The advent of social networks has solved problems related to interactions and socialization. People far apart can connect and share ideas, photos, and even videos. This new phenomenon has once more shrunk the world into an even smaller global village. People can connect with friends and families far away in just the same as they would be in the same house. The benefits of social media are numerous, and their number is larger than that of disadvantages. The use of social media has, however, gone farther than expected with the development of advertisement forums and e-recruitment. It has been recorded that many companies today are sourcing and recruiting online.
Nevertheless, the process is not free from controversy with many believing that the use of social media has been taken way too far. In any case, the proponents of this movement believe that technology is there to help. Using e-recruitment serves in reducing the cost of manual recruiting. Conversely, there are those who feel that most of the social media has been started as personalized accounts and that information obtained from them should not be used in recruitment.
Others assert the fact that individuals’ personal accounts enable them to have valuable information about a person as compared to any other source. This paper has explored various academic literature concerning the use of social media in human resources management, the effects of the new method, and going further into the recommendations from research regarding the safe use of this technology.
Keywords: e-recruitment, social networks, technology-driven staffing.
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Recruiting with social networking is fastly becoming common. The benefits of using the technology of social media in job recruitment have been related to the fact that it is faster to use, can cover more clients from the wider geographical area, and saves time (Doherty, 2010). Additionally, using e-recruitment serves in reducing the cost of manual recruiting. Furthermore, on the one hand, there are those who feel that most of the social media have been started as personalized accounts, and information obtained here should not be used in recruitment. On the other hand, their opponents stress that personal accounts provide them with an opportunity to have valuable information about a person rather than any other source.
Therefore, this paper will explore the current issues regarding technology-driven recruitment through a review of academic literature.
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The use of social networking websites for recruiting workers has been researched extensively. For instance, in a study conducted by Ollington, Zealand, Gibb, and Harcourt in 2011, the researchers wanted to measure the awareness among the students of the possible use of social network sites in recruiting job applicants. They first acknowledged the fact that the social network has become a buzz in human resources. It is a site that many use to know better the applicants for a job. It is also worth noting that many people in the production and especially in the job searching age are holders of social network sites accounts. In these accounts, individuals tend to save personal information and other stuff that if given a provision, they would not like a prospective employer to see (Ollington et al., 2011).
The results of the study showed that 49.3% of the respondents were completely aware of this fact and had an example of a person who failed to secure a job probably due to the information on his or her profile. 6% of those who participated in the research indicated that they would not want their employers to view their social network sites. Some of those admitted having information that would deny their opportunities while others just considered the accounts personal. Among the respondents who filled the questionnaires, only 21% would accept to give a prospective employer their social site passwords. The social network sites covered by the aforementioned study were mainly Facebook and Twitter.
From these results, it is clear that social network sites are being used by human resource managers to screen individuals for jobs. Most people are aware of this fact, but only a few would freely like to disclose their information. Besides, those who would not want their accounts to be screened feel that they have some information that the employer would rather not know. This study was conducted among possible recruits. The researchers recommended that a similar study may be conducted among the recruiters in order to identify to what extent they can go in screening recruits from social media sites. The ethicality of such an action is also questionable given the fact that these sites are password-protected and hence personal.
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Another article by Ronald LaPorte (2004) supports social networks. Having managed a social network website, telepreventive medicine, LaPorte (2004) has outlined several real benefits of social sites. On his website, he explains how he has been able to bring together people interested in preventive medicine from around the world. The main outcome of this coming together is not only socializing but also sharing ideas related to the field. The interaction provides them with a platform for exchanging ideas and thoughts about the issues affecting the intended area.
From his perspective, e-recruitment is possible, and the modern human resources manager should focus on taking advantage of social sites and technology to cut costs while still having enough of the required information. The scholar has observed that the use of such technologies helps in recruiting in rapid response to the crisis. Information on social media runs faster than in any other media. He has further stated that he wished to see telepreventive medicine broaden to encompass other sciences. This will probably increase information flow and reception (LaPorte, 2004).
A research was conducted by Meinald Thielsch, Lisa Tramer, and Leoni Pytlik in 2012 to explore what applicants feel about e-recruitment. This study was aimed at establishing the applicants’ views and feelings about the fairness of online recruiting procedures. The participants were subjected to two online recruitment databases and then questioned about their experience. Results showed that half of the respondents viewed the process as fair, while the rest considered it either as unfair or very unfair.
These findings were compared to those from a different study, exploring the fairness of one-on-one recruitment. The comparison demonstrated that the process of online recruitment is regarded as fair by most of the respondents as compared to manual recruitment. However, the problem with online recruitment, from the applicants’ point of view, is the lack of consistency and delayed processing of results which makes them discontent (Meinald et al., 2012).
Consequently, it is evident that the knowledge about e-recruitment has been well passed to the public. The fact that many individuals perceive it as fair is encouraging. A large number of firms are embracing e-recruitment owing to the benefits of cutting the cost and minimizing the time required to hire new staff. Nevertheless, some scholars still argue that the target group may be so small such that the company gets less than it was required. The researchers, thus, recommend a combined method that will ensure extensive scrutiny of applicants.
E-recruiting, as well as social network recruiting, can negatively impact the ability of search firms to survive and affect dramatically the per hire cost of an organization. Narratives showing striking differences between short-term and long-term usage. The results from this study proved that only a few of the applicants are aware of the existence and usage of these online recruitment portals. The researchers interpreted these results to mean that even with the popularity of social media few of the users are using it with recruitment in mind. This is probably why there is information in their profiles that they would not like an employer to see. The scholars recommend the serious involvement of the youth in career development and help them to avoid misuse of social media.
Throughout various companies, Vicknair, Elkersh, Yancey, and Budden (2010) have tried to identify the real usage of online sites for mattes of recruitment and related human resource functions. The study first acknowledged the importance of social media in collaborations and interactions. The activities involved in these interactions include creating the profile online and sharing the pictures, videos, and messages. Some people also upload information about them, which is sometimes personal. The point is that the perceived security of the password makes them feel secure. It is not uncommon to find someone with data that he or she would not be free to share.
The research purpose was to evaluate to what extent the human resource business is around social media. The investigators also had in mind that social media might have had so much information that could help the human resource personnel arrive in-depth about personal activities and capabilities. The results of this study, however, are different from those of other explorations conducted before. They indicate a very low utilization of social media in human resources. In terms of the human resource personnel interviewed, only 15% reported the use of social media information alongside other recruitment methods (Vicknair et al., 2010).
Owing to this fact, it is clear that the support of social media use in human resource management is not balanced. This support depends mainly on the locality and the environment in which the study is performed. The scholars recommend an increase in the utilization of social media in recruitment. Although the main focus here was not the ‘likes’ in Facebook and Twitter. The media is supported here are the professional media. The researchers recommend that enough population study be done before a company chooses to use social media for recruiting.
A different kind of study was conducted by Sherrie A. Madia to find out how best human resources practitioners can use social media to recruit their employees. This issue was researched with a background realization that the importance of social media in recruitment can no longer be ignored. It was reported that at least 80% of managers in companies were using or planning to use social media as a recruitment strategy (Madia, 2011). The most widely used social media for recruiting was reported to be LinkedIn – a social media that connects professionals. Networking the networks was coined as the way forward in this field. However, the study showed instances of wrong use of social media in job recruitment.
Following this, various recommendations were made. Firstly, social media should not replace the traditional methods of recruitment, owing to that the interaction online may not be important, especially in screening for vital skills. Secondly, there should be proper channels and policies regarding the use of social media in recruitment. These policies ought to govern what type of media can be depended on and what information is to be searched online relating to the applicant. The recruitment process is supposed to be planned and the media companies engaged in the process.
Even with the benefits of social media recruiting, such as reduced cost and enhanced speed, there are still some areas that companies should consider. It is not all the information on a person’s social media profile that can be used for or against their being recruited.
In his writing, “Internet Technology Used in Human Resource Recruitment,” Doherty (2010) has explained the recruitment process, involving several technological advances and how they relate to the interaction between the candidate and the recruiter in the online social network setting. HR professionals now utilize Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and LinkedIn as the major applications to seek qualified candidates. This article has explored how effective this new medium is and how technology aids in the process. This is one of the main topics of the literature review as it has focused on the advantages and disadvantages of social network recruiting and the future of e-recruiting itself.
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It should be noted that, in the aforementioned study by Richard Doherty (2010), he has stated that recruitment is an ideal starting point for social media usage in HR because key metrics, such as time to hire and cost of hire, can be measured and improvement may be substantiated. In addition, as the workforce ages, businesses need to get more competitive in order to attract and retain the new generation of young, enthusiastic workers. In other words, they make the organization’s brand stand out from the crowd by showing that it stays relevant and embraces such changes as evolving technology and ways of communicating.
Summarizing these articles, it is clear that social networks are here to stay. Hence, the important step is for organizations to fully understand the potential benefits and pitfalls, so that they could be able to use the right social networking tools to meet their recruitment needs.
From this literature review, it is necessary to make several conclusive recommendations. First, there is a need for more companies to embrace technology-driven recruitment for the benefits of cutting costs and saving time. Second, the potential job seekers should be informed in career development forums about the current use of OS social media in recruitment. In this way, they will avoid exposing information that might deny them opportunities. Third, the use of social media for recruiting should be regulated through policies and regulations. Social media should not replace traditional recruitment as yet. Finally, more and vast research is required on this topic to give a wider evidence base for companies to compare.
Technology is supposed to be integrated into all aspects of human life. Some of the benefits of the technology include efficiency in time and cost and the ability to associate with different people simultaneously or using the same medium. Focusing on social media integration into human resource recruitment is necessary under several circumstances.
- First, they should be used sparingly since the information contained in some of these media may not help much.
- Secondly, they should never be used alone to dictate the fate of an applicant.
- Thirdly, these media ought not to be used without the applicant’s permission as they are personal accounts.
- Fourthly, the applicant is to be allowed to choose if the recruitment is supposed to be done online or not.
- Fifthly, there needs to be clear organizational guidelines governing the use of social media in recruitment.
When these guidelines are followed, enough measures are taken to ensure that both the recruiters and the recruits are contented with the use. The benefits of social media are numerous, and there are more pros than the cons.
The uses of social media have, however, gone further than expected with the development of advertisement forums and e-recruitment. It has been recorded that many companies today are sourcing and recruiting online. Nevertheless, the process is not free from controversy, with many individuals believing that the use of social media has been taken way too far. In any case, the proponents of this movement believe that technology is there to help.