Recruiters Call For The Use Of Social Media

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3 Ways to Use Social Media to Recruit Better Tech Talent (Image from cio)

As the job market branches out onto the digital plane, many people come to a debate over the idea of using social media in job recruitment. One side, the job recruiters, are in favor of using social media accounts to screen their candidates. Recruiters make their best argument for the use of social media accounts during recruitment, when they say that screening social media accounts allows for an enhanced and thorough assessment of the candidates.

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The top three social media outlets that recruiters review (Image from theundercoverrecruiter.com)

Each month, nearly 30% of the world’s population use sites like Facebook, Instagram and Google+ to connect with people and to access information from all over the world. So it is nearly impossible to think that these social platforms would not be utilized in job recruitment processes. In fact, it was reported in Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey, that an astounding “93 percent of the 1,855 recruiting professionals plan to use social media in their recruiting process”(Kasper).

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(Image from social4ce.com)

In the article “3 Ways to Use Social Media to Recruit Better Tech Talent”, the author, Sharon Florentine, presents ways recruiters use social media screening to enrich the recruitment process. She states that surveying a candidate’s social media account gives recruiters a glimpse into their candidates lives– which aids for better assessment of the candidate. When recruiters screen social media account for the recruitment, it allows them a chance to get to know their candidate even before the interviews–this then endorses a healthy and safe environment for the recruiter and the candidate when the interviews and face to face processes take place. She also mentions that recruiters use social media accounts because they can provide detailed information about a candidate’s background and work experience. Successful recruiting can only happen through the screening of social media because “it allows not only information about a candidate’s experience and skills, but a better glimpse into their lifestyle, values and their cultural fit, which is crucial for companies looking not just to recruit and hire, but also to engage employees and improve retention rates”(Florentine). When recruiters screen their candidates– through LinkedIn or Facebook, they get to see the personality of the candidates, and this valuable insight can help them accurately and judge the candidates.

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(Image from Jobvite)

Recruiters also argue that it’s often overlooked that social media screening has proven to be extremely useful for discovering and sourcing their candidates. In a recent study conducted by CareerBuilder found that “33 percent of employers who research candidates on social networking sites say they’ve found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate and nearly 23 percent found content on their social media accounts that directly led to them hiring the candidate”(Grasz). In the eyes of the recruiters, social media has played a role as a supplementary factor in their selection process and more than likely it has led to the betterment of the candidates.

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The Switch app (image from businessinsider)

Yarden Tadmor, CEO and founder of anonymous job search and recruiting app Switch says that social media screening is especially vital when discovering talent with the “perfect cultural fit”. Switch “filters candidates through the lenses of their Facebook profiles, Twitter feeds and other platforms”, which helps recruiters select the candidates that would “fit the culture” of their company(Florentine). Recruiters analyze the information on the social media accounts and then judge if the candidates are equipped–socially– enough to work in their companies. This “social” analysis can only be acquired through social media accounts.

Recruiters also want to stress the fact that using social media is one of the many components in the recruitment process. Cristin Sturchio, global head of Talent at Cognolink believes that introducing Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin within the recruiting process is inexhaustible–and to get rid of it would be taking a step back in the sphere of recruitment. “When we’re on the fence about a candidate’s resume, we use LinkedIn to find out how involved they are in the LinkedIn community and throughout the industry”(Florentine). Other methods, such as interviews and resumes are still used, and very much factor in the recruitment process but social media screening is a medium that allows for the recruitment process to be simple and fruitful– and to take or limit that away would be disservice to the time and effort everyone( job seekers and recruiters) puts into the recruitment.

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The Employer versus the Job Seeker

Is it wrong for companies to use social media as determining factor when screening job candidates? Are job seekers wrong for not wanting screenings of their social media accounts during the recruitment process?

One group, the job seekers, argue that employers should not have the right to evaluate candidate’s social media accounts when choosing workers. In a Eurocom Worldwide survey, it was found that one in five technology industry executives have opted to not hire a candidate because of their social media profile. It’s understandable then when job seekers do not want their social media accounts screened because it seems that it can negatively impact their chances at employment even if they have outstanding credentials.

Job seekers, like most people, prefer to keep their professional, and personal lives separate. The University of Dayton, Antioch College, Sinclair Community College, and Wittenberg University(Lory) surveyed 2,000 students and revealed “many students tended to draw sharp lines between their personal lives and their professional faces”(Lory). So, is it even reasonable for an employer to look at a candidate’s social media profiles, when there’s already an established methodology to evaluate candidates? Why do employers feel the need to invade a candidate’s personal accounts when they can examine your resumes, your past jobs, and your professional accounts( e.g., LinkedIn). They also interview you and your previous employers.

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Image from Google

In theory, all companies should care about is the candidate’s professional abilities for the job. If a job recruiter can not make up their mind about the candidate through the long processes of face to face interaction and credentials involved with job applications then what more could they possibly know through social media accounts? So when job recruiters do use Facebook to screen candidates, they essentially are doing nothing but invading the applicant’s privacy.

Another reason as to why recruiters should not use social media accounts for job recruitment is because it’s changing the way we interact with social media. Social media started out as a platform for people to connect with others on larger cyber field. However, with the job market using social media as tool to pick and choose candidates, it has become less of “social profile” and more of a “career profile”. The Internet; the very medium that presents us with copious amounts of information, allows for global communication and enables us to express ourselves is now causing us to restrict ourselves more—now we have to privatize our Facebook pages and speak in neutral, politically correct terms because our long-term career success depends upon it.

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Image from Google

On the other hand, the job recruiters, find examining social media an additional tool when surveying their candidates. Social media accounts are helpful to job recruiters  because they, “identify an applicant’s professional qualifications, communication skills, and well-roundedness and determine an applicant’s potential organizational “fit””(U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Job recruiters argue that Internet profiles like Facebook can show the impartial personality and behavior of the candidates. In some cases, candidates will give out false information or lie about their personality on their resumes or in interviews. So to check the authenticity of the job seekers, recruiters feel that it is appropriate to check Facebook and other social networking accounts to see if candidates are honest.

There is also nothing lawfully wrong with employers searching on Facebook,“ as long as you’re treating all applicants equally”(Lory) said Darren Kaltved an associate director at Career Center for Science and Engineering (CCSE) at UM. Although there is very little legislation placed for the use of  the internet profiles when screening candidates, employers should heed to NACE principles— “recruiting, interviewing, and hiring individuals outside of  race, color, national origin, religion and so on”(Naceweb).