According to a 2014 social recruiting survey by Jobvite, it shows that social recruiting is becoming more and more important in the recruiting process. 93% the recruiters are using or planning to use social media to help their recruiting work (Jobvite, 2014), because they believe that social media can help them to find potential candidates, and easy their effort to evaluate the applicants’ profile, and also can spread the employer’s brand widely and effectively.
1. Why social media plays more and more important in recruiting?
Recruiting with social media is quite different from the recruiting with traditional Internet. In the traditional Internet recruiting, the employer just uses the professional website as a channel to publish the recruiting news, and has to pay an amount of money according to the duration and the number of the jobs. And the traditional Internet recruiting doesn’t provide enough communication for the employers and the candidates. The candidates just apply the jobs according to the information that the recruiters publish, and the recruiter just view the candidates based on their resumes. The process is static and basically there is no communication and interaction between the recruiters and the candidates.
However, since the social media has a large and wide user group, the employer can use social media to publish and update its information quickly and that helps the employer to build its brand and get a good reputation. Also, the users’ information or profile in the social media is more likely to be real, thus it makes the recruiting more effectively. Then, because the users in the social media always has one or more network, if an employer wants to recruit through employee referral, the social media is a very effective method. What’s more, the social media provides a communication way for the recruiters and the candidates, the recruiters can follow the potential candidates they like and can contact with them without publish job vacancy. At last, most of the social media is free or with lower cost, it reduces the cost of the recruiting.
To summarize, on one hand, the social media can improve the efficiency of the recruiting by the speed and the width of information spreading, and on the other hand, the social media can help the recruiters to gain the chance to recruit better candidates by knowing more real information about the candidates and the effective channels to make employee referral.
The 2014 social recruiting survey also shows that among all the social media, the most frequently used social networks are LinkedIn (94%), Facebook (66%), Twitter (52%). However, through analyzing how the recruiters use these social networks in their effort, those websites can be divided into two different categories.
The first category is LinkedIn, which is a social network aimed to recruit. The users are trying to find jobs or find candidates when they use this website. The recruiters use this social network to search for candidates, contact candidates, pay constant attention to the potential candidates, and post jobs. The applicants can build their professional profiles, search for the jobs they want, follow their favorite companies or HRs.
The second category is Facebook and Twitter. These two networks are not designed for recruiting but for social connecting. Not like LinkedIn, the recruiters mostly use these websites to show their brand, post jobs and generate employee referrals. They basically use the social websites as a channel to make one way information spread, but not as a two way interaction tool. Also, the users of these two websites don’t take them as a main way to find jobs. They don’t build their professional profiles on them, and they just search for the latest recruiting news on them or just follow the companies to get the latest information.
Therefore, to summarize, if a company want to expand their brand or reputation, it’s well for them to use Facebook or Twitter, since they have much more users. However, if they want to find the potential candidates or know more about the potential candidates in the professional aspects, LinkedIn is a better option.
3. How LinkedIn works functionally?
Since LinkedIn is a professional network that aims to help the recruiters and the candidates to find each other, this thesis will take LinkedIn as the example to analyze how social media is used for recruiting. In the LinkedIn network, there are mainly two different parts of the users, one is the recruiter, the other one it the candidate.
For the candidates, LinkedIn has provided a very professional platform for each candidate who is seeking for a job now or waiting for a better offer to present its professional profile and its professional value. Firstly, the candidate can has its own professional profile, which includes the candidate’s basic information, working experience, education background, languages, skills and endorsements. The candidate can show themselves by this profile and can be found by the recruiters through their profiles. Besides, the platform provides the candidates to build one or more social circles by the relationships such as friends, school mates and so on. These circles can help the candidates to get or share the business opportunities among the members. Also, LinkedIn has tried to provide the resources and the opportunities for the candidates to build their career, for example LinkedIn for groups helps the interaction among the members of the groups, LinkedIn in Services helps the users to find service providers such as lawyers, accountants, LinkedIn discussion board helps the candidates who are in the same industry or have the same interest to communicate to promote each other’s career development. In one word, LinkedIn is not only a platform for candidates to show its professional profile, it is also a social network for candidates to get or share business opportunities through small groups based on relationships, interests, industries, and universities and so on.
For the recruiters, LinkedIn is also not just a platform to publish information or a way to collect the resumes.