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Websites that were designed to be social and for relaxed conversations with friends are quickly evolving into successful recruitment tools, with 1 in 3 managers admitting to using social networking sites as part of their recruitment method. What affect will employing via these sites have on the recruitment industry?

Innovative companies have been using sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote themselves free of charge for some time now and the HR sector is quickly reaping the benefits of this world of free information.
1 in 3 managers admit to searching for applicants online, to investigate their general attitude and behaviour and 1 in 5 claim that they would consider using social networking sites as their only method for recruitment in the future.

The study of 419 business managers from the UKs leading recruitment scoring website, found that the majority (63%) felt that social networking sites play a positive part in recruitment and only 13% of managers were against the idea of using such sites for their employment procedure.

The use of social networking sites comes with the obvious benefit of money other than time spent on the site, a job can be advertised and filled relatively free of charge. In addition, this new concept of advertising on social networking sites allows businesses to be more proactive in their search selecting potential candidates with relevant skills, hobbies, interests, qualifications and job titles that would appeal to their industry.
Advertising job vacancies by making free groups on social networking sites also means missing out the middle man and can consequently bring great results in a short space of time. 14% of managers chose this as their reason as to why they would rather use these online tools than other online recruitment tools.

Lisette Howlett, the founder of comments on the topic
Social networking and recruitment sites can also work hand-in-hand by attracting young, web-savvy candidates. University students still dominate sites like Facebook and therefore employers are able to catch fresh graduates before they even hit the job market. Twitter now offers Twit Jobs, a free-to-use service that allows employers to update the site with their latest vacancies reaching out to its 23,000 professional followers.

However, the key to successful recruiting via sites like Facebook and MySpace is to remember that these sites are social and therefore any information retrieved online about an individual must be interpreted and used intelligently. Part of the ability to benefit from this data is our ability to use the data appropriately and not get caught in stereotyping and also be sure to set it in context.
Engaging with the social networks takes a strategic plan work out what you want and how to promote yourself and you stand a much better chance of getting a result.

Of the 13% of managers who were against the idea of using social networking sites, 4% preferred the traditional method of print advertisements and the remaining 9% are not familiar with online concepts.


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