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Recruiters Wary Of Social Media

August 26 2010 - 65 per cent of graduate recruiters are wary of using social media and one in seven perceives it as 'dangerous' according to research by recruitment and marketing communications specialists Penna Barkers. However, nearly half (44 per cent) have some kind of presence on Facebook and one-third have uploaded graduate recruitment videos to YouTube.

Phill Lane, head of planning commented:

"We’ve found that graduate recruiters generally fall into two camps - those that are reticent about using social media to reach out to students, and those that actively embrace these channels. A common concern is that social media allows potential and unsuccessful candidates to post comments that are detrimental to employers’ reputations. Such comments are available for all to see, even when they are unfounded or incorrect."

The latest Social Media Audit of 84 graduate recruiters found that 95 per cent acknowledged the importance of keeping up to date with online chatter to assess the impact on organisational image. However 60 per cent felt they did not have sufficient time to do this. More than half (56 per cent) felt unable to monitor their reputation well and more than one-fifth (21 per cent) undertook no monitoring.

The study found that when describing their knowledge and use of social media, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) described themselves as novices and 23 per cent as confident. No respondents considered themselves expert.

Phill Lane said:

"Graduate recruiters are often being asked to use social media as part of their day jobs in a way that is very different to their private use of the same channels. They are nearly twice as likely to blog on behalf of their employer as they are to blog on their own behalf and almost three times more likely to Tweet professionally, so it’s no surprise that some of this usage is outside of their comfort zone.

"It’s also clear that graduate recruiters attach different values to information they view online. We found that they are far more comfortable using traditional recruitment channels to review candidates. Despite the fact that there has been a number of concerns over how much people lie on their CVs, graduate recruiters believe a CV is two and a half times more reliable than information posted on LinkedIn in allowing them to form an opinion of a candidate and eight times as reliable as a Facebook profile."

Other significant findings include:

  • 7 per cent of graduate recruiters are 'evangelical' about the use of social media, 27 per cent 'try not to be too bureaucratic' towards it
  • 90 per cent think it is important to use social media to manage their reputation
  • 27 per cent maintain a blog as part of their graduate recruitment strategy
  • 75 per cent are concerned that line managers might be using Facebook to screen candidates
  • 30 per cent don’t know whose responsibility it is to monitor their reputation

Phill Lane concluded:

"What we are trying to do is work with recruiters to develop coherent plans, both for monitoring their reputation online, and also for managing it alongside the rest of their communications channels. By treating social media as part of the channel strategy, offering guidance and training, we are helping employers navigate these challenges and taking away the feeling that getting involved in social media is a risky business."


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