One quarter of Australian businesses use social media to recruit new staff, survey reveals

Australian employers are embracing social media as a platform to recruit new employees with just over one-third considering it an important tool, a new survey has found.

As a result, Randstad chief executive Fred van der Tang has warned potential employees they need to present themselves in the best light in their online profiles, including on Twitter or Facebook, so they don’t ruin a potential career move.

The warning echoes those of legal experts, who say employers need to be careful when looking through prospective employees’ social networking profiles so they don’t trigger a discrimination lawsuit.

“Social media has become a highly effective recruitment tool,” van der Tang said. “for those who might be curious about what other jobs are out there, to ensure your online profile shows you in the best light to potential employers”.

The survey, which questioned hundreds of Australian businesses, found 26% currently use social media for recruitment, with Queensland employers the most enthusiastic at 31% and South Australian employers the least popular users, at 17%.

Of Australian employers, 32% expect to use social media for recruitment in the future. Victorian employers are the most confident of future use at 36%, and Queenslanders the least at 27%.

Two-thirds of Australian businesses say social media should be part of a company’s recruitment strategy.

Those findings become more revealing when broken down into individual websites, with most businesses believing LinkedIn is important for recruiting, at 60%. Facebook is the next important website, at 35%, while Twitter was only marked as important by 24%.

That differs from state to state, with 64% of New South Wales employers believing LinkedIn is important, while only 19% of Victorian employers believe Twitter is important.

Van der Tang says the findings underscore a critical change in employment trends, with the adoption of social media as a respected form of business communication. But he says employers need to consider a number of different

“While social media is expanding recruitment professionals’ reach like never before, as with any tool, it needs to be managed carefully.”

“Any approach to a potential candidate by a recruitment consultant needs to be tailored to suit the forum. For instance, it’s more acceptable, and practical, to approach talent on a professional network site like LinkedIn, than it is on Twitter or MySpace.”

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