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The Disadvantages of Using Social Media for Recruitment

by Alison Green, studioD

A firm’s recruitment strategies can make all the difference in hiring competent and talented individuals. Although using social media for hiring provides you with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn -- which are great tools for finding potential recruits -- numerous hurdles stand in your way. You have to deal with character limits on some networks, work to identify genuine candidates and keep posts visible in high-traffic channels.

Minimizing Information

Social networks like Twitter give you 140 characters to publish your vacancy. Given that a typical job post highlights the basic duties and educational qualifications and skills, it is impossible to provide all the information about a job in a single tweet. When you minimize the information you post on social media, you risk deleting crucial details that might entice job seekers. Also, according to the Wall Street Journal, job seekers find it challenging to format their CVs in 140 characters, making it hard for employers to scrutinize qualifications of potential candidates.

Increasing Visibility

Because social networks are not technically recruitment platforms, employers have to do more to catch the attention of Internet users who are focused on chatting with friends and family. Besides, according to Convince and Convert, a social media consulting firm, around 67% of social media users in the U.S. don’t follow any brands. For your job postings to gain more exposure and reach interested candidates, you may have to spend money in advertising, an idea that may discourage companies working on small budgets and those with little web presence.

Contacting Candidates

Initiating direct contact with potential recruits on social media can be difficult. Most social networks, including Twitter and LinkedIn, don’t allow you to send private messages to users you’re not already connected with. For instance, you can only send a direct message to a user through Twitter if he follows you. According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, some job seekers fear social networks reveal unnecessary information to potential employers and end up tightening privacy settings, leaving employers with no chance of initiating contact.

Protecting Image

Some companies may face challenges striking the right balance between conducting a successful recruitment exercise on social media and protecting the brand image. For example, when a firm posts a job opening on social media, it may receive numerous applications and choose to contact one or two prospective candidates. Applicants who aren't contacted could react angrily and post damaging information about the firm on numerous social networks. Talented job seekers may also ignore job openings posted by companies with poor social media profiles. Such firms can, however, hire reputation management specialists to help build a positive image.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.

Photo Credits

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