Social Media’s Role in Recruiting and Hiring

September 25, 2018

With our generation’s infatuation with and reliance on social media, it’s only natural to consider how social media impacts job seekers in the recruiting and hiring process.  Does the presence of social media help or hurt job seekers? Well, it depends on how social media is used by job seekers, hiring managers and employers. 

How Recruiters and Hiring Managers Use Social Media:

To understand how hiring managers use social media, check out these stats from CareerBuilder:

  • 57 percent are less likely to interview a candidate they can't find online.
  • 54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles.
  • Half of employers check current employees' social media profiles, over a third have reprimanded or fired an employee for inappropriate content.
  • 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates, up from 11 percent in 2006.

Social media is a great tool for recruiters and hiring managers, if used appropriately. Social media not only provides recruiters/hiring managers with unique insight on candidates, but it also enables them to publicize job openings to the appropriate audience.

However, if recruiters/hiring managers look too closely, they may find something they did not want or need to know. SHRM points out that if social media is used incorrectly, privacy and discrimination problems could arise.

How Job Seekers Use Social Media:

As a job seeker, social media is a double-edged sword, and whether it helps or hurts you depends on your personal online presence. Because most employers use social media screening during the hiring process,  job seekers should use social media to put their best foot forward. It’s essential that job seekers keep their social media profiles, both private and public portions, up to par to prevent employers from forming a negative opinion of them.

If done poorly, social media can ruin a job seeker’s chances of even getting an interview for a job—especially when applying directly through job postings on Facebook. What NOT to post:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information.
  • Information about candidate drinking or using drugs.
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.
  • Bad-mouthing previous company or fellow employee.
  • Poor grammar or communication skills.

If done smartly, authentically and effectively, social media CAN help a job seeker’s chances of landing the job.  Through social media screening, recruiters and employers can learn more about a candidate’s interests, communication skills and personality, and decide if those aspects would be a good fit with their company culture.

All in all, social media plays multiple roles in the hiring and job search process. Be smart and use it to your advantage!

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