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I wrote an article on “The value of social media in recruitment” for ASPIRE™ by People Power™ published on 10th October 2011. A copy of the article is below:

The value of social media in recruitment

Candidates would normally research about a company and prepare themselves before attending a job interview. However, with the emergence and popularity of social media sites, recruiters can also do the same before calling candidates for job interviews!

Every day, new users sign up on the three main social media sites we know today – namely, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn which have over 975 million combined user accounts. The people using these social media websites sign up with their personal information as mandatory; optionally include their employment history and periodically post updates on what they’ve been doing.

For recruiters, LinkedIn is good for direct recruitment because it is business related, a social media website specifically for professionals. Recruiters are able to search for potential candidates using the search tool in their account and be able to search by keyword, location, job title, industry and language. Premium user accounts can also search by interest, function, years of experience as well as how long they’ve been at their current employer.

So what should recruiters be looking for anyway? Your candidate should have a complete profile, a picture, interests, hobbies and other information related outside of their work as well as some genuine recommendations from colleagues and managers.

Facebook and Twitter, although not specifically for recruitment, does provide additional information about the candidates that they wouldn’t normally share on their LinkedIn profiles. The information shared on Facebook and Twitter allows recruiters to do background checks as well as determine cultural fit of candidates.

In addition to direct recruiting, screening and background checking, social media can also be used for advertising job vacancies on official company pages. Recruiters can post in updates of their job vacancies for candidates to look at. A feature not to miss is careers under your LinkedIn company page which allows you to post your jobs. And, last but not least, using advertising platforms provided within the social media sites.

While social media is not a replacement for local job portals, newspaper advertising or recruitment agencies, it does provide recruiters alternatives to cast a wider net for their candidate applications.

Are you already using social media to source, screen and check references of potential employees? If not, do you see yourself using social media to fill your next vacancy? Do you think it would help your organization find the right candidate?