Corporate Eye

Ethics and Choices in Social Media Recruitment

Traditionally, recruitment has been about nothing more than finding the best candidate for the job. However, in recent years we’ve seen a lot more time, attention and column inches dedicated to the ethics of the recruitment process; how companies are recruiting, where they are advertising and how they’re reaching different aspects of the labour market are all under scrutiny. Workforce flexibility and excessive nepotism have all been debated hotly in parliament and, in the changing world of recruitment new technologies are rapidly being made to fit into line.

With social media becoming an ever more powerful recruitment tool, ensuring your online recruitment is ethical recruitment is paramount to successful use of social media.

Attracting a Broad Audience

If you’re looking for bloggers, front end developers or SEO experts then Twitter might be the right place to look, but you could be missing out on a huge range of different applicants if you only use social media as a recruitment tool.

Social media also has an incredibly temporary feel and if you’re tweeting several times a day, you’ll quickly find your recruitment drive eclipsed by other posts. You could easily be missing a slice of the market that you really should be attracting, seriously disadvantaging a number of quality applicants.

Equal Opportunity

Providing internal and external applicants an equal opportunity to find a position isn’t so easy on social media. Advertising on internal networks like Yammer will restrict your outlook only to internal candidates and public social networks generally attract more external candidates than internal.

The best way to address this situation is to keep your copy homogenous and drive recruitment equally from different social media aspects, all linking in to one recruitment page. Keeping your corporate web capital simple and standardised is important to provide equal opportunity to all candidates.

Finding the Best Candidate

It might seem appealing, easy and cheap to stick up a post on Twitter and give the internship to the first appropriate candidate. Though this might be a cost-effective method of recruiting and it does has a certain charm to it, it almost certainly will end up with you dismissing several quality candidates.

It could also be deemed that by advertising only on social media such as LinkedIn, you’re unfairly using your connections to take on employees. Though this isn’t necessarily illegal, it won’t do much for your reputation if it’s uncovered.

Though it’s completely right for recruiters to be making the most of the capabilities of social media, it doesn’t always mean it’s smart practice to do so. With more pressure on recruiters to keep on the right side of ethical, it’s key to keep thinking about how you’re using social media and how your practice is affecting business generally.

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Tom Goodsir

Tom started his career early; taking on an associate role at Deloitte just a few days after his eighteenth birthday, working in a technical role but with a focus on identifying and recruiting talented undergraduates. He is now entering his final year at Exeter University and he continues to work with the recruitment side of the firm and remains an active brand ambassador on campus. Over the last few years, Tom has spent time building up a reputation as a freelance writer and has developed both a strong client base and good knowledge of social media along the way. Though there’s still plenty to learn, experience working in both the smallest and the largest of businesses has served him well and given him a feel for balancing strong corporate ideas with a personal tone. As a student, Tom is able to offer a valuable insight into the way graduate recruitment works from the other side and how students and interns react to particular styles of marketing and recruitment. Eventually he hopes to take off his copywriting business before embarking on an MA in philosophy.