According to the various studies in 2017, the world’s population uses about 50 different social networks. Some are considered to be global, while others specialize in specific markets, locations or regions. Facebook is the largest social network. With over 1,870 million active users, it holds an 18% market share, 7% more so than its closest competitor, the Facebook-owned, WhatsApp. The average number of social media accounts for each Internet user is 5.54. Nevertheless, every person uses 2.82 social platforms actively. The popularity of social networks has broadened the understanding of their original function (communication and unification) so much that they are now used in various spheres of life and business (advertising, shopping, corporate communications, education, media).
Since the recruiting has become a personality- and skills-oriented industry, social networks are an integral part of hiring. The statistics say that 91% of employers use social networks when searching for a candidate. 76% of them scan Facebook, 53% Twitter. You may be surprised that only 48% of recruiters and sourcers look at the LinkedIn profile, despite the fact that this social network is considered to be the most frequent way to post the CV profile.
In addition, the development of tools and software evolved beyond a simple searching, so the special social recruiting services were created to give unlimited access to the every person’s social information. For example, Chrome browser extension called Intelligence Search easily searches Facebook, and services such as Followerwonk allow you to search for Twitter bios for keywords and job titles.
More advanced and multifunctional services to search for resumes give even more opportunities. For example, SignalHire allows you to collect all the available social networks of a candidate. Using the special software the system scans all the possible data about the person requested through all the kinds of services in the network and gives out the complete information about the person. The system generates some kind of candidate profile card, which includes personal contact information (personal phone number, e-mail), exact location, work experience and education, the candidate’s readiness to switch to another company and the direct links to all the social networks in which the candidate is registered. Thus, the recruiter optimizes his time and effort and can view those social networks that the candidate does not indicate in his CV.
Recruiters and sourcers find specific candidates by perusing niche networks and forums (developers network GitHub and StackOverflow, Moz and Warrior Forum for marketers, great leaders on Quora). Despite all the huge opportunities or social recruiting, there are often the disputes about the pros and cons of it’s using. The advantage is that they can always learn more about the personal qualities, hobbies, skills and compliance with the company’s corporate culture. It is possible to weed out those candidates, who may harm the employer or damage their reputation, anticipating his behavior by analyzing personal opinions posting.
At the same time, recruiters and HRs often face the controversy of questions of privacy and publicity of the information in social networks. The majority agree, if the information in social networks is public, then the game follows the legal rules. It is important not to forget, that if a candidate maintains social networks, as personal data for friends or a narrow environment, the recruiter still finds a way to scan it, then lawyers advise to be extremely accurate. Inadvertently, owning personal information about the candidate and basing the hiring result on the requirements of corporate culture within the company using the personal information, the recruiter risks violating a number of human rights about disabilities discrimination, gender and sexual orientation discrimination and even medical discrimination (cases of the legal marijuana use). So the threat to the reputation and the branding the employer as a disloyal and unethical comes to the forefront.
A striking example gives the lawyer Teresa Thompson from Fredrikson & Byron. Just imagine, the recruiter finds a girl’s Facebook profile, she posts her photo of the first months of pregnancy with the appropriate signature. Sometimes, if she comes to the interview the recruiter or HR couldn’t discover she is pregnant, and, surely, will not ask exculpatory questions for not to be caught in scanning social networks. If they have the information that is a little bit more personal and make a choice to try another candidate, they will have to work hard to circumvent the laws on the protection of rights, if it comes to proceedings on discrimination against a pregnant woman.
The conclusion is that each recruiter chooses to use social networks or not, weighs all the advantages and dangers of this sourcing tool. Nevertheless, it is difficult to deny the influence of the social network. It is necessary to consider the importance of social networks in the job searching – in 47% of cases, the recruiters screen the profiles of candidates immediately, after receiving a resume and actively use various services to generate these profiles. With the growing of the competition to engage the best top-skilled talents, that recruiter who ignores the wide possibilities can significantly lose his success.