How to use social media for recruitment
There is no doubt that social media has affected recruiting in the last several years. The number of employers that use social media and social networking tofind job candidates has grown exponentially. However, because the world of social media is constantly changing, it is important for recruiters to stay ahead of the game.

According to several studies, approximately 90% of employers used some sort of social media in their recruiting efforts in 2012. Of those companies actively using social media outlets to find employees, many of them have reported that the quality of applicants is much improved when compared to traditional recruiting efforts.

While social media can help fill jobs, it really depends on the kind of job one is trying to fill and which social media platforms are used.  LinkedIn is by far the most popular social media network for HR professionals, though Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are close behind. There are a number of other professional and association networking sites that recruitment consultants also consider tools of the trade today.

Making the most of social media for recruiting

Though it may seem relatively straightforward to recruit active candidates through social media since – as a platform - it can easily put those seeking a new role in touch with recruiters, there is a little more to it than simply having a social media profile.  In fact, some major corporations have created dedicated Twitter handles, Facebook pages, and Pinterest boards solely for this purposes.  However, this approach may not be effective for finding those highly qualified individuals, as they may not be thinking about making a move.

In competitive recruiting, recruiting passive candidates is a popular and highly effective tactic.  The key here is to combine social media and traditional methods for effective passive recruiting, and, in effect, 'profile'
the ideal candidate using the features of social networks.  One very proven way to achieve this goal is to make use of the LinkedIn Recruiter, one of the social platform’s talent solutions designed specifically for recruiting. 
This feature allows recruiters to search the database by skills, current and previous employers, and other essential criteria.  LinkedIn also allows users to contact each other with the platform-specific InMail system.

The net result of this activity is that potentials get to see more jobs that are specifically targeted at their skill set and have an opportunity to interact with a recruiter – a far more rewarding experience that just downloading a set of job particulars and hoping for the best.

Limitations of social media recruitment

Recruitment consultants must keep in mind that while social media can be an effective tool; it can also present some delicate challenges.  Employers and recruiters alike must be constantly aware of the types of information that they are restricted from using throughout the selection process.  Doing a web search or reviewing a candidate’s social media profile may reveal “protected class” information such as gender, race, and sexual orientation. 

The positive aspects of using social media more than outweigh the negative for recruiters as the platform has proven to be a great resource for discovering potential candidates that might not otherwise have been found.  It's a two way process: savvy job seekers can take advantage of their social media profiles and really sell themselves and agencies are able to build a picture of the available talent. As long as recruiters implement and maintain intelligent policies, they will continue to be able to leverage relevant value from using social media as part of their daily activities.