The use of social media has increased dramatically over the last five years
Social media is increasingly being used for recruitment purposes – however, a panel of specialists have advised that SMEs are unlikely to profit from this emerging market.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and similar sites have seen huge growth globally over the last few years. However, at a recent round table organised by broadband provider UKFast
, the experts acknowledged that the use of such sites is unlikely to work for all companies.
Geoff Newman of Recruitment Genius
said: "The use of social media for recruitment for a smaller company is less relevant; it is more intensive in terms of generating content. The viability depends on the context of the company and how frequently they are looking to recruit."
While listing a job on social networking sites is free, Mike Taylor of Web-Based Recruitment pointed out that this may still have a cost for small businesses, commenting: "You have to put work into it, said work takes time, and time is the cost. For the vast majority of small companies, I’d say it would be a complete and utter waste of time and money."
Another use that recruiters have found for social media sites is to find out information about applicants. In April 2010, a survey by Microsoft
revealed that 79 percent of employers use social media to screen applications before making any hiring decisions.
One of the experts said of social media: "There is a huge risk to people allowing too much information out into the world wide web, because once it is out there, you can’t get that back."
While the panel experts agreed that overall social media is likely to play a larger role in recruitment in the future, businesses should carefully weigh up its costs and benefits before utilising it.