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Merriam-Webster defines social media as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).” Social media technologies take many different forms including blogs, business networks, enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, product/service reviews, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds (Aichner 2015).With rapid and widespread information; targeted, flexible, and diverse interactive approaches; and relatively competitive price, social media will increasingly contribute in job recruitment and job searches, have a significant effect on traditional recruitment channels, and eventually change the job recruitment and job search model.In the 1990s, the primary method for companies to recruit was to advertise in newspapers, magazines, or television and then collect paper resumes submitted by candidates by mail. With the advent of the Internet age, more and more companies have started to publish job postings online, and job seekers can submit their resumes by email. Some recruitment websites have become the leading recruitment channels for employers. In recent years, rapid development and increasing popularity of social media, more employers have begun to set up dedicated recruitment accounts on social media to attract more active and passive job seekers. As an essential channel for recruitment, social media has attracted the attention of all recruiters.Social media is the tool and platform for people to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. The most important features of social media are user reviews and ratings and the sharing and liking of users (Kailer, Mandl, and Schill 2013). Compared with traditional recruitment channels (such as recruitment websites, job fairs, headhunters, etc.), recruitment based on social media platforms has the obvious advantage of a broader spread of information, attracting passive candidates, and increasing direct communication opportunities between employers and employees. Because of these benefits, recruitment based on social media platforms can efficiently address the problems of limited dissemination of information, insufficient job applicants, and the high cost of recruitment channels, which are a concern for recruiters. Social media can help recruiters reach target candidate groups proactively and attract and integrate them into the company.Consistent with traditional recruitment channels, the goal of social media recruitment is also releasing vacant positions and completing hiring tasks. However, the contribution and added value of social media recruitment to businesses are that more companies realise that social media can efficiently promote the employer’s benefit to the target candidate group. Compared with the rigid and stereotyped approaches of traditional recruitment channels, social media methods are more lively, personalised, and vigorous. By customising and incorporating the corporate culture, the difference between competitors within the industry can be demonstrated. At the same time, the display and promotion of the employer’s brand image also influence the job-search behaviour of passive job seekers. Through the introduction of corporate history, culture, activities, and salaries and benefits, it will proactively attract passive job seekers and increase the number of applications.Take the example of the international professional social media, LinkedIn; LinkedIn’s individual members can set up their own professional files for free and contact known or unknown members to enrich their professional network. In 2011, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said that LinkedIn had 85 million members at that time and was adding one new member every second (Ovide 2011). It makes social media a vast talent pool. In the meantime, LinkedIn tailors different options for recruiting and branding for corporate accounts. Businesses can create free corporate accounts on this platform and periodically push the company’s news and events to attract followers. It is also possible for businesses to establish a career interface to promote employers’ values, post vacant positions, and introduce the relevant criteria. Moreover, a business can buy a recruiter account to search for potential candidates directly.In contrast to passively waiting for the applications of job seekers, recruiting based on social media requires that recruiters can actively look for and reach candidates (especially passive candidates), interact with them, motivate their enthusiasm for the job, and finally achieve the recruitment goal. Under the fierce competition for talent between competitors, recruiters need excellent communication skills, where the methods of communication vary widely depending on the type of audience and channels of communication, for example, if the target group is college students or new graduates. The languages and modes of communication should be young, and the topics should always be combined with current favourite issues to attract the attention of job seekers to employers. It should be noted that using this type of trendy cyber language on social media, like Facebook or Twitter. But if it is on official channels like the employer’s official website or LinkedIn, the use of language must be appropriate, in line with the corporate culture, and meet the requirements of the communication guidelines of the company’s public relations department.Enterprises have increasingly recognised the advantages of social media recruitment and have begun to try this new recruitment channel. While obtaining the goals of recruitment, enterprises must fully recognise the disadvantages and risks of social media recruitment as well.First, the use of social media recruitment and the extent to which it is used are influenced by the scale and strategy, human resource strategies, recruitment staff, and many other factors of an enterprise. If its current recruitment channels can fully meet the recruitment needs, the use of social media will contribute more to brand image promotion and the establishment and maintenance of a long-term talent pool. It should be noted that the establishment, operation, and maintenance costs of some social media (especially when all services are purchase) may be higher than the price of traditional recruitment channels. Enterprises should select the appropriate social media and purchase the relevant service content according to the recruitment budget and key performance indicators. Second, since the recruiting staff must contact the job candidates, the recruitment team must have sufficient staff, reasonable team structure, and competent recruiters, which are essential factors for taking advantage of the new recruitment channels and recruiting successfully. Therefore, enterprises need to train and assess the recruitment staff regularly. Moreover, when many competitors within the industry use the same social media platform for recruiting, it can be challenging for the recruitment staff to maintain their corporate accounts and update the content to keep and attract new followers. It requires enterprises to determine their value orientation at an early stage to differentiate their competitive advantages from competitors and to publish and promote vacant positions to different candidate groups according to business needs. Lastly, recruiters should also be prepared to respond skillfully to negative comments (Lowenstein 2015).From the perspective of job seekers, the improper use of social media may cause serious problems for some job seekers who are active on social media when they are trying to find a job. Today, it is possible for people other than family and friends to view those behaviours via social media. In fact, human resources personnel, such as hiring managers, can easily use social media as part of a potential candidate background check (Mitchell, 2016). This also raises some privacy implications as to whether employers should have the right to look at a potential employee’s social media profiles. Also, social media fatigue may exist, causing users to back away from social media participation when overloaded with information, which may bring about negative effects on the effectiveness of recruitment through social media (Bright, Kleise, and Grau 2015).ReferencesAichner, T. and Jacob, F. (March 2015). “Measuring the degree of corporate social media use”. International Journal of Market Research. 57 (2): 257–275.Bright, L. F., Kleiser, S. B., and Grau, S. L. (March 2015). “Too much Facebook? An exploratory examination of social media fatigue”. Computers in Human Behaviour. 44: 148-155.“Social Media”. (n.d.) Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social%20media. Retrieved 2017-12-31.Kailer, D., Mandl, P., and Schill, A. (Oct 2013). “An empirical study on the usage of social media in German B2c-online stores”. International Journal of Advanced Information. 3(5):1.Lowenstein, H. and Solomon, N. (Spring 2015). “Social media employment policy and the NLRB: Uniform state laws as a solution?”. Southern Law Journal. 25(1): 139-159.Mitchell, E. (2016). “Alcohol-related information on Facebook and perceptions of hiring managers”. https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/1809114910?accountid=10382Ovide, S. (Jan 2011). “Deal journal: A briefing on LinkedIn before IPO”. Wall Street Journal, Europe; Brussels.
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