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Social recruiting: Yay or nay?

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In today’s day and age, you’ll be hard pressed to find a company without an online presence, and more and more businesses are actively cultivating their presence on social media. When it comes to recruitment, both job seekers and employers are increasingly turning to social media channels to find opportunities and talent.

Despite the rising trend, not everyone agrees that these channels are the way forward. Over the past few days, two different opinions were voiced in two different media. Human Resources has summarised them below.


“You have to be where the audience is. And the audience is on social media”, Brown Forman’s director of global talent acquisition, Arelis Correa, stated in an interview with WLKY earlier this week. Believing in the power of social media, the American wine and spirits giant has a Twitter page fully dedicated to recruitment which is monitored constantly.

According to Correa, social media use is a big tool for Brown Forman, and the company has been able to add some top talent to its workforce as a result of using it. “It’s been very successful”, she told WLKY. “I just had a meeting with our Twitter rep, and she mentioned that we are outperforming our competitors.”

Agreeing with Brown Forman’s strategy was Jason Falls, founder of Conversation Research Institute in the US. “Social media can be leveraged by job seekers and certainly by employers in finding those seekers to fill those positions”, he told WLKY.

He explained that from a company’s point of view, social media allows them to not only see just how smart or qualified a person is, but also whether they perhaps have an online following they can bring to the table as an asset for the company.

From a candidate perspective, social media use can offer the opportunity to directly connect and start interacting with a hiring manager, something that can be much harder to achieve via traditional job search methods.


Although research by Morgan Philips earlier this year saw 75% of respondents indicate that digital improved their ability to explore new career opportunities, not everyone feels social media is the way forward.

In an opinion piece published in the New York Times last weekend,  computer scientist, author, and Georgetown associate professor Cal Newport argued that there are many issues with social media, not least of all the fact it can hurt your career.

While many Millennials have grown up believing building their personal brand online is paramount to accessing career opportunities, Newport strongly disagrees.

Although Newport doesn’t specifically touch upon the recruitment process, he believes social media use is detrimental to anyone’s career development in general.

He explains that any capitalist economy will reward things that are rare and valuable, something social media use is decidedly not. Therefore, rather than attempting to advance your career online by “convincing the world that you matter”, he suggests people actually roll up their sleeves and start producing work that matters. After all: “As you become more valuable to the marketplace, good things will find you”, he says.

From the viewpoint of a hiring manager, Newport’s argument could be interpreted as a warning not to hire those candidates who seem fully absorbed by their social media accounts, since it could affect their ability to actually do their job. He writes: “Part of my own rejection of social media comes from this fear that these services will diminish my ability to concentrate — the skill on which I make my living”.

ALSO READ: How important is it for CEOs in Asia to utilise social media?

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