Social Recruiting – Using Social Media in the Recruitment Process

Social recruiting or otherwise known as the Social media recruitment is the next big thing on the cards. A lot of companies have started using Web 2.0 applications for recruitment purposes. Web 2.0 is the second generation Internet-based services which is different from the first generation static Web sites with little interaction. Popular Web 2.0 applications include the social media/networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc), blogs, podcasts (Podcast Alley, iTunes), video sharing sites (YouTube, FlickR), mobile apps, etc. Today LinkedIn and Facebook has become a powerful tool in recruitment. LinkedIn is a social networking website meant specifically for networking amongst working professionals.

Social recruiting or Social media recruitment

Social recruiting widens reach and helps segmentation, targeting and positioning of potential jobseekers. They also increase the accuracy of profile searches. Instead of simply recruiting the person with the best-looking CV, social media can ensure that that person is also the best fit for the company.

Big companies like Accenture, Cognizant, Mindtree, Infosys, Wipro, Amazon etc. are now hiring workers from social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Linkedln is becoming a hot spot for companies looking out to hire workers. Recruitment done through the social networking site Linkedln comes with references and are cost effective as they are free. Companies go through the relevant profiles, and can take a look at the recommendations provided by acquaintances of potential candidates before hiring workers. Companies used Facebook along with LinkedIn to recruit new workers by creating a page on Facebook and posting vacancies through it.

Benefits of Social Recruiting

Recruitment through Social media/networking websites has its own benefits which are not available in other methods of recruitment.

  • Higher accuracy: As social media/networking websites have no physical boundaries job candidates can be searched geographically and found with higher accuracy than before, narrowing the number of candidates and adding to recruiting effectiveness.
  • Fast: As more and more people today use these websites, the available jobs can get filled quicker, lowering vacancy rates because of social media’s high usage rate and immediate response time. This helps in a company’s ability to attract talent versus competitors.
  • Cost: Social media recruitment has a low cost with high ROI. In most of the cases it is almost free as most websites are free to register and use.
  • Attracting fresh talent: A large number of social media users are college students, and they are fresh talent for entry level positions. Using social media an organization can easily attract this talent pool.
  • Brand visibility: Using social media/networking for recruitment increases the employer’s brand visibility online and establishes a leading-edge image for the brand.

Risks of Social Recruiting

Social media/networking offers benefits vis-a-vis other methods of recruitment, but it also has its own share of risks.

  • Effectiveness yet to be proven: While social networks are undoubtedly here to stay, whether they become a more central part to the hiring process or not is yet to proved. The amount of recruitment done through this mode is still very low as it is in initial stages.
  • Demographics of representation: Social media as the labor pool does not fully represent the demographics of the general public. There could be more race and age claims over the coming years due to sourcing through social networking sites.
  • Discrimination: There could be discrimination in recruitment due to a person’s country of origin, religious preference, disability, age or sexual orientation etc.
  • Lack of clear recruitment standards and process: Recruitment through social media does not involve clear standards of recruitment. Hence any rejections based on softer criteria can lead to discrimination lawsuits being filed by the rejected candidates.