Today, for most of us, social networking sites have become an integral part of our lives. They have opened new avenues to connect with people from all walks of life across the globe. Not just friendships but professional relationships on a wider canvas have become easy to cultivate.
Employers too find it convenient to use social media extensively for hiring purposes.
In fact, social media has become an indispensable recruitment tool for them. Mr. Naveen Narayanan, Global Head – Talent Acquisition, HCL Technologies, says, “Over the last couple of years, social media has certainly grown from being a novelty to one of the most powerful recruiting tools available for our hiring managers. Social media has changed our recruitment process, putting relationships at the very core.
It has helped build personalised online connections and also helped us in enhancing our employer branding quotient.”
According to Mr. Anil Kumar, General Manager, Professional Services, Marlabs Software, “Social media has made reaching masses and speedy identification of the right people very easy.
Using social media, talent which is not looking out or is not present with job portals/ placement consultants is also accessible. Also, genuineness of resources is easy to identify.”
Evidently, the new trend set by social media is popular among organisations and people alike. Manoj Biswas, HR Lead, Accenture India, says, “Social media, without doubt, is fast emerging as one of the most efficient and engaging ways of personal or community interactions. There is tremendous value in leveraging this tool just because of its inherent potential to multiply connections, create viral networks and reach talent faster.
Concurrently, social media serves as a great platform to communicate our value proposition as an employer quite effectively.
We are seeing visible trends with people spending much more time online than on traditional sources of information (newspapers, etc.) and this trend is going to become sharper as time progresses.”
In this milieu, can employers afford to ignore social media’s recruitment potential? Responding to the query, Mr. Manoj Biswas, corroborates, “According to an estimate, the active users of Facebook and Linkedin in India are more than 25 million and 10 million respectively.
These numbers are continuing to grow exponentially even as we talk about the trend.
According to an expert opinion, 80% of the candidates available on job portals are also present on social media, whereas not even 50% of the social media users are present in the job portals. These numbers clearly indicate that social media is effective in reaching out to a huge untapped reservoir of talent pool that one cannot avoid.” “Turning away from social media would mean sacrificing a mammoth opportunity to reach and engage with a large pool of active and passive job seekers,” avers Mr. Naveen Narayanan.
The growing popularity of social media in the recruitment domain is mainly because of the apparent advantages that both recruiters and job seekers enjoy. Mr. Anil Kumar proclaims, “On an average, 40% and especially when it comes to a few niche areas (skills and role), almost 75-80% of recruitment happens through social media.”The main advantages according to him are genuineness and high quality of resources, exclusivity and ease of performing reference checks. Mr. Manoj Biswas adds, “In addition to recruitment, social networking sites offer a suite of intangible benefits like keeping the audience updated on what an organisation stands for, what kind of career experience they offer, the recent news and events in the organisation, and the initiatives undertaken among many others.
It is also a platform to interact both with people who are looking forward to join an organisation and the people who are already with the organisation.
This gives possible new hires a sense of cultural values like respect, diversity, teamwork, collaboration, openness and authenticity. It is difficult to convey this on a static closed web site by stating we are honest, open and collaborative.” Mr. Vasant Kudva – VP - Talent Acquisition Team, QuEST Global, says, “The empowerment that social networks provide to a recruiter is huge.The connections and friends that these recruiters make are present forever and the recruiter does not have to maintain any database (in terms of upgrading résumés as time goes by). The search or turnaround time to find a person can be reduced a great deal.” Advantages galore but challenges too exist in social media based recruitment. Let’s hear from HR experts about the challenges faced and techniques employed to overcome them in the next part of the article.