Is Social Media Revolutionising Recruitment?

There’s no denying it; the digital evolution is well and truly underway. And now research released by the world’s leading oil and gas job board Oilandgaspeople.com has further signalled that social media networks are in the midst of transforming the recruitment process.  

The survey published by the industry leaders indicates that a significant number of recruiters and hiring managers are now using social media networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook to determine whether they want to proceed with or reject prospective candidates as common practice.

Of the 7,000 participants questioned, 82% revealed that they have investigated the profiles of potential candidates on social media sites. It seems that the decision making process is being increasingly influenced by the presence of social media; 64% of employers stated that they have rejected applications after viewing a candidate’s profile, whilst 71% cited social networks as a platform used to source suitable candidates.

CEO of Oilandgaspeople.com, Kevin Forbes, said of the developments: “Social media is now a powerful recruitment tool for getting the right person in position faster and cheaper than traditional forms of advertising.”

LinkedIn was cited as the social media channel of choice for recruitment (88%), with 25% using Facebook and only 8% recruiting via Twitter. Over half (63%) of the recruiters asked consider digital avenues of social media to be more effective for advertising live vacancies than more traditional alternatives such as a print. Over two thirds of respondents (77%) said that they chose to use social media to recruit because it gave them access to a more comprehensive bank of candidates, whilst 33% said it was more cost-effective.

Forbes continued: “As a leading Job Portal, we have always integrated with social media. Our LinkedIn groups are among the largest on LinkedIn and between LinkedIn and Facebook we are able to market jobs posted on Oil and Gas People to over 1.5 million candidates in the oil and gas industry. That’s over double the reach of our competitors that don’t utilise Social Media.”

There is then, very evidently, a shift in the way in which we approach recruitment and choose to engage with prospective candidates. The results of this research are indicative that whilst digital networks are being utilised by many to access a great breadth of talent, and gain a deeper understanding of said talent, there are still a proportion of employers that are cautious about developing their online recruitment presence. They may have unanswered questions; where does a candidate’s working profile stop and personal start? Are there legal implications to ‘checking out’ their social media profile? SMEs may not have the resources at their disposal to invest in developing their digital campaign, or if they do, they’re not convinced they need to. Their reservations are often justified.

In order for digital talent channels to be truly effective, they must be accessible and easy to navigate around. It’s one thing to set up a dedicated recruitment channel; it’s quite another to effectively manage it and actually gage the interest of the right kind of talent. Businesses must have a social media strategy in place, and it must be consistent to be heard amongst the sheer volume of noise. If it is not used to actively engage with the business’s potentially expansive digital demographic, the process will be redundant.

Social networks are an amass of dynamic online communities, and are revolutionising the way in which recruiters can directly source new talent. They are collaborative networks that reflect the reactive nature of digital media. They are a recruitment resource that is currently favoured by some - but we expect they will soon become inherent to all.


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