Social media and the hiring process

27 Aug

Some companies use social media to advertise their job openings.

Those in the business of keeping up with the latest advancements in recruiting and human resource planning will know that social media is one tool companies can use to find candidates. A study by the Human Capital Institute reported by Human Resource Executive Online found that although 72 percent are using social media for this purpose, only 55 percent actually believe they are using it effectively. Additionally, some question that even 55 percent of companies are successfully managing their recruiting through social media.

Recruiting candidates is never easy, and many companies are turning to personnel management software to help them keep up with the flood of potential employees that are coming from school and leaving their previous jobs to find better opportunities. Contacting these people through social media can be a challenge. People have to do more than just passively submit job listings

"Most people just post jobs, versus the hard work of building a talent community around the employer's brand," Jenna Filipkowski, director of research at HCI, told HRE Online. "The ones that use social media effectively are able to do both."

In other words, one of the best ways to use social media is to use it as an advertising tool to display a company's brand image and culture. This doesn't require companies use flashy images of fun parties to make people want to work for them. HRE Online cited an example of a diversity head at a firm who posted facts about her company's commitment to diversity and its percentage of diverse executives.

Other advertising strategies
Another way to build a brand is to start with smaller connections, such as tweeting about sports on Twitter.

"I'm a big White Sox fan, and discussing that via Twitter has helped me build personal rapport with people in this area whom we've ended up hiring," said Jill Neumann, HR Executive at SWC Technology partners, which finds most of its recruits via social media. "Talking about your likes and dislikes, funny banter about things that happened that day - doing this makes it more likely you'll attract lots of followers on Twitter."

Another way of getting people interested in a company is for the business to post a cognitive game or another challenge on its Facebook page for people to solve. This will give more ways for potential workers to interact with the page than simply following it or liking it.

Social Media Risks
One risk of using social media to recruit employees is that many companies will search candidates on social media platforms like Facebook. A separate HRE Online article pointed out there is a risk to this because companies can find out information they legally are not supposed to know, such as whether a woman is pregnant or not.

"It can be a tremendous risk because even if they don't mean to do it, employers could be screening using illegal or impermissible criteria, such as race, sex, ethnic background, etc.," Dianne Moretzsohn, a lawyer with McCausland Keen & Buckman, told the website. "It's obvious you can't use social media and hope to control for that."

According to The Fair Credit Reporting Act, employees must make it clear they are using background checks or credit checks when examining candidates. Additionally, these checks must only be relevant to the position. For example, checking for a driver's license is not legal if the job doesn't require driving.

However, no such requirements exist as of yet for social media. The laws in this field remain relatively murky because the subject is still very new. Employers may wish to let their own social media pages speak for themselves rather than look at candidates' pages.

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