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Dos and Don’ts of Using Social Media for Recruitment in the Digital Age

In today’s digital age, social media has become an indispensable part of our lives, providing a remarkable platform for businesses to engage with their target audience cost-effectively and efficiently. It’s no wonder an increasing number of companies are leveraging social media for recruitment purposes. Consider the following statistics:

  • 84% of organisations are recruiting through social media.
  • 67% of employers use social media sites to research potential job candidates.
  • 70% of managers have had success hiring through social media.
  • 94% of recruiters use social media.

However, using social media for recruitment can be a double-edged sword. While it can help companies reach a wider audience and find the best candidates for their roles, it can also lead to potential legal and reputational risks. Furthermore, if executed incorrectly, it can dissuade exceptional candidates from applying. You have to get it right. To help companies navigate this challenging terrain, we have outlined a set of dos and don’ts for utilising social media in recruitment.


1. Develop a social media policy

When it comes to social media recruitment, a comprehensive policy is critical to ensure that all parties understand engagement rules. The policy should outline acceptable and unacceptable behaviours on social media, both for the company and for potential candidates. This includes guidelines for posting job listings, interacting with candidates, and conducting background checks.
One key aspect of the policy is protecting candidates’ privacy and personal information. The policy should clearly state how the company will handle candidate information and what steps will be taken to protect it. This is especially important given the potential for data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Another important consideration is compliance with employment laws and regulations. The policy should provide guidance on the legal requirements for recruitment and hiring, including equal opportunity employment laws and regulations around discrimination. This can help prevent legal issues and ensure the recruitment process is fair and unbiased.

2. Use social media to advertise job vacancies

Advertising job vacancies on social media allow organisations to reach a vast pool of potential candidates and attract the best talent for their roles.
LinkedIn, as the world’s largest professional networking site, is undoubtedly the most popular social media platform for recruitment, with around 72% of recruiters using LinkedIn when hiring new talent. With over 875 million members from 200 countries and regions worldwide, LinkedIn allows businesses to connect with a vast pool of potential candidates, post job vacancies, and promote their employer brand. Additionally, LinkedIn offers various recruitment features such as job postings, sponsored job ads, and candidate search functions that help recruiters find the right candidates for their roles. While LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for recruitment, other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can also be effective.

3. Use social media to engage with potential candidates

Social media is an excellent platform for recruiters to engage with potential candidates and build relationships with them. This can be done by creating and sharing relevant content that is aimed at providing insights into the company culture, recruitment process, and any other relevant information about the company.
For example, a recruiter could share a post about a recent company event or an employee’s success story to give potential candidates a glimpse of what it’s like to work at the company. Social media can also be used to answer questions that candidates may have about the job, the company, or the application process.
In addition, recruiters can use social media to create a dialogue with potential candidates by encouraging them to share their thoughts, opinions, and questions. This can be done by asking open-ended questions or creating polls encouraging candidates to engage with the company.


1. Don’t solely rely on social media for recruitment

In today’s highly competitive job market, relying solely on social media for recruitment is not enough to attract the most qualified and suitable candidates. While social media can be an effective and convenient way to connect with potential candidates, it should be seen as one tool among many in a well-rounded recruitment strategy.
Complementing social media recruitment with other channels, such as job boards, referrals, and recruitment agencies, can help expand your reach and increase the pool of potential candidates.
By diversifying your recruitment strategy and using multiple channels to find candidates, you can increase your chances of finding the best fit for your organisation. It is also important to note that different channels may be more effective for certain roles or industries, so it’s essential to tailor your recruitment approach to the specific needs of each position.

2. Don’t discriminate

Diversity and inclusion are critical to building a thriving organisation in today’s rapidly evolving workplace. However, using social media as a recruitment tool can heighten the risk of unconscious bias and discrimination, leading to a less diverse and less qualified workforce.
To ensure a fair and unbiased recruitment process, it is essential to evaluate candidates based on their skills and experience, regardless of their gender, race, age, ethnicity, or any other characteristic. This can be achieved through implementing objective recruitment criteria and training recruiters to recognise and avoid unconscious bias.
Moreover, a well-defined diversity and inclusion policy can be a powerful tool in promoting a diverse workforce and creating a culture of inclusion. This policy should outline the organisation’s steps to ensure that recruitment, hiring, and promotion practices are unbiased and that all employees are treated fairly.

3. Don’t share confidential information

In today’s hyper-connected digital age, the risk of sharing confidential information on social media platforms cannot be overstated. As a public domain, social media poses a significant legal and reputational risk to organisations that fail to safeguard confidential information, including sensitive data related to company operations, financials, and candidates’ personal details.
To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to have clear policies and procedures that regulate sharing of information on social media. This includes training employees on what is considered confidential information and the potential consequences of sharing it publicly. Companies should also have a well-defined social media policy outlining the dos and don’ts of sharing information on social media and the consequences for noncompliance.
Data protection is also a key concern when using social media as a recruitment tool. Social media platforms collect and process personal data, which must be managed in compliance with data protection laws. Companies must have clear policies on collecting, storing, and using personal data and obtain explicit consent from candidates before using their data.


By following these dos and don’ts, you can harness the power of social media for recruitment while mitigating the associated risks. You can create a fair and inclusive recruitment process that promotes your employer brand and attracts the best candidates for your roles while also safeguarding sensitive information and complying with legal requirements.

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