The Impact of Social Networking Sites on the Processes of Recruitment and Selection of New Employees

Free «The Impact of Social Networking Sites on the Processes of Recruitment and Selection of New Employees» Essay Sample

The social media has for some years now taken over as the most popular communication platform across the globe especially in the business industry. Previously, organizations were holding back and taking it like a passing thing. The reason is that especially a larger percentage of users were the young adults at school and those fresh out of school. However, as social media networking has become embedded into the society’s communication practice, businesses have had to reconsider their stand on this and engage into social networking as well. The significance here is that as a part of society, the business must be present where they are likely to be heard and engaged by the rest of the community. It has so far worked well in terms of marketing with every company today having an active page, group or handle in social networking sites. The challenge, however, is in terms of recruiting and selecting new employees. Marketing has been a rather easy alternative when it comes to using the social networking sites since connecting the dots here is rather direct. The more people know about the company the more they are likely to increase customer numbers and thus sales volumes. In recruitment and selection though the organization will have to consider other dimensions to register the impact of social networking sites on the caliber of new employees received and the overall impact of using the Internet other than conventional methods. The major networking sites that should be considered are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram among others. The study is aimed at establishing how these social networking sites affect the processes of recruitment and selection within any organization. It is done with the working hypothesis being that using social media networking sites not only improves the efficiency. However, it also enhances the effectiveness of recruitment and selection processes within an organization.   

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Background of the Problem

Recruitment and selection are very vital processes within the organization. With the ever-increasing number of qualified applicants competing for an ever-decreasing pool of job positions, companies have to deal with too many applicants for a single position. Thus, it makes it very expensive and time consuming. The recruitment and selection processes, however, cannot be approached with a reductionist mindset considering the outcomes being simply definitive in the organization’s future. It follows that human resource officers have to find a way of recruiting and selecting the right employees for their organizations without spending too much time or money on it. It is the moment when social networking sites appear. They have enabled marketers to grow the market awareness at very low costs. Similarly, they could help to reduce the cost in recruitment and selection if used wisely. This study is aimed at establishing how these social networking sites can influence the processes of recruitment and selection and thus benefit the organization.    

Literature Review and Discussion

E-recruitment, as explained by Doherty (2010), is a fast growing ideology that implies the use of the Internet to find and screen potential candidates. It, thus, minimizes the organization’s work and expenses in terms of recruitment and selection. This process implies that as the dependence on technology grows more and more organizational processes are being performed through the web. The current craze of cloud computing for sales is the evidence that companies are no longer doing their work manually. However, they are rather relying on technological advances to be more effective and competitive. E-recruitment in this case implies using the social networking sites to attract, find, and evaluate the right candidates for a job position within the organization (Doherty, 2010). Ordinarily, the company would have to sign up for job adverts on print and even broadcast media or even rely on recruitment agencies. It is done in order to find the right candidates based on their specifications. Today, however, it is all about identifying the kind of recruits needed in the organization and looking for some ways to attract and evaluate them before deciding on whether or not to hire them.

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Madia (2011) has established the following thing. In order to establish the impact of social networking sites on recruitment and selection processes, it is important to establish how these sites are used to begin with. These ones include attracting, contacting, screening, evaluating, and selecting an applicant. The social networking sites are especially active in that they do not support the passive recruitment system with using traditional channels like job boards and print adverts. With social media recruiting, companies have to consider being present and active. They are seeking out the very best candidates for their vacant positions and thus engaging the candidates a bit more.

Furthermore, Madia (2011) has confirmed that companies using social media platforms to recruit must exploit all existing platforms to reach many people. These ones include the use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube as well as Instagram to generate some interest on the available job position. The idea is to get as many people interested as possible about the job. It can only happen if they use the popular content to redirect social media users to an article about the job position on offer. In order to register the high traffic for such articles, companies are often compelled to use the relevant content for attracting the following people. Such ones should contain the kind of mindset they would like to meet in a new employee. Attracting the right candidate is often about being the right employer. This theory is based on a simple rule that the best attracts the best. Employees are only attracted to companies that offer them an opportunity to grow and prosper in their career as well as personally (Viewpoint, 2012). Thus, a part of attracting the right candidates is having the positive presence on the Internet as well. As the employer is looking at potential candidates on LinkedIn, they would also be looking at the company’s profile and searching for all articles in which it is tagged. The idea is that having a good corporate image is the first step to attracting the right candidates especially at the today’s digital age.

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Once the organization has attracted the right candidates for a job position, contacting them can also be done through social networking sites (Viewpoint, 2012). The aim here is to interact with them without having to spend too much time or money; and thus an online conversation is effective. Most people spend a lot of their time on the Internet for social, academic and economic reasons. It is, thus, be stated that there are many conveniences in contacting a potential candidate online. A direct message, a tweet, status update or even an email could work effectively in allowing the potential candidates know the following thing. They are being analyzed and checked for a certain job position. There may be a call to them done to invite for an interview or a scheduled conference call with them. The way the first interview is conducted depends on how the company decides to go about it.     

Screening applicants means mainly establishing whether they are the right fit for the company. Other than academic qualifications and professional experience, the candidate’s personality is of great interest to the company. Therefore, the organization needs to know exactly what kind of individual the potential candidate is. In screening, most companies reportedly look for any inappropriate conduct including the use of drugs and alcohol, as well as sexual conduct. It is also considered disturbing. In some cases, the language used by the candidate or even the audacity in political expressions could be controversial. The key is to avoid persons that will compromise the firm’s image and position once they are hired (Viewpoint, 2012). For screening, the company is likely to read the candidate’s blogs, comments, and status updates in order to get to know how the organization expresses itself.    

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According to Wright (2011), online recruitment firms must have a stringent evaluation regime. It should allow some fair comparisons among many candidates in order to come up with the best potential recruit. The justification here is rather than having the candidates describing themselves. With screening results, the firm is able to decide which set of strengths and weaknesses would be bearable for the company. The organization should not trust how candidates wish to present themselves during an interview. Social networking sites, thus, allow rational evaluation for the company to make an objective decision on the right candidate to be selected. With a social aspect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among others, companies will find it very easy to get to know the real character of any applicant. It becomes clear after checking the social life. Thus, it allows the firm to choose anyone they find the most appealing and complementary individual to their corporate image (Wright, 2011).      

Once the recruitment process has been completed, the company may also choose to have a selection process online. It may simply use social networking sites to contact the successful candidates and inform them of their success (Wright, 2011). This process may conducted be through email, a direct message, a mention in a short-listing post or even a tag depending on the option of the employer. The idea is to pass on the information in such a way that the candidate will get it.  

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Evaluation and Analysis

Recruitment and selection are pivotal processes for deciding who gets into the organization and, thus, makes up the corporate image. It means that these two workflows make up fabric of any company by choosing not only skills and competencies of potential recruits and future employees. However, the organization decides on the kind of personal character that the applicants possess; and how these ones contribute to the firm’s overall image (Parry & Wilson, 2009). It means that the processes of recruitment and selection must consider more than only academic qualifications and professional experiences of candidates. Thus, the deeper the processes are the better they become for the organization in question. Using social networking sites has numerous implications on the processes of recruitment and selection. It can be seen in the discussion of e-recruitment mentioned above including how much the employer gets to find out about the potential employee for the firm. Among other things, e-recruitment provides a detailed set of information that can be used by the employer for a better and more effective candidates’ screening and evaluation.      

The Concept of E-Recruitment: Specific Potential Candidates Targeted

E-recruitment is about using social networking sites to find the right candidates and then hire them into the positions they are most suitable for. As such, it is about reaching out to the right applicant. Such candidates may be students or in an active employment with other organizations; sometimes they are seeking jobs even (Andrews, 2012). The bottom line is that the company that needs candidates for employment within it will take an initiative to look for them wherever they can be found. It is today most likely to be done in the Internet. The concept of e-recruitment is thus such that the firm makes a decision on the moment to look for new recruits, the place where to find them, and on persons they are looking for. Rather than posting random job adverts that would attract too many unqualified and overqualified people, the organization here can simply look for those people it needs attracting their interest through the content that is likely to appeal to them. The specificity of this concept is beneficial to recruitment and selection processes within the company because it narrows down the number of applicants significantly by ensuring the following thing. Only those persons qualified for the position will apply (Melanthiou, Pavlou, & Constantinou, 2015). It is especially done easier by the fact that most professionals belong to specific interest groups the company can exploit to attract their attention. A smaller number of qualified candidates take less time spent on going through resumes and screening the potential recruits thus making the processes more efficient.     

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Efficiency and Effectiveness: How Much Information Can the Social Networking Sites Give the Employer?

In order to get the right candidates, the initial requirement was academic qualifications and professional experience. It has been the way before the organization to be redefined to have personality and culture, thus, making people’s characters a very important concept during the search process. Today, the personal views, traits, and tendencies of a candidate are just as important as their academic credentials and experience (“The employment network,” 2011). People who indulge in illicit or explicit drugs and sex are often considered risky by organizations. Their personal lives are rather controversial. Social networking sites put every individual under a spotlight to be openly criticized by the public. Companies will have to avoid persons who can generate a lot of negative attention towards their personal habits. While organizations do not often have a problem with employees indulging in alcohol they may have an issue hiring someone with online reputation of alcoholic indulgences.

The key point for using the SNSs for recruiting is the depth of information they can offer the employer considering the employee’s personal life. In an interview, an applicant may admit to alcohol consumption but will not give a clear picture on the amount consumed. On the social media, however, there is likely to be the evidence on the frequency and extent of indulgence especially in a form of status updates, photos, and comments. It is especially seen how the thorough SNSs can occur when providing some insight into the potential candidate’s life. The company can be fully aware of the person being searched for to welcome into their ranks. The social networking sites allow the deeper insights into the personality of the potential candidate, thus, giving the company a chance to get people who will complement their image instead of tarnishing it.  

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Global Reach and Interactivity

Relying on the internet implies opening the company up to opportunities provided by an international labor market. Unlike other forms of recruitment channels, SNSs allow the organization to get potential candidates regardless of which part of the world they have come from. It influences recruitment and selection processes within the company by making it as diverse and thus culturally rich as possible (Melanthiou, Pavlou, & Constantinou, 2015). Organizational diversity is one of fundamental requirements of running a modern and effective organization. E-recruitment is a triggering element for creating such organizations. On interactivity, the SNSs allow the company to communicate directly and effectively with the potential interested candidates to convince them on the benefits of joining the firm. Meanwhile it also allows them to prove their worth to them. It means that both sides get an opportunity to defend their value before they can work together (“The employment network,” 2011). In the end, the processes become more relevant by ensuring that candidates join companies that suit their career goals and skills. Meanwhile organizations also get applicants that will add some value to their operations and organizational culture.  

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Accessibility and Convenience

Initially, the number of people who could access the information that the given company is hiring limited recruitment and selection processes. By using SNSs, organizations ensure that anyone who can access the Internet and possibly belongs to a relevant interest group can easily access the data on any job vacancies. It depends on their listed interests and skill sets (Parry & Wilson, 2009). Most SNSs encourage users to state their professions and occupations to be clear on which kind of information would be relevant to them in terms of employment news and features. They thus make the information accessible upon the user’s convenience depending on whether they use their Smartphone, laptops, tablets or desktop computers to access the SNSs. When the data on the company’s recruitment and selection processes is easily accessible than they are likely reach a wider audience. It provides the firm with a larger pool of professionals from which to choose their ideal candidates from. This process makes an exercise more effective given that the aim is to find the best-suited employee to fill the vacant position in the company (“The employment network,” 2011).

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Cost-Effective and Fast

Ordinarily, recruitment and selection processes are very slow and expensive. The fact that they are very important implies that they cannot be avoided. Thus most companies opt to outsource and save on time in the least. However, with the SNSs they are able to save both time and money without compromising on the quality of recruits they would like to get. SNSs make it easy to identify the right people without having to go through long and hectic interviews or numerous detailed resumes from unqualified applicants.    


Social networking sites are built on interest groups where people with similar interests can easily link up and form such communities. These ones enable them to share relevant information and ideas. Considering the recruitment processes in most organizations, these SNSs make it possible to reach a specific group of qualified individuals by going through their groups or using subjects they are likely to be interested in. It directs the organization’s recruitment efforts in the right direction for effective, efficient, cheap, and convenient recruitment (Doherty, 2010). Moreover, the SNSs allow for interactivity and rather detailed investigations into the individual applicant’s personal character thus enabling accurate and relevant selection. It allows the company to have the right candidate for the right job based on personal traits and values (Andrews, 2012). Basing on these facts, the social networking sites can improve the quality of recruitment and selection processes within organizations today. It is because they make it easier for organizations to reach the kind of candidates that they want to, while also providing them with as much relevant information about these candidates to allow for accurate selection without having to rely on personal descriptions or manipulated cover letters.

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