Using social media for recruitment – good or bad?

There is absolutely no denying that the world has gone crazy for social media. What’s more, gone are the days where the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were used to connect solely with friends. In today’s business savvy world, companies are now using social media for recruitment, acquiring new customers and building relationships with existing clients.

Unsurprisingly, these online networks have grown to become one of the most powerful tools available to recruiters today. With more than half of UK job seekers using these sites to help them find a new job, employers now have access to millions of people at the simple click of a media for recruitment

Although there is probably no better, cheaper, quicker or easier way to do this, there arepros and cons of adopting this method and both should be considered carefully before any final decisions are made.


Using social media for recruitment can play a key part in reaching potential candidates and building lasting relationships with them. As well as this, it can also offer recruiters an incomparable insight into future employers. With the ability to see someone’s likes and interests, employers can get a better understanding into whether or not someone would be a good fit for their team or company.

The most sought after candidates rarely even have to look for a new job before they’re snapped up by a head-hunter. With no access to their CVs or the knowledge that they are even looking for a new role, social media sites are a great way to connect, engage and build relationships with people so that when they are thinking of moving on, you automatically spring to mind.

Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn give companies access to a wide network of contacts and allows communication within targeted groups of individuals. With the ability to join in groups, debates and other online conversations, businesses can raise their profiles and build relationships with potential future candidates.

Even if a company isn’t currently recruiting, social networking can help them to build relationships leading up to when they may need people. Recruiting through social media doesn’t just have to be about finding candidates when a role needs to be filled, it can also be used to alert future employees when vacancies arise, build a good online reputation and ensure that people think of you at the right time.

social media for recruitmentCons

Although 79% of companies are already or are very shortly planning to use social networking websites, only 12% have said that they feel they are using them effectively.  Recruiting through social media will only be successful if businesses are willing to dedicate the necessary time and effort that is required.

For example, it is very important to remember that social media is all about the person touch. If responses aren’t made quickly or people are not acknowledged for their attempts at trying to communicate with you, relationships can be destroyed before they have even begun.

Companies should never just use the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to look for prospective employees. By relying solely on this technique and not incorporating more traditional methods as well, recruiters could be seriously limiting their talent pool.

It is important to remember that online profiles don’t necessarily paint an accurate picture of who a person is or what they are like. Assessing someone based solely on this could lead to inaccurate assumptions, missing out on a brilliant employee and more worryingly, also leaves the door wide open for unethical practices that can lead to discrimination hiring.

Although recruiting through social media is still a very new concept, with the right knowledge and attitudes it has the potential to revolutionise the way companies recruit. Have you used social networking sites to employ new staff or do you think it’s a waste of time? Let us know your thoughts below.

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