What You Need to Know Before You Start Looking for New Hires on Social Media

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Think discovering job candidates via social media is easy? The truth is far more complicated.

Almost everyone you know uses social media. So, when you start looking for new talent, you may naturally turn to social networks. After all, a whopping “86% of people in the first 10 years of their career are likely to use social media in their job search,” according to Glassdoor research.

However, that doesn’t mean that you have the time, resources, or budget to wade through all those social media posts. Before you jump in, weigh the pros and cons.


The pros

1. Social media posts can be ‘conversation starters’

When you look into a candidate’s social media feed, you can gain insight that might not be gleaned from an interview.

Social media can be used as “an extension of the resume, a conversation starter that gives the interviewer a deeper understanding of the candidate,” states Melanie Berkowitz, Esq., in a Monster article.

For example, if you’re looking to fill a very data-driven position, you may see that a potential candidate showcases his creativity in social media posts. That information can be a springboard in the interview to see how analytical skills tie into creativity.

2. You know how familiar a candidate is with social media channels

In today’s digital age, many businesses expect their employees to participate in promoting the company brand via personal social networks. If that’s important to you, you’ll know how comfortable job candidates are with specific channels.

Moreover, if you’re looking for a position that involves creating visual content or snapping event photos and sharing them online, you may consider Instagram the best place to see how well the possible candidate sets up shots, tags images, and writes captions that draw in a social audience.

3. Social media is relatively inexpensive

Once you figure out which social networks best suit your hiring needs, just about all you need to do to start posting is create an account. Share what the position is, what its requirements are, and whatever details you deem necessary. Then, sit back and wait for the applications to roll in.

On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes,” states Glassdoor.

The cons

Did that last part sound too simple? It was. It didn’t address the hidden costs and dangers of using social media for job recruitment.

1. Social media is actually not that inexpensive

Signing up to a social media account is cheap, but that’s about all that’s cheap.

When you spend time posting online, you take away time from other tasks that you need to accomplish. When you ask other people at your business to share social media posts to draw in potential job candidates, you take those employees from their work. That’s more time spent. And time really is money.

Remember those estimated 250 job applications that you expect to fly in? Those may not even be the best candidates for the job. Those people may lack the education, experience, and soft skills required for the position. You’ll have a lot of applications, but you’ll also need a lot of time to wade through them.

And time is─well, you know.

2. You need to be extra-careful about using social media information legally

Looking at a potential candidate’s social media presents a possible danger for recruiters.

Once you review a candidate’s online profile, a court will assume you are aware of that person’s ‘protected characteristics’ that are often part of their online postings,” writes Berkowitz.

You want to glean info that helps, not hinders, in the recruitment process. However, you may find out some details about the candidate that alarm you, concern you, or just turn you off. But can you legally take that information into account when you interview someone?

You walk a dangerous line here.

3. You exclude candidates who might be a perfect fit for your company but don’t have a social media presence

Most people you know may have a social media presence, but that doesn’t mean everyone does.

Not every job seeker uses social media,” states Jonathan A. Segal in HR Magazine. “So, diversify your recruiting approaches to reach potential talent and cast a broad net. Use social media as one of many tools—not the sole one.”

Moreover, the best hire may have valid reasons for not having a social media presence. Or a brilliant content strategist may not have social media for herself but has a definite social media presence for the company where she works.

Going Beyond Social Media

Social media on its own can be a minefield for job recruiting. When paired with skilled human networking and deep research, however, it can be highly beneficial for recruiters.

At Mankuta | Gallagher, we use social media as one resource in our recruitment arsenal. We collect data and review peer referrals of qualified individuals, so you can decide what the next step should be. All that information helps in making the first contact between you and candidates a positive experience.

We also really talk to people, representing our clients’ opportunities with a real voice. We go beyond job postings, social media, and cold emails.

Give us a call and find out how our unique approach to job recruitment can find the best talent, not just the most social one, for your company.