The tight labour market is forcing companies to look for staff wherever they can – including social networking sites such as Facebook.
A recent survey by recruitment company Chandler Macleod has revealed that 23% of businesses use social networking sites to find workers.
But the general manager for talent management services at Chandler Macleod, Sue Healy, says firms need to be careful about the way they use sites such as Facebook, as using social networking sites for business purposes can blur the line between work and social activities. “I think it’s another channel that you need to look at,” Healy says.
Social networking sites are often used by companies as part of broader employee referral programs (ERPs), where staff are provided incentives to find new workers. Up to 73% of respondents used ERPs, and 19% of new hires were sourced in this way.
While Healy is lukewarm on using sites such as Facebook to find workers, she is more positive on the use of professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Typically these sites provide data on a person’s skills, previous roles and business contacts – information that is probably more valuable to an employer than a potential recruit’s favourite band or movies. “I think personally it’s the professional networking sites that will provide the opportunity, rather than the social networking space.”
But companies need use this new recruitment tool properly. Simply trawling the net for workers won’t wash. Potential workers will have questions and concerns that must be addressed. “The professional networking sites provide some tremendous opportunities, but you have to make sure that you are managing the experience,” Healy says.