Hiring a new employee can be a complex and time-consuming process. Most employers find that using their industry contacts and resources brings them the most success, whereas others believe that external recruitment agencies have a better chance of finding the right candidate. Linkedin is becoming one of the most commonly used resources to find new employees, and it gives candidates the opportunity to showcase their skills. For both employers and employees this network has brought many successes and has helped businesses to flourish, but on the other hand, it has also led to a lot of confusion and mistrust of the online world. So, the question is, is Linkedin a hindrance to the recruitment process?
Social media recruitment as a whole:
Online activity has become increasingly influential in the recruitment process and often becomes part of the screening process when an employer is making a decision. Using personal social media profiles during the recruitment process has always been a grey area, and many believe that this is an intrusive and unfair strategy. It’s a well-known fact that people keep their personal and professional lives separate and that and information available on a social media account may not be a true indication of their work ethic or capability. It’s been revealed that 55% of employment professionals have rejected an individual because of something they have seen at their social media, whether this is regarding their drinking or drug-taking habits, things they have said about their previous employers or inappropriate content or images that have been posted. In the UK, this kind of screening process is being clamped down on, and any employer who rejects a person because of something they have seen on social media, they could be prosecuted.
Linkedin is a hub of knowledge and is a place where professionals can meet up and share ideas. Whichever profile you click on, you will find that the profile has been preened and groomed by the individual to reflect their best professional self. As with any form of social media, there is a level of trust that has to be exercised, and each profile should be taken with a pinch of salt during the selection process, as you will find that many people bend the truth to appear to be more capable or employable. Linkedin is helping to make the recruitment process more salient in some ways, but more difficult in others, so is it worth the time and investment that companies make?
The pros of using Linkedin in the recruitment process:
As previously mentioned, Linkedin is a great network of professional employable people, and as an employer, if you make people aware that you are hiring, then people will get in touch with you, or refer one of their connections. In some cases professionals can be found, interviewed and hired in a matter of days thanks to the help of Linkedin, as people have built up a level of prestige and an excellent network of professionals. The world is changing and becoming more digitally focused, instead of just searching for potential employees on job advertisement websites, Linkedin offers a whole host of fresh-faced and capable professionals that may not be able to be found anywhere else. For exposure to new professionals and a more salient process, Linkedin is currently unbeaten on any other social networking website and strives to create a harmonious network of skilled professionals.
The cons of using Linkedin in the recruitment process:
As previously mentioned, Linkedin is a platform that allows people to show the best version of their professional selves, and this means that it can be filled with pretenses. As an employer, it can be easy for you to become drawn in by all of the fantastic things that somebody writes on their Linkedin profiles, but again this could be spun content or somebody else’s ideas simply mimicked to make a good impression on employers. When searching for a new candidate on Linkedin, it can also be the case that they are difficult to reach, and therefore miss any opportunity at hand, because they do not regularly visit their profiles.
Additionally, some professionals find Linkedin recruitment to be impersonal and potentially intrusive. Recruitment professionals who are working for other companies, often use Linkedin as a method of communicating with potential “candidates,” and in poor practice, send messages to people who aren’t looking for a new job. If an individual receives a barrage of messages from recruiters on Linkedin, they may begin to lose their faith in the Linkedin recruitment process. It’s always important to build up a relationship with somebody on Linkedin and to make sure that they are seeking other employment. Otherwise, they may feel harassed.
Linkedin is a great resource to use alongside the more traditional employment techniques and can expose employers to a wider network of potential employees, but it can also be an abused resource which can lead to mistrust. It’s important to practice a more ethical technique when it comes to the employment process, but also to take every individual with a pinch of salt and to exercise the standard interview process after connecting with a professional.
(Alice Porter is a Tier 2 Visa Employment Specialist from Manchester)