Social Media and Recruitment: Key Insights

Social Media and Recruitment: Key Insights

From relationships to marketing and networking, social media influences virtually every aspect of modern life. Recruitment is no different – we use social networking on both sides of the process, for job hunting as much as finding and screening candidates. 

Social networks as recruitment platforms

Studies suggest that up to 92% of companies are using social media for hiring. It makes sense: given that half of the world’s population is using social networks in 2020, what better way to reach hundreds of potential applicants at once?

And the candidates are plentiful: social media is reportedly part of the job-hunting process for almost 80% of applicants, with 14% of recent hires having found their jobs through social networks.


Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is the top social platform used by companies to advertise vacancies. Developed as a social network for career development, LinkedIn offers a direct communication channel with thousands of qualified professionals to companies looking to hire.

‘Qualified professionals’ is likely to be the key term when considering recruitment via LinkedIn. Currently, the average LinkedIn user earns $46,644 a year (approx. £36,000), which is well above the average income in both the U.S. and UK.

In practice, this means that LinkedIn is not likely to be the best place for advertising an entry-level position, simply because LinkedIn users are probably not the right audience for it.


LinkedIn is by no means the only social network for job-hunting. Facebook is the second most popular networking site for recruiters, with 55% of companies using the platform for hiring.

Since 2017, Facebook began catering specifically to recruiters and candidates, by way of introducing job postings and a job board. Companies can advertise vacancies directly on their Facebook page, or place an ad in a searchable job database. 

Candidates can apply within the platform, giving recruiters immediate access to their personal profile. As we’re about to see, from the candidate’s perspective, that’s not necessarily a good thing. 

Candidate screening

Across all channels of recruitment, 70% of employers check the candidates’ social media during the hiring process. If anything is surprising about this statistic, it’s that it’s not 100%!

After all, candidate screening is all about finding out as much as possible about a person, and a social media profile often offers a direct window into their everyday life, opinions, and pursuits. 

Highlighting the good...

For some candidates, their Facebook profile or Twitter activity can be an advantage, especially when the information and clues on the profiles match their claims in the job application. Social media profiles - even ones we don’t associate with professional development - can be a great way to showcase skills and creativity to recruiters. 

For instance, in contact centre recruitment, a candidate’s Twitter page can provide a realistic glimpse of their language abilities – anyone can use spell-check on a CV, but most people won’t bother proof-reading a tweet.

...or revealing the bad

It would appear, however, that not all candidates use social media to their advantage. A sizeable 57% of recruiters claim that the content they found on an applicant’s social media directly resulted in the person not getting the job.

Social media profiles can contain a whole host of red flags that immediately disqualify a candidate in the recruiter’s eyes. Obvious examples would include inappropriate images, discriminatory comments, and all sorts of other unsavoury things for which we might unfriend an acquaintance.

An applicant’s Facebook profile can also reveal indirect clues regarding their suitability for the job. For example, evidence of poor communication skills would likely disqualify a candidate from joining call centre staff or a PR agency.

Interestingly, one not-so-obvious factor many recruiters focus on is simply how often the person uses social media. If someone appears to be constantly active on Facebook and other platforms, employers worry that if hired, the candidate will also use social media (for personal reasons) while on the job. 

Main takeaways

How do we put all this information to good use?

For recruiters, the two most important takeaways include: 

It could be worth using social media when advertising an opening, given the broad reach of networking platforms. It’s important to pick the right platform, however – LinkedIn may be the most popular, but it’s useful primarily when looking for qualified professionals. 

Social media screening is an excellent tool in any recruiter’s arsenal, and there’s no reason not to use it. Checking a candidate’s online presence takes only a moment, and it can reveal valuable insights into their attitude, habits, and behaviour. 

Candidates, meanwhile, should keep in mind that unless they’ve made their profiles private, anything they post on the internet is likely to be seen - and judged - by the employer. To improve the chances of securing a job, have a public profile that actively showcases your skills, positive attitude, work ethic, and creativity.

Social media notwithstanding, hiring new candidates is a time-consuming process. Get in touch with Clarion People today and we’ll handle it for you!

Clarion People

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