Following our attendance to the “Recruiting and Employee Engagement in the Digital Age “ seminar last week, chaired by Dee Dee Doke of ‘The Recruiter’, we wanted to share some thoughts and findings regarding the use of social media within recruitment.
The use of social media as a recruitment tool gave rise to some lively discussions. The usage and benefit of social media seems to vary from sector to sector, with professional disciplines gaining less than administrative, commercial or industrial sectors, who find sites such as Facebook provide a strong candidate flow. Overall, it appears that the use of sites such as Twitter and Linkedin is more of a branding exercise in professional sectors, rather than relying on it for candidate or client enquiries.

It was also suggested that Linkedin should come with some form of etiquette to ensure that users remain professional at all times.
Some suggested guidelines are provided below:
1) Do personalise your linked in request - people are more likely to respond when you have taken the time to connect personally
2) Do remember your Linkedin connections can be viewed by all contacts so show some caution in who you connect with
3) Do not request people indiscriminately – ensure there is a reason for the other person to connect with you and that you can be of some benefit to each other.
4) Do treat a Linkedin request a little as you would a business development opportunity– think about how would you want to be perceived in the initial opening conversation and make sure this is reflected
5) Do not endorse everyone who requests it – bear in mind you are recommending that individual or business and that this will reflect on you.

In conclusion, the panel and audience seemed to agree that social media generally, and Linkedin specifically, can provide benefit when it is used in the correct manner to network across your contacts and to gain general market knowledge. Social media plays a part in the recruitment process but will never be an appropriate replacement for the personal touch and face to face contact. It should be used in a professional and correct manner with guidelines adhered to in order to ensure that it remains a successful medium, and should be viewed more as a branding opportunity than as a complete recruitment tool.

How does your organisation utilise social media in recruitment? Do you find social media a useful tool as a job seeker? If you have any views on this subject please share them with us.