The role of social media in recruitment

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People have differing views on the value of social media recruitment and the
secret is to ensure that as you engage with the different mediums you build a
large network of potential candidates.


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By Anja van Beek, HR Director at Sage VIP
The tendency to recruit via social media is perhaps not as prevalent in South
Africa as in other countries. However, according to MCI Consultants, one of the
largest distributors of staffing software in Southern Africa, 58% of organisations
use social media to recruit candidates. This is according to a SA HR Recruitment
Trend Survey they conducted in 2013, which included the participation of over
1000 HR professionals from across the country.

People have differing views on the value of social media recruitment and the
secret is to ensure that as you engage with the different mediums you build a
large network of potential candidates.
At Sage VIP specifically, we have been making intensive use of recruiting via
social media for more than a year now.
Some points to consider:
Social media is a real time tool
It provides an excellent opportunity for potential candidates to market
themselves and to apply online. Connecting with candidates via social media
also allows you to build a network of possible workers for the future.
There is a variety of mediums available
This includes mainly Facebook, LinkedIn, Pnet and Careerjunction. In the
research study of MCI consultants, they have found that 69% of the
organisations use LinkedIn, 18% Facebook, while only 7% use Twitter and
Google Plus.
LinkedIn remains an excellent recruitment tool. At Sage VIP we use the
medium mainly for the recruitment of specialist positions and to advertise
management positions, especially in other African countries, where we do not
have a relationship yet with recruitment agencies.
With LinkedIn there are two options available when it comes to advertising
vacancies. You can either advertise in LinkedIn?s job function/tool or the HR
manager can publish vacancies on their own profile. If the manager then
connects with different and relevant groups in the industry, it provides the
advertisement with much more visibility. For example, one can connect with
other HR managers in Nigeria for the period the job is advertised and it also
helps to connect with universities if you are looking for graduates with specific
skills.

However to use LinkedIn to its best capacity you need to pay the premium rate
to be able to advertise jobs on the LinkedIn advertising portal. This brings in a
terrific amount of good calibre candidates. A substantial benefit of this is that
LinkedIn users will visit the site to get daily updates of all jobs available. Using
LinkedIn to headhunt does yield results although you are not guaranteed to find
the perfect person.
Facebook, unfortunately, is not an effective platform for finding the correct
skills because people tend to publish more personal information. However, the
site does have its own benefits. You can use Facebook to create a company
page where you then publish all your ads. You also need to consider if this
platform is a tool your company wants to use during the recruitment process and
if it will align with your company brand.
Our organisation does not really use Twitter as a recruitment medium,
mainly because it requires constant attention and maintenance. To gain the best
advantage on Twitter you can make use of a third party service like JobVine,
which is then linked to both your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
Perceptions about a potential candidate
Different social media platforms sometimes create different perceptions
about a candidate. For example, you might not consider a person based on their
Facebook profile, only to find that their LinkedIn profile paints a different picture.

Managers sometimes want to view a candidate?s Facebook profile to gain insight
into the individual?s "personal brand?. This is something students need to
consider. How do you want to portray yourself? How would your character be
judged by a stranger viewing your profile?
If your company engages in social media recruitment, it is important to
ensure you portray at all times the correct image of your company?s culture on
social media. A company?s brand is enhanced through its presence on social
media and potential candidates will definitely research your company?s social
media pages.
Be creative
HR managers have to be creative and make use of different search
techniques in order to find the right person. It takes considerable time and effort
to develop this skill.
Always be careful of scammers and hackers, our world is full of them
For example, do not use your personal Facebook profile to advertise positions. A
LinkedIn profile is the safer choice as you can specify how candidates can
contact you and what personal information you wish to reveal to them.
Sage VIP is a leading supplier of payroll and human resource
management solutions in South Africa and Africa

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