Finding a job has never been a simple process and finding the right person to join your company is like finding a needle in a haystack. Fortunately the rise of social media is making it easier for companies and candidates to court each other. Those candidates that use their online presence to ‘beef up’ their CV are benefiting from companies that have begun screening candidates social profiles before making a hiring decision. Those businesses that are communicating their business values and employment environments are benefiting as they attract higher quality candidates who are keen to join the company.

Social media offers three primary solutions to the recruitment industry.

social media and recruitment1) Headhunting

The first and most obvious shift that social media presented was that people began to profile their professional career online. This is the most prevalent on LinkedIn, which has grown to 2.2 million users in South Africa in 2013. People have taken to the internet to provide the world with a view into their professional careers.

Access to a database of online, up-to-date and well designed CV’s has now made it possible for recruiters to search for candidates online before advertising a job spec and approaching the right candidates directly.

LinkedIn has launched LinkedIn Recruiter to help business make use of the network to find the right candidates for the job. These talent services make up over 50% of the revenue that LinkedIn generates, showing that the social network is providing business with valuable and useful services in this area.

2) Personal Profiling

As people begin to profile their careers online, the competition is getting bigger for job opportunities in the marketplace. Those people with online profiles that impress recruiters and clearly communicate their value as an employee, will be those with the edge on the competition.

Social screening is the process of searching for potential candidates in social websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter  in order to qualify the candidate for a position. Social screening allows employers to find out information from candidates that is often difficult to discover through the interview process. LinkedIn recently launched new tools to add to your work history that include videos, links and documents for you to create a richer and deeper online presence and professional profile. This is important as recruiters have began rigourous “social screening” processes.  In fact a survey done by Jobvite reported that 90% of employers used social recruiting in 2012.

These discoveries can be both negative and positive.

The positive side of social screening:

  • They get a feel for the personality of the candidate
  • They can verify the qualification of the candidate
  • Creative people often use social platforms to express their creativity
  • Employers can get an idea of the communication skills of the candidate
  • Social Sites like LinkedIn can provide further recommendations for the candidate

The negative side of social screening:

  • Inappropriate photographs can raise warning flags about the personality of the candidate
  • Drug abuse could become apparent
  • Bad mouthing previous employers can show the candidates work ethic
  • Identify poor communication skills
  • The candidate may be sharing confidential business information of previous or current employers

As the competition grows with candidates profiling themselves online and recruiters expecting to socially screen candidates, it is impossible to ignore the value of building your personal profile online.

3) Business Profiling

Finally, business needs to begin the process of profiling themselves online. This is not in the sense of having a website that explains what services you offer and who your board of directors are. Business needs to leverage social media to help candidates explore what it is like to work there, what your core values are and how they can make a difference in the business.

This has become increasingly important with a younger generation who is looking for a company that has a deeper sense of purpose, and a heart for social values. These young people are looking for more than opportunity and salary, they need to know they share the same moral compass and that they can achieve the work-life balance they are searching for.

In addition to the desires of Generation Y, they search for information easily through Google and Social Networks. The important aspect to remember about profiling your business for recruitment is to focus on the networks that have the people you are looking to connect with, and that have the media channels that are the most engaging to communicate your message. Facebook is a great network to connect with people, however YouTube will help you produce video content that is search engine friendly. Twitter is another network that will go a long way to helping you share your business values and lifestyle with your followers. Recently businesses have taken to Instagram, the photo sharing network, to help them allow people a look inside the walls of their business. All of these social media platforms have the potential to attract the talent you are looking for, it is simply a case of shaping your message.

The push and pull of recruiting on social media

It is becoming more evident as social media matures in the business world that there needs to be a two way approach to recruitment. Headhunting and Social Screening help business to find the right people, whilst personal profiling and business profiling help people find the right business.

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