Social media recruitment has quickly become a buzzword in the business world. More and more companies are utilising websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook in order to get the brightest and best talent available. If you haven’t already embraced social media and are still debating whether it is the right form of recruitment for your business, here are some of the pros and cons to help you decide:
Free to use
Most social media sites are free to set-up and use, making them extremely attractive to cash-strapped business owners especially as many are still suffering from the prolong economic downturn. The recruitment process can be costly, sometimes costing businesses thousands every time they employ a new member of staff, so any way of cutting the hiring costs is clearly going to be attractive.
Unlike a job advert that will only be seen by thousands of people at most, advertising through social media has the potential to reach millions. As well as this, with many younger job hunters using these sites on a daily basis, this is a great way of tapping into new talent. If you are worried about the reach being too wide, consider joining one of the more industry-specific social sites such as Quora, which tends to attract people from tech and start-up backgrounds.
Not only does recruiting through social media websites help you hire quality employees, but it can also enhance your brand’s image. It gives you the opportunity to communicate with potential employees and customers directly, making your company seem open, modern and honest. Just make sure that your posts and updates have an authentic voice that conveys your company’s personality.
Although most social media sites are free to use, they will cost you in terms of time. Unless you spend time creating a comprehensive social media recruitment strategy you could find yourself posting updates that seem disjointed and which don’t relay the message and image you want to project. As well as this, social media attracts both the positive and negative, so you need to have a plan in place in case you have to deal with unhappy customers or disgruntled ex-employees.
One of the main concerns many business owners have with social media recruitment is the potential legal issues it could raise. Social media sites provide you with an unprecedented insight into job candidates, from their marriage status to what they got up to last Saturday night. This amount of information could leave you open to claims of discrimination, which if faced with a court case, the burden would fall on you to prove otherwise. HR specialists, Octopus HR has created a Recruiters’ Guide to Social Media, which provides advice on how employers can protect themselves from potential accusations of discrimination when using social media sites.
Also keep in mind that looking at a candidate’s social media profile is that their online personality might not be the same as they are in person. The party animal you see online might in fact be a serious and hard worker during the week, while the confident and social blogger might be quiet and introverted in person. It is important, therefore, to always view candidate’s social media profiles as only a small part of their personality, rather than assuming you know all about them before you meet in person.
Written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger who has a years of experience in writing for business publications and websites.