screening selection social media

The Pros & Cons of Screening and Selecting candidates via Social Media

Recruitment is of the utmost importance if you’re looking to succeed with your company. Over the last few years, social media has revolutionized business functions and operations. However, some businesses have not yet acknowledged the usefulness and reach of social media.

LinkedIn, one of the most popular social media networks, has made its niche in the professional world, attracting approximately 180 million people who are interested in networking for business and career purposes. With 1.9 billion active monthly users, Facebook is a heavy contender when it comes to the talent pool, and Twitter, with 232 million users, isn’t far behind. Based on sheer numbers, using social networks to recruit candidates is hard to resist.

Each platform has its own advantages, opportunities, and unique features that can be tailored to your company’s needs. It’s also a way to put your company’s brand out there, helping candidates familiarise themselves with you and see why your company would be a great place to work.

  • Cost-effective

As a matter of fact, creating a social media account is free. Traditional recruitment methods require a firm to pay a premium to advertise through traditional media channels and hope that a large number of candidates will see the job advert. The value and benefits of social media recruiting exceed its cost, and therefore the resulting return on investment (ROI) is significantly better compared to other recruiting programs.

  • Access to Passive Candidates

Social media allows employers to identify and reach potential candidates who have the right qualifications but are not thinking about changing their current jobs. Social media activity makes passive candidates aware of new job openings that may motivate them to consider leaving their current job for another, better paid one.

  • Increased Visibility and Larger Reach

When doing the recruiting via social media, an employer is able to reach a larger and more diverse pool of job seekers. Some social media sites allow employers to filter and match jobs depending on qualifications, skill levels, salary range, experience and titles.

  • Shorter Time to Recruit

Recruiting via social media enables candidates to respond immediately through different social media platforms and thus employers can fill vacant positions faster. This reduces the time needed to hire.

  • Better and Higher Quality Employees

Candidates who frequently use social media are more innovative and tech-savvy. They also tend to be aware of emerging trends in the business world. This means more creativity and productivity in the firm. It could also increase employee retention rates since most of those hired have skills that match the company’s needs.

However, Due to the nature of social recruiting platforms, there are some potential fatal flaws as well in using these avenues to attract and select talent. Such as:

A picture is worth a thousand words… or is it?

One of the greatest challenges of using social network for recruitment is drawing conclusion about a candidate from the pictures they posted. For example: there may be picture of a candidate being totally irresponsible, does this mean that they are an irresponsible person, of course not. It could be the only time they have done something like this and was completely out of character. By allowing one picture to determine that they are not worth the first interview could mean that you have just lost the best performer you would’ve ever employed.

A person’s friends are a direct reflection of themselves

In general, this statement may well have merit, but in social media it doesn’t. Why? Because not all ‘friends’ in social networks are actually friends, in many cases they are not even acquaintances.

Written by Mark Purbrick

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