at the expense of face-to-face methods, which remain central to the recruitment process. We need to look at it as just one of the attraction tools that we can use. Taking the time to get to know someone is still crucial in identifying the right role for them and picking up the phone to candidates or meeting them in person just can’t be substituted.

Above all, technology and social media must be used to add value to the recruitment process. Used at the right time and in the right way, it’s a highly effective way of communicating. Used exclusively, at the expense of speaking to people, it becomes counterproductive. Nobody uses only one method of communication or interaction – it’s about using the right method at the right time in the right way.

Another consideration is the role of mobile devices in the job application process. If we are to future-proof the application process, organisations must enable job seekers to not only research but apply easily for jobs via their smartphones or tablets. Of course, it also makes sense to capture the candidate’s details at their initial point of interest, since they may not always come back and apply at a later time.

We must all consider how job seekers can apply for vacancies via their smartphone. This does not simply involve an online application form. Perhaps it could involve matching soft skills, such as attitude, and then if a candidate is suitable they are contacted for their CV. Or rather than manually enter fields, can the fields be filled using existing data stored elsewhere?

We offer this advice to any organisation considering incorporating social media into the recruitment process:

• Research: Find out what is being said online about your organisation, and where it is being said

• Listen: Continue to listen to what is said about your organisation. You can also use the information as the basis for your future conversations with potential recruits
• Identify potential audiences
• Develop a strategy
• Involve the business: Do not restrict your social media efforts to the HR department as candidates want to have peer-to-peer conversations with those in the areas of the business they could work in
• Select your social media ambassadors well and provide training on appropriate content that will engage potential recruits
• Don't become preoccupied with a single channel. Social media sites are constantly evolving


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