The rise of social recruitment

How safe is your job application with your signature all over the internet? We’ve looked into academic research papers which explored this new trend of vetting applicants using social media. We’ll be looking into the ever encompassing social media landscape in the context of job market.

  • How to job market changed over the last 15 years.
  • Do HR Manager use social media to screen applicants?
  • Is your job at risk due to your personal social media?

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The modern job market: a love affair with social recruitment

The work-life boundary have been significantly blurred over the last 15 years. We take our work home and often our home goes to work with us inside that small square screen called the smart phone.

But it’s not just the job seekers who use social media at work, its organizations who use them to connect with their customers and most importantly for today’s topic, how they use social media to find and screen applicants.

The transformation of labor market

The employer-employee matches were made back in the day using local newspaper ads. The candidate pooling, in other word how employers or recruiters finds a pool of qualified candidates shortlisted for a position went through a seismic shift.

A research by Jones and his associates (2015) noted, hiring someone online provides significant cost improvement, it costs merely 5% of the traditional advertisement or offline methods. It’s no surprise adoption of e-recruitment has exploded over the last 25 years. 

Using Internet to employ someone came in two waves. The first was the rise of online job boards like or, where companies can post job vacancy advertisements and job seekers can share their resumes. The system would then automatically match a job with qualified job seekers and prompt them to submit their job application.

The second wave was the rise of social media. Never before have we seen recruitment of passive job candidates happening on such large scale, basically stealing top talent from another company by offering them better opportunity in terms of career growth, salary and perks. That’s one of the main reason recruiting through social media have grown so much in popularity.

In a survey conducted by SHRM from a random sample of 250000 companies in United States, it was found social recruitment grew from 56% in 2011 to 84% in 2016. Even more importantly, it was found 5% of the firms used it as their primary recruitment tool.

Employees scrutinizing the suitability of the hiring company

Social Media have brought a level playing field to the job market bringing some balance between the job seekers and job providers. They too now can scan a company, know them inside out, get a complete picture of their work culture before even stepping a single foot inside their door.

It is quite common in the social media era for an applicant to vet employers during recruitment stage. Employee’s today can confidentially communicate and share their experience working with a company in various online platforms, most notable one is Glassdoor.

So if you need information about a firm, you know where to go to see right into their soul, so to speak. Other places where you can get genuine company feedbacks by current and former employees are on job sites such as or, they too are allowing candidates to rate the organizations. Performing the role as the employer review aggregator in the job market.

Using Social Media lens to screen applicants

Is a candidate going to be a problem for a company down the line? Some HR professionals takes it as far as asking for access to candidates’ private social media accounts to see their content. It’s our innate risk averse approach that influences HR Managers to make these controversial decisions which legally and ethically raises serious questions.

Using social media for recruitment bears some dark side, this is what we discuss next. The advent of internet, more specifically the rise of social media have led to the use of such platform to screen applicants. SHRM survey showed, 43% of organization stated they used social media and search engines to gather personal data to screen applicants.

Traditional background checks such as Penal Clearance Check or Credit Checks deals under a clear criteria, one checks for criminal convictions and other checks for financial stature or credit worthiness. But cyber-vetting, the use of internet to gather information about someone, on first appearance seems to fulfil a similar role. But a clear lack of standard or guideline on what is acceptable and what is not, the vast trove of data collected from their social media activity to assess a candidate’s suitability to the job will often result in misleading or inaccurate decision making.

A candidate might look like a very well fit in his or her resume and cover letter but will hit a wall if their Instagram or Facebook contradicts their professional stature. A social media presence that seems to overwhelmingly demonstrate a taste for weekend drunken shenanigans or club hopping will certainly score a lot of demerit points in the eyes of HR Managers, despite it having no relation with the job whatsoever. 

There are some serious shortcomings of social screening. Invasion of privacy, various forms of discrimination that gets thrown into the spot light. When we judge someone by what they do during weekend, or what groups or pages they follow on social media. It will lead to arbitrary or discriminatory decisions.

We raised this contentious topic, so we could build up to the important section we will discuss next. How to make sure your job application does not become a victim of your Social Media activity.

Is your internet presence clean?

Firms are very sensitive to how you conduct yourself outside office and over internet. Do anything that does not align with their views or belief, and they will let you go without a second thought. Because think of it, when two people are in agreement, they take vows in matrimony to take care of each other. Once they grow apart and they no longer feel in agreement, the marriage dissolves. The same goes for employers and employee relationship but it is rather brutal and swift.

Is your job search at risk from your personal social media activity? We suppose, the next bit of stat will shed some light into this question. In fact, a research by SHRM showed, 36% of organizations have rejected an applicant because of inconsistent or concerning information was found on public social media or through internet search.

So it is high time, to make sure your social media does not show anything contentious or offensive in nature. Even if it’s something you have shared eons ago over the internet and you no longer hold that belief or idea, you are completely different person. Imagine your 20 year old self made a snide remark about a particular religion or race or gender, these things have a way to catch up to your present. And it is an instant free fall to the ground with no safety chute.

 Frequently Asked Questions About Social Recruitment

You might be wondering, how do I get head hunted by a talent firm? And even more importantly, is it something that can be actively pursued or is it simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time? This answer explore some tips on how you can make yourself more visible to talent firms and improve your chances of being headhunted. So read on to learn more!

Recruiting Agency and companies scans LinkedIn to hire their next big shot. It’s the number #1 place to be right now, if you are a job seeker. Employers will not search for you on Facebook, which is a personal social media. Whereas, LinkedIn is a social media for working professionals. It is the number #1 social media recruiting tool for employers and employees.

That is where all the career/job market activities are happening. And if you do not position yourself well with a well-built LinkedIn profile, you simply will fade in the backdrop. So there, that is the top way to give yourself the best chance at receiving stellar opportunities for your career.

It is borderline illegal to ask you to grant them access to your private profile. However, anything you share publicly can be used against you. Unless you are confident, every little granular details out there is just a pure reflection of you and they are just light banter. You will be fine.

If an employer asks for your Facebook profile, that technically is not illegal, and no matter how politely you say no, it means you have something to hide or you’re just too stiff with work life balance. Because remember, good friends or even life partners are made at work, a whopping 31% working professionals in the United States said “I do’ to people they met at work.

So, being too stiff isn’t a good look on you. If they ask for password, politely pass it off. But if they ask for a Facebook profile or Instagram profile, please do share with your employer. You come off as someone who is sociable.

Social media hiring or social recruitment is when we use online platforms—such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook—to identify and attract potential candidates for open positions within an organization. By using social media to identify talented individuals who are not actively looking for jobs, organizations can widen their talent pool to find the best possible candidates.

In addition, social media platforms provide a forum for both employers and potential employees to learn more about each other before making a decision about whether or not to pursue a relationship. Thus, recruiting through social media has become an important tool in the recruitment process.

Employment is one of the most important aspects of our lives. It is how we provide for ourselves and our families. In this day and age, finding a job against stiff competitions is tough, but knowing how to use technology, things have become a little bit easier. One such technological advancement that has made finding a job easier is e-recruitment. So, what exactly is e-recruitment? Let's take a closer look.

E-recruitment, also known as electronic recruitment, is the process of finding and hiring employees using the internet. This can include job boards, search engines, and social media sites. Recruiters use e-recruitment to find potential candidates, assess their qualifications, and then contact them for interviews. E-recruitment makes it easier for companies to find qualified candidates and helps job seekers connect with employers more easily.

Reference, social-media-recruiting-screening-2015

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The rise of social recruitment
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Areli Nevan has 15 years of writing experience in career columns. A professional resume writer with vast experience in his portfolios helping candidates create job winning applications.