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Social Media Changing Recruitment Methods

14 Aug 2013

New research commissioned by ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, has shown that the use of social media to recruit new talent is increasing.

The research, carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) for Acas, looked at how and why HR professionals and employers use social media when recruiting staff and the implications for the workplace, including the benefits and risks.

Looking at the results of a poll of 400 HR decision makers, a literature review and three case studies, the research found that:

  • 45% of HR decision makers said they were already using social media tools in recruitment;
  • 16% of HR decision makers said they were planning to use social media in future;
  • approximately 40% said they would make greater use of social media in the future;
  • social media tools are being used in addition to traditional recruitment strategies;
  • social media tools are being used in a number of different ways including searching for potential candidates online and for ‘screening’ candidates by viewing their social media profiles;

Author of the report, Andrea Broughton, of IES report stated:

“Our research has found that there has been an increase in the number of employers using social media when recruiting, often to complement more traditional recruitment methods.

“The extent to which the profession relies on its use depends on factors such as the size and sector the organisation operates in. For example, young growth companies were more likely to use social media.”

Anne Sharp, Acas Chief Executive, said:

“Organisations are getting more sophisticated about using social media when recruiting new employees. Employers should not be afraid to use these tools, but they need to consider the potential issues. For example, increasing the use of social media will require employers to think more strategically about their whole recruitment process and the extent to which it is appropriate and relevant to seek information about a potential employee’s private life as part of a fair process.”

The report, entitled “The use of social media in the recruitment process” can be downloaded from the ACAS web site at www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/0/b/The-use-of-social-media-in-the-recruitment-process.pdf

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