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Whitepaper reveals employer social media usage

One in two companies would be prepared to search for information about individual job applicants on personal social media websites, reveals the latest whitepaper from specialist recruiter, Robert Walters.

A further 64% of employers say they have used professional social media to inform hiring decisions, with one quarter using the information gained from these sites at the interview stage and 35% when assessing new applications.

However, the drawbacks of using social media in the recruitment process are clearly outlined. Over 60% of job seekers feel it is not appropriate for employers to check their personal social media profiles when applying for a job, arguing that it does not provide an informed picture of their professional strengths. Many agree that it does happen, however, and so 59% of job seekers say they are prepared to change their profiles to remove or alter content to appeal to a prospective employer.

Recruitment agencies remain significantly preferred over social media as a hiring channel

Additionally, despite the expanding popularity of social media, recruitment consultancies remain the preferred hiring tool among both professional job seekers and employers by a substantial margin.

The whitepaper shows that 43% of job seekers turn first to a recruitment consultancy to help them find a new role, against just 13% that prefer professional social networks. Similarly, nearly half of hiring managers feel a recruitment consultant is best placed to assist them in securing top candidates compared to posting on job boards (preferred by only 12% of employers) or advertising on professional social media (13%).

Job seeker use of professional social media

While not a popular channel for recruitment activity, social media is certainly deemed a useful employment research tool. 67% of job seekers accessing corporate professional social media profiles do so to find out more on company culture, with 80% using the same sources to research and prepare for an interview. Over two-thirds of job-seekers also recognise the value of these platforms for engaging with like-minded professionals and gaining intelligence on the market.

Chris Hickey, CEO of Robert Walters UK, South Africa and Middle East, said, “Social media has had a profound effect on our personal relationships and how we engage with friends and family. Yet this whitepaper shows that, while there are benefits to using social media in the recruitment process, they are complimenting rather than replacing other methods used by job seekers and employers.

“Professional social networks are used by job seekers to showcase their talents and research career opportunities. However, when looking for a new role, established channels such as recruitment consultancies continue to lead thanks to their advisory skills and ability to engage with employers.”

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