Is Social Media a Good Place for Hiring? We Weigh the Pros and Cons

Is Hiring Through Social Media All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Is Social Media a Good Place for Hiring? We Weigh the Pros and ConsWhen looking for proper candidates for a job opportunity, finding that specific candidate can seem nearly impossible. With today’s technology, social media has impacted the job search for both the applicants and the employers. Not only is hiring through social media a faster way of recruitment, but it also gives applicants a chance to create an online platform for multiple recruiters to see and work with.

Recruiting candidates through social media has its pros and cons for both the applicants and the recruiters. This article will explain how the advantages of hiring through social media can help companies succeed while staying up to date with technology in the hiring process and  also staying focused on the risks that social media onboarding contains.

What Platforms are Other Employers Using?

Prior to legitimate social media platforms becoming a valid resource for hiring, many employers used (and still continue to use) sites such as Glassdoor and Snagajob to post openings and recruit potential applicants. These websites allow employers to upload job openings and allow applicants to read through job descriptions and view listed salaries prior to applying for each specific job. With applicants being able to view different jobs, they are able to upload their resume onto the site to create a faster application process.

Advantages of Hiring Through Social Media

Using social media as a means of recruitment is not a brand-new idea. Sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter have been used for these purposes for many years. However, there are still many companies and recruiters who have yet to dive into social media and test the waters for improved recruitment options. Many hiring advantages can come from the utilization of social media throughout onboarding.

Easier to Communicate

Communicating with potential employees via social media may help the recruitment process happen faster. While being able to connect with applicants online, this may be a way to find out more about each candidate before an actual interview process begins. With more and more applicants using social media  references throughout their resumes , this can make it simpler for employers to see what the values of potential employees are. Although there are many regulations about using social media throughout the hiring process, if a candidate submits that information within their resume they must have something to offer that they want an employer to see. Allowing this sort of communication access is a great tool to really get to know each candidate in a timely manner without having to schedule multiple interview appointments to review their application and resume.

Better and Targeted Referrals

Social media recruitment platforms can allow potential candidates to not only respond to and connect with potential employers, but these candidates can also be useful in sharing the available positions with other candidates. With social media being popular with the use of hashtags, different job opportunities can be shared within minutes. This can allow employers to receive an abundant amount of applications to fill each position faster than without the use of social media at all.

Cost-Effective

Marketing a brand can become costly when you’re trying to get the word out about how great a product is. The same idea applies to companies who are trying to put out job openings. Using social media as a form of marketing is a key factor in finding applicants more rapidly. Not only can a company find great candidates, but it will also allow more people to hear about the business itself. Setting up a LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and even a blog page can help any company share their ideas, mission and vision, along with many job opportunities that can be available to qualifying candidates all around the world.

Creative and Fun

The average job seeking process can be tiresome for the employer and the candidate. However, while using social media to complete the job search process, potential candidates can now get more creative in the way that they choose to apply for each position. With videos and blogs becoming very popular these social media tools can be used as a means of being a more creative candidate compared to others who simply submit a black and white bulleted resume to their potential employers. This can give employers a chance to really see the differences in creativity for each candidate and see how much the application process can change and become more effective for both parties.

Fast Reference Checking

Traditional reference checking is soon becoming a thing of the past. Not only does it slow down the recruitment process, it only gives you ‘hearsay’ information about the candidate. Utilizing social media as a means of reference checking can potentially speed up the decision process based on how candidates publicly present themselves online. If candidates don’t have a professional way of handling themselves on the web, that will typically transfer into the office as well, so this can give employers any red flags that they may need to make any final decisions.

Reach Elusive and Passive Candidates

With today’s youth being a bit more passive to the job search idea, using social media has helped engage more people to the idea of online recruitment. Using social media as a job seeking tool can help passive candidates find jobs that interest them without having to physically go out and job hunt. For the passive candidate, this is a dream come true. This also gives employers a chance to really utilize social media by searching for candidates who may not even realize that they could be a good fit for your company. Social media allows an employer to reach out to a candidate first, not only giving them opportunity but a boost in confidence as well.

Great Way to Showcase Company Culture

Explaining company culture is simply a way of explaining how a company is run and is becoming more and more important to job seekers everywhere. Some offices are set up as cubicles and employees are answering calls non-stop while other companies offer multiple breaks and bean bag chairs within the offices. Each company is different and should utilize social media as a way to showcase how their company runs. Using social media to brand a company is very simple; if there is an office party, taking photos and posting them on the company’s social media site is a great way to show potential candidates how work activities can be fun and creative.

Branding a company online shows candidates and customers what your company has to offer and what the workplace is actually like. If someone is looking at a social media site for a job with no pictures or creative way of showing what the business is like and what the employees strive for within the business, they may continue on to look for a job opening that meets these qualifications. It is always important to showcase company culture to provide everyone with a solid understanding of how the company reaches success.

Disadvantages of Hiring Through Social Media

While social media has its benefits, it also has its disadvantages. Social media can be a tricky thing to mess with if you’re not both careful and strategic. Using social media for a recruitment process can be just as tedious as going the old-fashioned route. Getting through recruitment phone calls and interviews compared to updating and editing profiles might be a toss-up in which involved more tedious efforts.

The 3 Main Platforms Have Their Downsides

With sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn seemingly taking over the job search process, they each have their downsides for both the job seeker and the employer.  As any recruitment process may undergo, these sites have both a lot to offer, and a lot to update. While Twitter can easily share hashtag after hashtag you only have a limited amount of  characters to work with per tweet. While Facebook allows easy sharing and communication, privacy settings may prevent employers from reaching out to candidates. Although LinkedIn can help a candidate create a creative and informative business profile, connecting with other professionals can get a bit problematic and appear spammy.

Twitter

Twitter had once taken over the web and while it still a very popularly used social media site, its cons can become a huge downside in its usage for employee recruitment. Character limits can be a very good thing for someone who is a bit chatty on the web, however, when seeking employment, it can be difficult and pretty impossible to get a resume  down to just a few characters. How can a professional see what you have to offer if you are so limited? Not only does the character count affect potential candidates, but it can also affect businesses from successfully branding their company via Twitter as key factors can be omitted.

Facebook

Facebook can be a really great site for connecting with friends and family, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it can be as useful for connecting with business professionals. Most people that use Facebook just want to connect with people they know, as it is mainly used as a social networking tool and not primarily for business purposes. With that being said, many Facebook users want to keep their page more social rather than professional. Allowing business professionals to follow these accounts may hurt their chances at receiving a job offer, depending on what is posted or shared on their page.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great website to showcase not only who you are, but what you have accomplished and what you plan to accomplish with the skills you have collected throughout your academic and personal life. Although it is a great source to show business professionals what you have to offer, it can actually be very difficult to connect with these professionals. LinkedIn allows a limited amount of internal emails to be sent to other contacts. This can make a job search more difficult because options and opportunities may need to be narrowed down. If you are not connected with a professional that you want to get in touch with, it may be impossible, or cost money, unless they accept your invitation on the site to get in touch with them. While the site can showcase your work and qualifications, it is also important to keep the site as updated as possible so those who view it can view up to date on what you have to offer.

Can be Hard to Judge Candidates

Using social media can always have its risks. In the job recruitment process one of the biggest risks can be not knowing who exactly you are viewing online. Not all social media profiles are genuine, meaning you have to be extra careful that when recruiting online, you are speaking to the correct person. An entire application process can go to waste if the candidate found online is not a genuine candidate for the company, or if that site is set up simply as a scam. Not only can it be troublesome to know if the candidate is genuinely interested in the job opening, but candidates can also easily put false information onto their profiles. Conducting an external screening for the candidates is a good plan of action to follow up on what they have included in their online resume  or social media profile(s).

Potential Legal Issues

Many privacy settings have been put into place regarding social media profiles. Employers often need to be careful about what they view online from potential candidates to be sure that no legal issues will come forth. Many states have laws put into place about requesting profile information from applicants, making it clear that applicants do not legally have to provide this information. However, some applicants have public profiles that may encourage an employer to want to sift through their social media accounts in search of any red flags. Companies should be aware that when viewing a social media account, it can be delicate because an indirect bias about race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics can unintentionally be factored into their hiring decision, which is prohibited by state and federal law.

Mass Information Can Equal Issues

The hiring process can get a bit overwhelming when sifting through multiple applications and resumes. Viewing candidate information of those who went the traditional route versus those who took the social media recruitment route can become problematic. Someone who went the traditional route may have an abundant amount of solid information about themselves and someone who utilized Twitter may not have been able to say as much about themselves. Does this mean that the person who went the traditional route is more qualified for the position? Not necessarily. Using social media can become an unfair way to conduct a job search in both positive and negative ways for the social media route taker. Being able to include the same amount of information and guidelines for each candidate must be a factor in the onboarding process.

The Verdict

While some may say that utilizing social media for recruitment can become the downfall of a company, others may believe it to be the uprising of a company. Depending on what your particular business has to offer, social media can both benefit and drawback the perspectives of both the employer and the job seeker. It is important to curate content that can showcase your company in the best way possible to attract potential candidates. Also, as a potential candidate it is important to polish and improve your profiles strategically to fit each job opportunity that you may be seeking.

 

This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice.  Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.

 

{{cta(‘768177d1-4d3b-471c-81b4-41f2ac91a3e5’)}}

 

Topic:

Michelle Nystrom
Michelle Nystrom
Recruiter, people enthusiast, career match maker. I specialize in helping people see and reach their full potential, find meaningful work, connecting candidates and companies, and some HR on the side just for fun. Life should be lived at full speed, preferably in the great outdoors, and nothing should be left on the table. Literally. I love food.

SUBSCRIBE TO EMAIL UPDATES