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Using Social Media In Recruitment – the pros & cons

Social Media is a phenomenon that up until about 20 years ago was completely unheard of. Now the number of social network users worldwide in 2017 is 2.46bn with predictions for this figure to increase to over 3 billion active monthly users by 2021 (which is around a third of the world’s entire population!). Therefore, making use of social media in recruitment and incorporating an element of social within a hiring strategy can be extremely advantageous.

Social media has the potential to influence all aspects of an (avid) user’s day-to-day life. From the way, they communicate to how they choose to interact with those around them. Therefore it only makes sense that companies create a social strategy to reach their social savvy audience.

But is it always that simple? We discuss the pros and cons of using social media in recruitment.



Social media can be an effective time-saving method. Through social screening, you can do some background research without the official protocols usually required for this type of approach. Instead, candidates can be assessed via their social platforms to give you greater insight into their personality and likelihood of fitting the role.


In addition to saving time, social media offers a cost-effective method to advertise job roles, source candidates and create a general attraction to your company and brand. Most recruiters favour LinkedIn as the obvious choice for advertising a job role but platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can also be effective in promoting the new job opening – at a relatively low cost.

Greater reach

Nowadays, candidates are no longer looking toward traditional job searching methods to find their next role. The culture shift created by the rise in social media usage means potential candidates are now using these platforms to look for jobs. Therefore as an employer or recruiter, to maximise job ad reach a strategy can be put in place to promote and share any new opportunities, to not only target active job seekers but also passive candidates.

Brand image

Your social profiles can act as an extension of your brand image and also an insight into your company’s values. To communicate this message it’s simply not enough to rely on ‘word of mouth’. Now it is far more effective to build a positive brand perception via your social channels. If you’re company posts regular, consistent content that reflect the brand values you can appeal to both the candidate and any potential clients.



Some argue that basing a hiring decision influenced through a candidate’s social media profile is an invasion of privacy. At times a candidate’s personal social media accounts aren’t a true representation of their professional self. How they choose to spend their personal time is something that is not always relevant to the job they are applying for.

Human bias

Social screening uses judgement based on assumptions and opinions formed by human decisions. This isn’t always the most effective method to screen candidates because at times it can run the risk of bias and favouritism. Leading to an overall less diverse workforce.


How accurate is it to rely on social media as a method to pre-screen a potential candidate? In some cases, job seekers hide or temporarily deactivate their accounts with the intention not to be found by employers. This may reflect negatively upon them and some argue it could cause an unfair disadvantage when employers favour those who choose to be more public online.

Damaged online reputation

With social media comes great responsibility… what you choose to post online can affect your perceived perception and reputation. Whilst posting the ‘right kind of content can build your brand, one ‘wrong’ post can be detrimental to business. Social media also offers a platform for candidates and clients to review your services publically. If these are positive reviews, then great! However negative reviews may damage your recruitment reputation. Overcome this by replying and following up with a sincere and apologetic response to resolve the issue.

We want to hear your thoughts! Is social media in recruitment effective for you? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @CiiVSOFT.

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