There is no doubt that the hiring process is changing with the times. What was once a process that entailed person-to-person networking, letters of recommendation, and telephone calls is now using new tools. One of the most important is social media.
You may think of social media as a place for entertainment or connecting with personal acquaintances. However, hiring managers are increasingly using it as a tool for recruiting potential job seekers. There are advantages and disadvantages to every social media platform, but be aware that recruiters are active on all of them, from Twitter and Facebook to Instagram, LinkedIn, and other platforms. They are combing the internet for job candidates that they think would be a good fit. These platforms are powerful tools for them.
So what is the role of social media in recruiting, and how does it apply to you?
An Easy Way to Narrow Down the Crowd
Recruiters are looking for people who might be looking for a job — and that is a big audience. Social media platforms help them narrow down their search. This might be by focusing on people with specific experience since many recruiters have industries in which they specialize in. They can also deliberately seek out people who express interest in finding a new job — often posting on their personal pages or are part of local job-seeking groups.
Spotting Qualified Candidates
Companies also use social media to recruit because it doesn’t just point the way to people looking for jobs, but it also helps them scout qualified candidates. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms are an amazing way to spot people who have the talents, qualifications, and attitude that they are looking for in an employee.
“The search for a job has been eased considerably by on-line message boards. They offer both organisations and applicants quick and easy posting of vacancies. The internet is the preferred source for those actively searching for jobs (Weiss and Barbeite, 2001), often providing far more information than traditional means of searching (Van Rooy et al., 2003). There are now many specialist sites keeping applicants abreast of potential vacancies across a wide range of organisations. Geographically dispersed applicants can now see potential jobs far more easily.” (Searle, 2006)
For job seekers, this means that your social media pages should have your qualifications — and of course, they should be squeaky clean. Remember that anyone can see what you post online, even companies looking for new hires.
Cutting Back on the Cost of Hiring
You may not know it, but recruiting new employees is a big expenditure for any company. Businesses spend money networking, interviewing, and vetting candidates. They also lose money in the form of productivity. During the long process of recruiting, they expend energy that could be spent on actual business. For this reason, companies are turning to social media to make this process shorter and therefore cheaper.
Screening Candidate Backgrounds
This is an elaboration on the second point above, but it bears repeating: It is standard for potential employers to screen job candidates’ social media profiles. Seeing anything that they consider unbefitting of a potential employee, they strike that name from the list. For employers, this is a useful tool for screening candidates on the surface level. For job seekers, it serves as a warning to be cautious of what they post online.
There are many reasons why social media helps in the recruitment process. However, these points are some of the most significant.