Human resource professionals using social media for recruitment

Many recruiters are using social networking sites to find quality job candidates, particularly LinkedIn, according to new research from the Society for Human Resource Management. Social media can be a great way for recruiters to contact candidates or people with a specific skill set. The research found 77 percent of human resource professionals use social media for recruiting, compared to 56 percent in 2011.

Hiring managers use these sites most often to find candidates for salaried, non-management positions and manager or director roles. Some use social media to screen job seekers in advance. LinkedIn was the most commonly used since the website has a job seeking and professional networking focus. According to Forbes, Facebook usage is on the rise as well, as the site introduced a Graph Search feature that allows recruiters to seek potential candidates at  specific companies, colleges or industries. More companies plan to increase their use of Twitter to find candidates, Forbes stated.

Publicly owned and privately held, for-profit companies were found to be more likely to use social networking sites for recruitment than government agencies and nonprofit companies.

While the trend is growing, social media may not be the best choice for all organizations. Some hiring managers remain wary of using social media as a screening method because they don't feel they can trust the accuracy of information. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they questioned relevancy of social media profiles to a candidate's work potential.

Impact for recruiting
Legal concerns can arise from using social media as a recruitment tool because employers may accidentally gain access to restricted information, such as a candidate's age or race, according to a separate SHRM article. A significant portion of survey respondents who said they not use social networking sites for recruitment and screening listed legal concerns as the reason. Some companies may feel the risk of a lawsuit outweighs the benefits of finding qualified candidates.

While social media can be a valuable tool for human resources, there are other drawbacks aside from potential legal issues. Not all qualified candidates utilize social media effectively. Particularly for engineering and manufacturing companies, HR professionals may encounter skills gaps for the positions they need to fill. Social media recruiting can be more difficult for managerial positions as well. Companies may want to consult a recruitment agency to fill highly specialized positions. This can help them avoid possible legal issues in screening candidates themselves and allow them to be matched with high quality talent.