Using Social Media to Make Hiring Decisions

4 years ago

Social Media

OK, hands up, who’s used Facebook or Twitter to check out a job applicant?

Don’t worry you’re not on your own. According to a recent study, it seems that 50% of employers have already, or would be prepared to search for information about a job applicant using social media.

A further 64% of employers say they have used professional social media to inform hiring decisions. After all, with an average of 20.3 applicants applying for each job in the North West compared to an average of 18 for the nation as a whole, you may find you need extra tools to help you make your decision.

Although 60% of job seekers feel it is not appropriate for employers or potential employers to check their personal social media profiles, 59% of them are prepared to alter their profiles in order to seem more appealing to employers.

But what are you looking to achieve from researching an applicant’s online profiles? Are you just being nosey? Or are you using them to aid your recruitment decision? If it’s the latter, you should first have a set of rules outlining what aspects of their profile will you allow to influence your decision? By looking too deeply into a profile you can dismiss a candidate who could have been ideal, but you’ve allowed a status they posted about the music they listen to, to negatively influence your decision.

Remember, it works both ways
Social media is also a popular employment research tool with 67% of job seekers accessing corporate professional social media profiles to find out more on company culture.

With this in mind, it’s important that you have a good social media presence and be very transparent when trying to portray what you’re company is all about. If you’re not visible on social media platforms you instantly appear outdated and as a result unappealing to the best and most experienced candidates who know how important social media is to businesses these days.

It’s important to get the balance right in the information you’re posting. Yes it’s great that you’re posting information that’s relevant to your industry, but be careful not to appear too boring, information about your employees and what they dressed up as for charity last week goes down a treat! It also gives any potential employees an insight into what it’s like to work for your organisation and as a result they can almost instantly determine whether your business is right for them.

Recruitment agencies remain significantly preferred over social media as a hiring channel
Interestingly, despite the expanding popularity of social media, recruitment consultancies remain the preferred hiring tool among both professional job seekers and employers.  43% of job seekers turn first to a recruitment consultancy to help them find a new role and almost 50% of hiring managers feel a recruitment consultant is best placed to assist them in securing top candidates compared to posting on job boards (preferred by only 12% of employers) or advertising on professional social media (13%).

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