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.
If you need any guidance on recruiting a senior manager or leader or are looking for such a role yourself, please get in touch today to see how we can help.
Ita took the time to understand my objectives and needs as a candidate also – something unusual for a recruitment agency.
Information was provided quickly, in full and was very clear. Ita also took the time to follow-up post interviews to understand how things went and confirm next steps/timeframes. She has also gone the extra mile of checking in with me since starting in my new role.
Ita approached every stage of the recruitment process in a professional, honest and open manner. It was clear she was committed to finding the right candidate for her client
Karen was committed throughout my interview process as well as afterwards. You can see that she strives for excellence and has the utmost integrity.
Thanks very much for making a potentially stressful activity completely non-stressful!
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.
In a difficult market, Sitka were able to introduce us to several candidates who were suitable for our vacancies. Karen was so passionate about making sure both Drive and their prospective candidates got a great service and I knew she’d do an excellent job when future roles came up.
Sitka wanted to know about the organisation, our culture, our plans and aspirations. This meant they could be really confident talking about us and I’d like to think they were proud to be working on our behalf.
In all honesty I don’t think there was anything Sitka could have done differently. It was a time when we were struggling to get any applicants for various reasons. To find someone as good as we did is testament to the hard work Karen put in. We would never have found that candidate if we hadn’t used an agency like Sitka and Karen.