UK – Over half of employers believe social media recruitment is more harmful than helpful

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05 October 2017

More than half, or 59%, of employers in the UK believe employee involvement in recruitment via social media risks damaging rather than enhancing the employer brand, according to a study of 155 HR decision makers by SocialReferral, a recruitment software company.

The research also found that 39% are using social media to actively search for staff and 49% use it to advertise vacancies. Meanwhile, 75% of businesses recognise the need for a change in the traditional approach to recruitment, and two thirds (62%) feel they need a stronger story around why candidates should choose to work for them.

Moreover, 41% of the businesses surveyed encourage staff to post about their own experiences as a route to publicising their employee brand. The research also found that 35% allow employees to post on social media but monitor them, while 32% prohibit or control posts about the company.

“Employers are missing an opportunity in fearing or not understanding the use of social media for recruitment and to develop a strong employer brand,” Guido Nieuwkamp, Director at SocialReferral said. “Instead of encouraging it, they are restricting access, prioritising control over expression. Rather than taking this approach, they need to take full advantage of the possibilities of using social media. By going down the non-traditional route, organisations can expand their reach considerably. It is especially crucial for entry-level recruitment as it allows businesses to reach a pool of younger potential employees who value their virtual connections every bit as much as traditional contacts.”

“Businesses with a willingness to move on from the more traditional recruitment methods make their biggest investment – their staff – their biggest brand asset,” Nieuwkamp said. “A genuine employee driven social media presence is one of the biggest assets a brand can have. By enabling social media usage, you will encourage massive amplification of your brand message, resulting in a better reputation for the business itself, wider talent pools and inevitably, more customers.”

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