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New survey says businesses should use social media carefully when recruiting

Posted on December 30th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

In order to find stand out job candidates, HR representatives should diversify how they recruit on social media, a new survey found.

Social media is already prevalent in how companies recruit and get to know candidates. The 2013 Social Media Survey conducted by Jobvite found that more than 94 percent of employers use or are going to use some form of social media to recruit talent. But a new study from North Carolina State University found recruiters may be have trouble recruiting workers if they do not bring up the topic carefully.

The study, Examining Applicant Reactions to the Use of Social Networking Websites in Pre-Employment Screening, surveyed 175 students, and more than two-thirds said they found businesses unappealing after learning they looked at their social media profile. Will Stoughton, the lead researcher for the project, said in an interview with Human Resource Executive Online job applicants would react more positively if a company was a bit more casual in addressing its social media approach.

"Yet the effect of the privacy invasion was such that participants viewed the use of social media in screening to be unjust even when they receive an employment offer," Stoughton said in an interview.

A company's HR department can avoid this reaction by treading lightly when they bring up social media during the onboarding process. Recruiters should only use social media as a way to understand a potential new hire's personality. Using social media as a main background check can turn off candidates from applying for a job.

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