Social Networking as a Recruitment tool



Written by Toby Thwaites, Director, Purple Consultancy - Specialists in creative recruitment

Toby Thwaites and Paul Wood founded Purple in June 2000. Purple provides recruitment consultancy to advertising, design, integrated marketing, publishing, digital and agency office support services. With 30 staff in London and Leeds, and with the highest paying referral scheme in the UK, they're definitely worth talking to. Through innovation and focus on client service, Purple achieves high client satisfaction levels which set it apart from its competitors.


Social Networking as a Recruitment Tool

Arguably recruitment has always relied on, among other things, being both social and having the ability to network to find the best talent. So it's hardly a surprise that recruiters have embraced social networking sites and added them to their armory of ways to reach out to potential candidates and employers.

If you register on one of the better known of the social networking sites, you automatically post a profile of yourself online and visitors, or people who connect with you, can get a general picture of the kind of person you are from that information. In fact it has come to light recently that recruitment professionals may even research online profiles within these social networks to further vet their preferred candidate's suitability for a role. I, personally, believe that you can tell more about a candidate's suitability from their demeanour and experience offline anyway, but having said that, social networks do provide a clear route to a vast pool of talent.

Also, it is understandable, given the uncertainty facing so many employees in their jobs at the moment, that many are turning to ready-made communities of like-minded professionals and peers for both reassurance and guidance on career management. There has been debate over the amount of access that employers should allow their staff to these social networking sites during working hours, but trying to police this will inevitably prove a futile undertaking. Restrictions will make employees feel isolated and those with a genuine interest in keeping up to date with developments in their own industries (rather than job hunters) will only be drawn to greater freedom in another working environment. The last thing employers need at the moment is an even more disgruntled team.

More than that, because the internet is a truly global medium it is now easier than ever to see the world as a global work force and we have had applicants responding to our Twitter posts from the US and other international markets. It is a sign of the times that people are willing to apply for jobs in the UK and to move away from their own countries for the right package - relocating for the right job is just not the daunting prospect it once was and there is definitely an understanding out there that you have to move to where the work is. Employees have to realise that their competition can come from next door or it can come from around the other side of the world - the knock on effect being that everyone has to improve skills and generally up their game and this can only be a good thing for our industries in the long run.

So while we as recruiters need to respect the privacy of these social network profiles, we would also be doing our profession an injustice if we didn't tap into the potential benefits they can offer.

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