The Importance of Social Recruiting

Billy Barrett

With a booming global population and a larger-than-ever workforce, there is a growing strain on domestic and international job-markets, and competition in the world of talent acquisition is becoming both fierce and stressful. Snowed under by the masses of CVs and résumés that are posted, emailed and delivered, recruitment agencies and individual HR departments are having an increasingly difficult time finding the ‘needle in the haystack’ employee who will revolutionize the next workplace that they touch.

Fortunately, though, with tremendous growth has come huge development. Courtesy of the massively popular social media movement of the past decade, recruiters have taken to the various platforms and turned them into talent databases and prime advertisement spots ─ coining the modern concept of ‘social recruiting.’

What is Social Recruiting?

Nowadays, everybody has a smartphone or a laptop, and so, they are always connected. Social recruiting takes advantage of this by using social media to attract and convert prospective talent. The concept allows recruiters too vet and observe potential candidates by checking them out via their profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, for example.

And, there’s no wonder why it’s so popular. The amount of data that we put online today, through social media, is enormous, and, for a recruiter, it can paint a picture of your whole life based on the interactions or intersections of all these different applications. That picture shows them just who you are, in a way that an ever-so-slightly glorified CV or slightly embellished résumé does not.

Hasn’t Social Recruiting Always Existed?

Well, yes. The concept itself isn’t ‘new’ ─ people have been referring to others from their social circles for positions or roles since the dawn of humanity, presumably. However, technological advancement has bred a new form of interconnectivity, which enhances the power of ‘social’ and disrupts the ingrained traditional bias within the workplace that the ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’ mindset has brought.

Was The Traditional Way Bad?

No. Referral-based recommendations and hiring are crucial to the workplace. Actually, they’re great!

The potential employee is already known by an existing member of staff, meaning that they have a point-of-contact, family member, or somebody within the company who they know ─ and who, more importantly, understands them and can accurately judge whether they’re suitable for the job or not. From the other side, you have a known commodity that is being referred to for the job role or opportunity that another individual is advertising ─ you have a third-party connecting the dots, and acting as Cupid between workplace and worker.

There’s a catch, though!

Bias Begone!

The “traditional bias” that I mentioned before. The traditional method of referring members of your inner circle for positions at your workplace can raise questions from colleagues and peers. Think about it. If a husband or wife refers their other half for a job at their workplace, it brings into question the legitimacy of the reasoning ─ did they do so because of the obvious bond between them or because the individual is excellently qualified for the position? If it transpires that the answer is the former and not the latter, the workplace could quickly become a bitter, disapproving, and toxic place to spend your days, damaging team morale.

Fortunately, social recruiting makes inroads toward alleviating this problem by allowing recruiters to approach and acquire talent from a neutral, non-biased standpoint based on an individual’s portrayed presence on social media platforms. The process has become increasingly popular across the last decade, with 92% of recruiters and companies stating that they use social networks as a factor in their recruitment process between 2010 and 2015.

It’s unsurprising. The process cuts down on the traditional, costly methods of recruitment like adverts and publications; it allows you to target the perfect and passive candidates for the position, and, like all things ‘social’, your network will spread the word for you and your reach will grow exponentially. 

So, I suppose the question is, have you used social recruiting yet?


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