Getting a job has never been as simple as seeing an advert in a newspaper, applying and getting an offer. When recruiting, businesses have always employed a variety of methods beyond traditional advertising to reach potential candidates, particularly through internal recommendations and friends of friends of existing employees. Word-of-mouth networks are now increasingly digitised, so companies are increasingly turning to social media for recruitment – sometimes using it as their sole external advertising for roles. Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of using social media platforms for recruiting efforts:

Targeted audience

This is the number one reason businesses will advertise via social media: their network of followers is already familiar with their business and products, additionally, they are likely to be users and supporters of the brand: what better pool from which to select the newest team member?

Potential saturation

That said, if the brand is a large one, there is a potential for a huge number of social shares which could just lead to chaos for the HR department. No-one wants hundreds and hundreds of applications to sift through – there comes a cut-off point for CV fatigue.

Free advertising

Another plus of using social media for recruitment is that it’s free. You can pay several hundred pounds to advertise in a newspaper or high-circulating job search website. A tweet or Facebook update has the additional benefit of being branded, and you can control the message and output, sharing it as many times as you want.

Lack of discretion

The fact that social media is branded may cause issues should the company in question wish to maintain a level of discretion in advertising the job. You might not want to advertise to clients and customers that there is a change in personnel on its way, so a non-branded traditional job advert is a way of going about it more quietly. Perhaps the job in question has had a high turnover recently: an avid follower of the brand will wonder why this is and potentially be disinclined to apply.

With social media platforms like LinkedIn specifically targeting job seekers, it is unlikely that recruitment-via-social-media is going to go away any time soon. It is important, however, for businesses to think carefully about whether it’s the right route for the specific role and company profile.