Social media mapping of candidates’ resumés, or social recruiting, has been picking up at a discreet pace in the past few years. As more millennials seek to enter the workforce , social recruiting could almost (and it is doing so) replace the traditional methods of candidate evaluation.
With deep market penetration by social media across geographies, it is a buzzing way for job seekers to communicate openings and to drive traffic from job seekers who may not otherwise hear of such openings. 84% of the organisations are now recruiting through social media, which underscores the significance of social media as a recruiting platform. This is a 50% growth over the last 5 years, when only 56% of the companies were hiring through social media. At a global level, social media hiring has become a norm while in India it is beginning to gather momentum. According to JobVite, an UK-based recruiting software company, 73% of recruiters hired candidates via social media and 93% of hiring managers reviewed a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. Social media has an active role to play even for the candidate, with 79% of job seekers using social media for job search. For the workforce under 10 years of work experience, this figure rises up to 86%. Studies show us that at least 1 in 5 candidates have applied for a job they learnt about on social platforms, and 13% of users say they were recruited based on the information they posted on their respective social media platforms. Even the platforms of social recruiting are increasing. In 2010, LinkedIn was the most popular social recruiting tool; we also use Twitter and Facebook to not only communicate openings but also for evaluating candidates.
The increase in the number of social platforms available corresponds to an increase in the amount of and the variation in data shared by users (jobseekers) on these platforms. For example, a job seeker may use Twitter and LinkedIn for professional broadcasting, and Facebook and Instagram as personal platforms. According to recruiter.com, niche players catering to industry-specific networks are providing talent acquisition leaders with more social networks to utilise – some that are even more effectively bringing in top talent than LinkedIn. This could be an outcome from restrictions to viewing user profiles on social platforms. The site further adds that if these unique platforms (sic: social media) continue to grow, there is opportunity for these digital profiles to take the place of the resume as we know it, opening up an entirely new segment of the HR tech market
Tracking platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow organizations a glimpse into more personal perspective of the candidate versus the ‘paper’ view through the traditional CV. While the CV would also offer the functional expertise and educational background as qualifying factors for a role, in today’s competitive economy, non-tangible data such as hobbies and social network allow us to assess whether the candidate will fit in socially and culturally into the organisation. For example, LinkedIn allows colleagues, clients and supervisors to recommend or endorse people for their work. This gives vital information on the character and work ethic of the candidate. Endorsements from peers are more authentic than considering a candidate’s professional track record. Comprehensive screening through social platforms allows us to reduce our dependency on reference checks post-selection as the only verification tools. In fact, for mid- to senior level recruitments, social media is often considered the sole factor in hiring decisions.
The size and the demography of candidates we can reach depend on the platforms we are leveraging. 45% of Twitter’s users fall in to the 18-29 age group, however, Facebook and LinkedIn enable better reach in the above 45 age group. Gender bias plays a role, too, with women candidates showing a preference for Facebook versus LinkedIn where 67% of the user base is male.
Uplifted benchmarks such as industry connect, recommendations, skills endorsement by peers provide us with real time information. This improves candidate quality and an increase in employee referrals, and this helps bring down hiring costs effectively. However, in certain cases data presented on social media can be doubtful or questionable as social media lacks governance over information provided as personal credentials. For example, aggressive social media messaging by a candidate could cause concern for certain organisations, however, we do not base our decisions solely on photos or comments made on these platforms.
Albeit being a double-edged sword, a competitive job market such as today’s demands evolving sourcing tools which presents dynamic, efficient and suitable candidates who are more than their paper personalities on CV. If cost effectiveness and reaching a large candidate database is important to recruiting the best candidate in the market, organizations cannot afford to not use diverse social platforms.