Every recruiter wants to find the best talent and social recruiting has a lot of benefits. It’s a great way to connect and find out more about top candidates during the vetting and interview process. However, it’s not meant to be a replacement to your acquisition strategy, but rather another tool in your recruitment arsenal.
Social recruiting does allow you to find candidates that you may not have otherwise found. But it’s not 100% inclusive of all top talent. Although LinkedIn may be the social network of choice for most Americans looking for a professional white-collar job (24% U.S. & 30% worldwide prefer social networks when searching for a job, source Kelly Services Inc) , only 21% of people on LinkedIn have their profiles set up for job search. Most people aren’t actively looking and if they are, haven’t updated their profile to be optimized for job search. You should expand your social recruiting net to other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Vizualize.me or About.me.
Additionally, when you’re looking for top talent, you need to understand which demographics are on which social networks. For example, 12.8% of the population is African American, but only 5% have a professional profile on LinkedIn. The same goes for Hispanic profiles, only 2% of LinkedIn members are Hispanic versus 15.4% of the total population (source: Quantcast). So while although LinkedIn is a great social network for professionals, it’s also missing out on some great talent and could put your organization at risk for lawsuits due to discrimination of race or age.
Lastly, when screening candidates and perusing their social media profiles you need to make sure that personal information that the candidate posts, such as religious or sexual preference, family situations, or social activities such as drinking, are not weighed into the decision process. Your decision needs to be based on assessments, skills, or tests so that it’s not perceived as discrimination.
All that being said, while the legal risks are real, social networks can help you form a dialogue with potential candidates and let candidates get to know your brand. Remember, interviewing is a two-way street.