The Role of Social Media in the HR Recruitment Process

October 10, 2014

There’s no doubt about how much social media has changed not only our personal lives, but also the way in which we do business. Businesses around the world are utilizing social media channels to not only connect with their clients, but potential candidates for employment as well.

The number of recruiters utilizing social media platforms has steadily risen over the last six years, with 94% of them either already using them or planning to use them in the future. On the other side of the coin, 73% of people under the age of 35 state that they got their last job through a social networking site.

Going Social Means First Going Mobile

Along with the rise of social media, mobile hand-held devices are becoming the norm, and people are using them to access the internet more than ever before. Prospective employees are often researching your firm on the internet long before you even have a clue that they are applying for a job. They also expect companies to have both an online presence and the ability to engage in hiring via the internet.

In this great example, Sodex, the 20th largest employer in the United States, not only allows you to search for available positions online, they also offer a mobile app for job seekers.

Some companies are missing the fact that most job hunters are now expecting to see job opportunities on their mobile devices.

Is This Legal?

Since many candidates are examining your company online before you have even reached the interviewing stage, why shouldn’t you look at them, too?  Is this legal?

The bottom line is that your sole and final decision for hiring an employee should not be based completely on their social networking skills or status. However, it can be used as a conversation starter and as an extension of their resume given the right circumstances.

Prime example: If your firm is seeking an online marketing campaign expert, their ability to market themselves on social media sites should make them stand out above other equally qualified applicants. If knowledge of these platforms is relevant to the position being offered, than by all means it should be a larger part of the hiring equation.

Using “Big Data” to Find Big Talent

Yet another technology that needs our attention today is the application of “internet big data” in our online saturated marketplace. Simply put, it is the gathering and storage, then the eventual analysis of said data. This “big data” often drives business decisions, and the hiring process should be no different.

One of the many challenges that recruiters face is finding talented and qualified applicants for their open positions. TalentBin, a division of, the popular site connecting employers with prospective employees, is taking advantage of both social networking and big data. They find, and I quote, “passive candidates where they are active online based on their skills, interests and actions.”

Getting this kind of a head start on headhunting is becoming more important as the best candidates are often invisible or difficult to locate.

In Conclusion, Does Age Really Matter?

Whether they are baby-boomers, the generation X, millennials, or our advancing senior “silent” employees, each brings their own unique perspectives, values, and attitudes to our business environment. All of them are actively engaged in social media sites and deserve our equal attention as a valuable part of our workplace.

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Social media is changing how we communicate. Don't get left behind.

About The Author

Megan Ritter is an online business journalist with a background in marketing and telecommunications. In addition to researching how social media impacts different industries and business processes, her writing also covers virtual technology, globalization, and reputation management.

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    […] closest thing to one. In fact, if a person does not have even a rudimentary presence on LinkedIn, it can reflect poorly on him/her as not being in the know or wanting to be […]

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