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How HR can use social media as part of the recruitment process

The entire process of recruitment has undergone a sea of change in recent years. Just as new technologies have changed the face of communication and networking, this has had a profound impact on the way both job seekers and recruiters operate in this hyper connected world.

Professional social media sites like LinkedIn have already become an integral tool for career development and talent search. Social media has created many opportunities for HR to find the best talent with the right skills and expertise. Let’s look at different ways in which HR can utilise different social media applications as part of the recruitment process.

Using social media to create a wider reach

The first way in which HR and PR departments can effectively use social media to widen their search for the perfect talent is to create a network of existing talent as well as alumni. This can help spread the word about current vacancies and job openings, and reach the right professionals within the shorter period of time.

Social media like LinkedIn and Facebook are great ways to create networks of potential candidates. LinkedIn can be particularly useful to find professionals with specific skills, experience and interests and can be equally useful for HR personnel to find the right talent as well as professionals to find the right opportunities.

Applying through social media

Online recruitment is fast becoming the most effective and quickest way to search for, find and apply for jobs. Social media like Facebook can be used to apply for vacancies easily and quickly through your social media profile. Companies often use the Facebook Job Application tool on their company profile page on Facebook.

Facebook also has a plethora of tools within the recruitment and job search area – including ways to promote friends from your contact list who are job hunting and Facebook job search apps for specific companies like Monster.

Using social media to find people with the right interests

Social media like Facebook and the micro-blogging site Twitter can be used by HR to find professionals with the right inclinations and interests to match the profile of the company. Google search is also an effective way of finding out more about a candidate.

These social media sites can be useful to screen professionals based on their personal interests, likes and dislikes, and to find the perfect match for the work culture and ethic of the particular company.

In a sense, while a CV can tell recruiters about a person’s professional life, they have very little to divulge about the person as a person. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can help recruiters understand more about the candidates’ personality, which could weigh in on the candidates’ professional application.

Human resource personnel have to do the challenging job of matching the perfect candidate with a particular position. This usually involves sifting through a multitude of applications to find the one suitable match. Recruitment is a bit like matchmaking, and the more information you have about a candidate the more likely you are to be able to make a good informed match. Social media provide useful ways of connecting with potential talent, widening the search in a targeted manner, and finding the right person for the company.

About the author

Nick Anderson is a writer for How2become; a leading career and recruitment specialist. How2become currently offers over 150 different titles across a wide range of careers providing insider information to help you prepare effectively. You can also connect with How2become on Facebook

Occasional Contributors

In addition to our regular guest bloggers, First Reference Talks blog published by First Reference, provides occasional guest post opportunities from various subject matter experts on the topics of payroll, employment and labour law, payroll, HR analytics, corporate immigration, accessibility related issues in Canada. If you are a subject matter expert and would like to become an occasional blogger, please contact Yosie Saint-Cyr at editor@firstreference.com. If you liked this post, subscribe to First Reference Talks blog to get regular updates.
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4 thoughts on “How HR can use social media as part of the recruitment process
  • Tammy says:

    Something else that many people don’t realize is that many professionals have their name “tagged” so that any time it’s mentioned in a public forum they receive that information, whether it be good or bad. So when university students post a rant about a professor they dislike, that prof likely knows about it. If people stop to think about how things stick around forever online they’d realize that the implications can be devastating to their long-term career plans. The privacy act doesn’t apply to information that you have posted about yourself in a public forum, that’s the point of a public forum is that it’s PUBLIC not private.

  • While I agree that snooping is upsetting, I think there is a serious need for people, especially young ones, to recognize that everything they put on “Facebook” or any other social network site, is out there forever and for everyone. “If you’d be embarrassed for your grandmother to know it, DON’T put it on-line” is a very good rule to follow. You never know who might do a search on you and see things you are ashamed of later.

  • Sharin' says:

    This snooping on the private lives of potential candidates lives is highly disturbing. Some of the information gained would be breeches of privacy under law and Privacy legislation.

    Given this new trend, employees should choose their employers with care and do indepth research on who they are working for. New websites are popping up such as Glassdoor for potential applicants to get an inside look of the companies. Also companies should be searched by reviewing lawsuits in CanLii for employment issues, e.g., discrimination, harrassment, unfair treatment, etc.

  • ksuresh says:

    Very informative. I work for Mcgladrey and there’s a whitepaper “Utilizing Microsoft Dynamics AX to enhance your image to external candidates” it provides good information on how technology helps businesses in recruitments, readers will find it very helpful @ http://bit.ly/14qv0KJ