Social Media and Recruitment

Love it or Hate it, social media is not going anywhere. Along with it comes the debate over whether or not to use it in recruitment and then, how and when to use it .

I’ve heard arguments on so many sides of it.

“Don’t Use It”
Social media profiles can give potential employers more information than they need to make employment decisions. For example, the photos may tell you information about age, gender, and national origin. The profiles may tell you about religious beliefs or sexual orientation. The content on their page may suggest political affiliation or show details about out-of-work activities that don’t pertain to employment decisions. The fear seems to be primarily around discrimination.

“Use It”
There are numerous benefits to using Social Media in your recruitment strategy. Employees can reach out into their networks and post about open positions and that leads increased engagement. Not to mention, you can reach passive job seekers more easily than using a standard job board.

Then there’s the question of how and when and which sites to use?

This question may be easier answered depending on the Social Media platform. For job postings, consider encouraging individual employees to post the link to your ATS on their social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn about open position in the company, especially if a number of your successful hires have come from referrals. This should also be embraced on a company level – embrace Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as marketing and recruiting tools. From a recruiting standpoint (directly contacting potential candidates), I tend to prefer LinkedIn as it is the most popular Social Media site for posting about professional details.

I’ve heard discussion about researching a candidate’s social media profiles after you have selected your final candidates. This again could still put you in hot water with learning information about the person that is protected. There seems to be a lot of chatter about an employer’s ability to limit or monitor an employee’s off-work activities. The EEOC held a meeting last year to hear information about topics surrounding Social Media and one recommendation that came from an attorney in that meeting was to use a 3rd party company to review social media profiles to avoid the potential of seeing sensitive information.

All in all, I’m a supporter of leveraging social media to reach more potential candidates and increase engagement. The more people that see and share your job posting, the larger and better pool of candidates an employer gets to pick from! Where I draw the line? Beware of reviewing social media content on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to make employment related decisions – there’s just too much sensitive information you may be able to pull from these sites to sway decision based on appearance, politic views, non-work activities, protected classes, etc. rather than on the merits of their skills and experience.