HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Should you hire using social media?

Giving yourself access to billions of candidates might not actually be such a good thing…
Should you hire using social media?
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Should you hire using social media?


Giving yourself access to billions of candidates might not actually be such a good thing…

The increasingly central role of technology, and social media, in every aspect of our lives has facilitated new ways of hiring that employers are increasingly utilising. In fact, 2016 research from the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that 84% of organisations are currently hiring via social media. In addition, nine per cent of employers are actively looking to use it in future. With Facebook (2.375billion), Twitter (321million) and Instagram (one billion) boasting a staggering number of monthly users between them – and with six new Facebook profiles created every second – these platforms have an immense power to increase the visibility of a role and put employers in front of a large pool of candidates. Yet, whilst some employers have welcomed social media hiring methods, is it an approach that all employers should be basing their hiring strategy around?

 
 

‘Not a panacea’
David Gawthorpe, Head of Resourcing at Stagecoach Bus believes that employers shouldn’t be solely relying on social media for their hiring. In fact, he explains that it should only be used during the first stage of hiring: candidate attraction. “If you took hiring in the context of the attraction piece, then for me, absolutely, but I don’t think it’s the panacea. [It’s] a great approach to your attraction strategy as part of your talent acquisition piece and I think it is brilliant because it’s just another platform getting you out there.”

Gawthorpe adds that while employers may be tempted to think that social media can “solve all ills”, it should be used in conjunction with other hiring strategies. The main reason for this is that although promoting a job advert on social media platforms to billions of potential candidates will enhance the reach of a recruitment campaign, it ultimately doesn’t change the strength of an organisation’s hiring process. “It is still up to you to do the content. If you don’t have the right processes underpinning it then it is probably going to be an expensive waste,” he adds.

 

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Consider your candidates
Similarly, Vicki Hyland, Global Head of Talent Attraction at BP thinks that social media-based hiring should form only a part of an employer’s wider hiring strategy – to be used in conjunction with other techniques.

“You can’t solely rely on it to meet all your needs; it should be seen as another string to your talent attraction bow”

However, using platforms such as Instagram can be useful for particular candidates, she adds. It’s a hiring axiom that for any recruitment campaign to be successful, employers must consider the type of candidate that they want to attract. This will determine the platforms that they use to attract that talent.

“You really need to ask yourself, who do I want to hire and where do these people communicate and consume information? If the answer is anyone from school-leavers to Millennials, then the answer is most likely yes, you should be using social media,” Hyland explains. This tallies with the research. Recent figures from the Aberdeen Group reveal that 73% of Millennials found their last position through a social media platform suggesting that this particular method is successful for attracting and hiring young talent.

 

PR problems
Posting job adverts on social media can come with its own problems. Stagecoach’s Gawthorpe is quick to identify one issue with social media hiring. “From an employer’s point of view, it can be quite costly. [If all businesses] are competing for the same space at the same time – because nobody wants their job advert to go live at 3am on a Sunday morning – it can get quite expensive,” he lays out. In addition, Gawthorpe added that content posted on social media spreads quickly and there is a chance that a job advert could be poorly received by the public.

He points to an example which HR Grapevine recently reported on, whereby an employer posted a job advert which cited that ‘depressed snowflakes’ and candidates with ‘psycho boyfriends’ shouldn’t apply. This may have generated a lot of media attention but that’s not to say that it was positive. Careful planning of social media hiring strategies is crucial to ensure that employer branding and reputation doesn’t get destroyed in the process, as this will only make it more difficult to recruit new talent.

 
stagecoach
stagecoach
stagecoach
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A two-way street
According to Robert Walters’ research, 80% of jobseekers use social media to research prospective employers and prepare for interviews. A shoddy job advert is therefore likely to put prospective employees off. Chris Hickey, CEO of Robert Walters UK adds that this has created an interesting recruitment hierarchy. “The take-up of social media has naturally led some companies to consider its use as a recruitment tool. What’s interesting is that the tables have turned, and jobseekers are now increasingly making use of social media to research companies that they may wish to work for.”

Ergo: whether employers like it or not social media is now part of the hiring process, if not the hiring process in totality. As the younger tech-native generations enter the workplace grasping social media hiring is imperative for employers wanting to attract a younger demographic. Otherwise, employers are likely to miss out on skilled talent. Yet, it shouldn’t be used without sensitive and strategic implementation. As Gawthorpe says: “If you have got a really good selection and onboarding process then [social media is ] just another avenue for talent.”

“If you have got a really good selection and onboarding process then you’re just finding another avenue for talent”

 

The increasingly central role of technology, and social media, in every aspect of our lives has facilitated new ways of hiring that employers are increasingly utilising. In fact, 2016 research from the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that 84% of organisations are currently hiring via social media. In addition, nine per cent of employers are actively looking to use it in future. With Facebook (2.375billion), Twitter (321million) and Instagram (one billion) boasting a staggering number of monthly users between them – and with six new Facebook profiles created every second – these platforms have an immense power to increase the visibility of a role and put employers in front of a large pool of candidates. Yet, whilst some employers; have welcomed social media hiring methods, is it an approach that all employers should be basing their hiring strategy around?

‘Not a panacea’
David Gawthorpe, Head of Resourcing at Stagecoach Bus believes that employers shouldn’t be solely relying on social media for their hiring. In fact, he explains that it should only be used during the first stage of hiring: candidate attraction. “If you took hiring in the context of the attraction piece, then for me, absolutely, but I don’t think it’s the panacea. [It’s] a great approach to your attraction strategy as part of your talent acquisition piece and I think it is brilliant because it’s just another platform getting you out there.”

 

Gawthorpe adds that while employers may be tempted to think that social media can “solve all ills”, it should be used in conjunction with other hiring strategies. The main reason for this is that although promoting a job advert on social media platforms to billions of potential candidates will enhance the reach of a recruitment campaign, it ultimately doesn’t change the strength of an organisation’s hiring process. “It is still up to you to do the content. If you don’t have the right processes underpinning it then it is probably going to be an expensive waste,” he adds.

 

NAME

 

Consider your candidates
Similarly, Vicki Hyland, Global Head of Talent Attraction at BP thinks that social media-based hiring should form only a part of an employer’s wider hiring strategy – to be used in conjunction with other techniques.

 

“You can’t solely rely on it to meet all your needs; it should be seen as another string to your talent attraction bow”

 

However, using platforms such as Instagram can be useful for particular candidates, she adds. It’s a hiring axiom that for any recruitment campaign to be successful, employers must consider the type of candidate that they want to attract. This will determine the platforms that they use to attract that talent.

“You really need to ask yourself, who do I want to hire and where do these people communicate and consume information? If the answer is anyone from school-leavers to Millennials, then the answer is most likely yes, you should be using social media,” Hyland explains. This tallies with the research. Recent figures from the Aberdeen Group reveal that 73% of Millennials found their last position through a social media platform suggesting that this particular method is successful for attracting and hiring young talent.

 

NAME

 

PR problems
Posting job adverts on social media can come with its own problems. Stagecoach’s Gawthorpe is quick to identify one issue with social media hiring. “From an employer’s point of view, it can be quite costly. [If all businesses] are competing for the same space at the same time – because nobody wants their job advert to go live at 3am on a Sunday morning – it can get quite expensive,” he lays out. In addition, Gawthorpe added that content posted on social media spreads quickly and there is a chance that a job advert could be poorly received by the public.

 

NAME

 

He points to an example which HR Grapevine recently reported on, whereby an employer posted a job advert which cited that ‘depressed snowflakes’ and candidates with ‘psycho boyfriends’ shouldn’t apply. This may have generated a lot of media attention but that’s not to say that it was positive. Careful planning of social media hiring strategies is crucial to ensure that employer branding and reputation doesn’t get destroyed in the process, as this will only make it more difficult to recruit new talent.

 

NAME

 

A two-way street
According to Robert Walters’ research, 80% of jobseekers use social media to research prospective employers and prepare for interviews. A shoddy job advert is therefore likely to put prospective employees off. Chris Hickey, CEO of Robert Walters UK adds that this has created an interesting recruitment hierarchy. “The take-up of social media has naturally led some companies to consider its use as a recruitment tool. What’s interesting is that the tables have turned, and jobseekers are now increasingly making use of social media to research companies that they may wish to work for.”

Ergo: whether employers like it or not social media is now part of the hiring process, if not the hiring process in totality. As the younger tech-native generations enter the workplace grasping social media hiring is imperative for employers wanting to attract a younger demographic. Otherwise, employers are likely to miss out on skilled talent. Yet, it shouldn’t be used without sensitive and strategic implementation. As Gawthorpe says: “If you have got a really good selection and onboarding process then [social media is ] just another avenue for talent.”


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