Depending which surveys you look at, some 39-84 per cent of employers now use social media to research prospective candidates – last year, YouGov found that 1 in 5 employers had rejected candidates because of what they found out about them in the process.
But social screening goes both ways; an estimated 77 percent of candidates screen their prospective employers and 59 percent of employees credit the organisation’s social media presence as a reason for accepting the job.
Candidates are increasingly using social media as a primary job search tool, to the point it has even been mooted ‘the new CV’ – the tech-savvy hailed Generation Z are now perceived by millennials as a greater threat than robots!
Social media offers a fantastic opportunity for candidates to gain an insight into an organisation’s day to day activities before they even decide to fill out an application – some have even secured a job with a single tweet. But social media profiles only present snapshots.
There’s no question that the advanced search functions on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter has opened up opportunities for hiring teams to quickly scope out a wider talent pool and attract tricky to reach candidates more cost-effectively. But quick and fast rarely means good, and there’s often a disconnect between the anticipated benefits and reality.
Despite praising the potential for social media to reach passive candidates, many employers complain that such candidates are harder to motivate and retain. The truth is that while social media may help them filter out those who use offensive language, have bad spelling and post inappropriate photos, it won’t help them build the quality of relationship with candidates they need to identify a good match. And unless employers understand their target audiences in detail, they will most likely end up focusing on the wrong channel, LinkedIn instead of Facebook for instance, if they make the mistake many others have.
This isn’t to say it’s not worth having a presence on social media – far from it. Social media offers a great route to promote employer brand, which as we’ve mentioned in a previous blog is a key priority for a number of organisations. In fact, many businesses have social media profiles dedicated solely to careers.
However, it takes time to build engagement and manage one presence, let alone two – posts can’t all be about job vacancies after all. Blogs, videos, testimonials – anything that gives a taste of what it is like to work there can help, and this approach is more likely to yield culturally compatible candidates too – but it’s a long game.
Either way, trying to bypass the process with surreptitious screening of candidates’ social media profiles, however public they are, may soon be considered a breach of European law. In line with GDPR, regulators say that unless there is a legal ground and the search is directly relevant to the performance of the job, social media screening by employers will not be permitted.
Regulation aside, snooping is the opposite of what social media is, by its very name, all about.
Ultimately, if you really want to understand whether a candidate is a good match, there’s no screening more successful than the traditional face-to-face interview. Which is why, despite becoming more mainstream, social recruitment’s place in most recruitment processes is really still quite small.
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The process was thorough and very individual – time was spent finding out about the culture and style of the organisation and the exec team. Sitka worked with the candidates well to find the best fit for both employer and candidate. There was a sense of strong relationship building to ensure that this happened.
Throughout the process, they kept us informed and the whole process felt like a true partnership. Each candidate came to the interview with a great understanding of our business and had prepared thoroughly, particularly at the second stage interviews.
I had an excellent experience working with Sitka. They provided a far more personal approach than most recruitment companies, and they were very proactive in helping me find my new job.
I thoroughly enjoyed communicating with Karen and having her represent me. Karen was very hands on and made me feel very informed. Therefore I was able to relaxed and feel at ease during my interviews.
The recruitment process was a very smooth one with constant, non-intrusive updates. We benefited greatly from a personalised visit to our business, ensuring the right candidates were sourced for us. We received an excellent service.
Ita took the time to ask about our business, our culture, the role and really understood what we were looking for. This resulted in a really straightforward recruitment process. All of the candidates put forward were of exceptional quality and I would definitely recommend Sitka to my colleagues and network.