Many organisations use dedicated recruitment websites such as Seek, My Career, Indeed and even less conventional and generalist websites when looking for workers. Using job boards is the traditional method for advertising your role. However, these days there are also a huge range of other options for reaching workers. Some employers trawl through social media sites in the search for that perfect person.
Social media sourcing sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are developing search capabilities beyond the conventional avenues of recruitment to attract candidates. In the past decade, recruitment processes have moved to the internet as the new frontier of attraction and selection of staff. Currently, there is minimal empirical evidence citing specific figures around internet recruitment metrics. There are, however, cited cases of both positive and negative outcomes and more speculation on the proposed improvements that the internet will provide us (Olivas-Lujan and Bondarouk 2013). Despite the lack of statistical evidence, organisations are increasingly looking to social media to locate and research candidates.
LinkedIn is the world’s principal professional online database, with more than 380 million members spread out over 200 of the world’s countries. In addition, LinkedIn has over 39 million students and graduates, which is the fastest growing demographic on the site (LinkedIn 2015). Alternatively, for recruiters, LinkedIn offers a suite of paid services, from ‘Recruiter Lite’ to their full suite of services called ‘Recruiter’ (LinkedIn 2015). Recruiters can access talent directly from the online database and view competitor’s current and past executive and managerial staff, search for specific skills in workers and contact passive candidates who match the organisation’s needs and skills required.
Even Facebook has moved into the paid advertising space. Facebook has over 2.19 billion users and anyone can create advertisements based on location, age, demographics, behaviours, and more. For recruitment purposes, using this medium, with the capability of delivery direct to an individual’s mobile device is a clever way to reach the demographic required. It’s success though, remains to be seen. One huge negative of utilising Facebook in this way, is that many employees see it as an invasion of privacy and may actually be turned off your business, by you utilising, what they see, as a personal medium.
There are, also inherent risks with Social Media. For example, access to individual profiles means that potential employers may be privy to personal information. Organisations need to be aware of bias and unlawful discrimination around this information, as well as contraindications with privacy laws. Additionally, it has been proven that social media users, engage in a system of ‘impression management’ by manipulating their profiles to give the ‘impression’ that they are looking to manufacture. Demonstrated perfectly, in the selfie phenomenon, where we all view images of beautiful young people looking their very best … no one ever posts a selfie in their dressing gown, hair a mess, no makeup and looking perhaps less than fit!
Once you understand the limitations of social media recruiting, you realise that it is only one aspect of the recruitment process that may shed some light on your prospective worker, but you need to utilise a wide variety of additional tools to come to your final decision. Be aware of impression management and adverse effects from ‘stalking’ individuals’ on social media – use it wisely.
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