For the past decade the it word has been “social media.” Our worlds are alight with posts, tweets, and check-ins, all of which provide an incredible amount of insight into who we are as individuals. By extension, such sites also offer opportunities with which to better scan and select new hires for your company. Yet the real question then becomes how best to invest in social media for maximum impact on the recruitment process.
A recent Bullhorn Report found that LinkedIn “drives more job views per job than Twitter and Facebook” by three and six times respectively. Interestingly, though, the survey also found that a Twitter follower is nearly 3 times more apt to apply to a job posting than a LinkedIn connection and 8 times more apt to apply than a Facebook friend.
CareerXroads 2012 Sources of Hire report indicated similar findings. Recruitment leaders cited only job boards as more influential than social media for potential hires. And like Bullhorn, CareerXroads found that LinkedIn was the heaviest contender for recruitment leaders – nearly 40 percent said it had a targeted impact.
All that said, though, there’s no reason to leave chips on the table by failing to leverage multiple social media vehicles. Pinterest, FourSquare, GooglePlus and Facebook all offer venues in which one can search a candidate’s background and such sites may fit nicely into a larger recruitment strategy. Thus, while LinkedIn does seem to reign supreme, it’s not the only source that can improve the hiring process. Sometimes even simple Google searches, which are too often overlooked in favor of the more trendy alternatives, can prompt results that prove critical in your research. Unlike most social media, Google provides information that is not necessarily user generated.
It’s important, too, not to overlook using such tools to scan your candidate’s references. A glowing report from one person may hold more or less weight once you’ve learned more about who exactly that reference is. Keep in mind, automated reference checking tools help make this process much more efficient and reliable, but social media proved a worthwhile backup or supplemental tool.
Finally, while social media offers such a myriad possibilities for better selecting candidate, it’s critical to understand that using such tools can sometimes blur the lines of ethics or place companies in precarious legal situations. Users include personal information on their social media sites knowing that such information is accessible to others – including potential recruiters. However, some information that recruiters will come acrossmustbe ignored. For instance, information pertaining to a candidate’s religion, sexual orientation or health simply cannot hold any weight in the selection process and should not be shared with anyone else. Failing to do so is not only morally inappropriate, but is also illegal.
In the end, how a company utilizes social media in their recruitment process is vastly dependent on their overall hiring strategy, but the question of whether or not they should be is simple: yes! The opportunities are seemingly endless and as long as recruiters use such tools in an ethical manner, there’s nothing to lose.