Article: 5 tips on how to use social media for recruitment

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5 tips on how to use social media for recruitment

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Finding a candidate's profile is not enough, recruiters must not only mine for the right information, they should also exercise caution.
5 tips on how to use social media for recruitment

Match the social media platform which is most applicable to your company and/or the role you are recruiting for.


As demand and competition intensifies, companies must understand their candidates and potential employees. So it is imperative that recruiters anticipate the talent that they need – in terms of skills, caliber, mindset, attitude and location. Global companies feel recruiting and sourcing highly-skilled talent is the most important HR priority. 

With technological advancement and extensive use of social media, identifying the right talent has become fairly efficient. Social media adoption has been increasing year on year. As per August 2015 statistics, there are a total of 1.49 billion Facebook users worldwide; this is a 13 percent increase from 2014. WhatsApp has a total of 800 million users; 316 million on Twitter, 300 million on Google +, 97 million on LinkedIn. In other words, social media is the new mainstream. So, it is only natural that recruiters who are in the business of finding the right people will want to tap into these rich sources. According to article published on, recruiters spend 4 to 5 hours a day on LinkedIn.  According to a study by Job vite in 2014, a total of 73% employers said they were increasing investment in Social Media, this was closely followed by referrals at 63% and a corporate career site at 60%.

Here are five tips to efficiently leverage social for ‘right-fit’ recruitment:

  1. Have a clear understanding of the requirement:  Asking the right questions clarifies recruitment efforts. Are you looking to understand a candidate’s background or writing style, or are you assessing his or her cultural fit? The answer to each of these questions can lead you down slightly different social media paths.

  2. Understanding the context: The second is to match the social media platform which is most applicable to your company and/or the role you are recruiting for, match this to the social media you are accessing to learn about your candidate. For instance, if you are scanning through profiles for candidates for a top marketing role, you probably want to understand the various tools they use to speak with customers today, and in this case, tapping into multiple social media sites makes sense. On the other hand, you may find the Facebook page of a chemical engineer not at all relevant to the role.

  3. Consider the candidates’ social media footprint:  Finding a candidate’s profile is not enough. A candidate may or may not be an active user. They may not understand the platform’s privacy settings. Given the changes in privacy settings over the years, some LinkedIn users may not even know that you can see their profile in the first instance. On the flip side, subject matter experts on Twitter may expect you to have seen their various social media contributions. A candidate with 12 LinkedIn connections from a current employer should be handled very differently from a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION). LIONs are completely open to making LinkedIn connections and are likely to have hundreds or thousands of people in their network. Similar to subject matter experts on Twitter, LIONs will likely expect that you have seen their profile. In contrast, tread carefully with candidates with a small social media footprint.

  4. Easing into the social media conversation: Speaking face to face with a person, or better yet looking at the whites of their eyes, is more valuable than the information on all social media sites put together. When speaking to candidates, particularly to inactive candidates, it is important to them ease into the conversation to feel their view on how much information you should know about them. You will gain much more insight into your candidates by gaining their trust first, as opposed to diving into a question they may view as off-putting at best.

  5. Default to the Golden Rule:  When in doubt, do unto others as you would have others do unto you. The simple rule of social graces going back centuries is always a good default position. Put yourself in their shoes. If you are still uncertain, ask colleagues or friends their opinion on the creepiness factor. It is best to proceed carefully rather than risk alienating the perfect candidate you took the time to research. 

This article is a part of the People Matters- Oracle Let's Talk Talent series. Click here to visit the Let's talk talent page to read more such articles.

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Topics: Recruitment, #Lets Talk Talent, #Social Media

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