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Using Social Media In Recruitment

How to Use Social Media when Recruiting Staff

The impact of social media has become undeniable in the social realms of society. It increasingly is being seen as a corporate resource and not just the domain of the marketing and communications team.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are all becoming staple checks when recruiting sales staff. A candidate can look great on paper, but social media gives insight into their genuine personality and behaviour outside of formal realms. It's cost-free and can help you tell if a candidate is a good cultural fit - so here's how to do it right.

Shortlisting Candidates

Shortlist candidates from CVs & cover letters first! There is no point wasting time looking at the social media profiles of someone who doesn't have the necessary experience and qualifications for your business. Once shortlisting is done, social media comes into its own - it can be a massive help in deciding tough picks, letting you see who better fits your company as a person. Shortlisting can be incredibly time-consuming, and ultimately the shortlist is all that matters - you can make better use of your time using a recruiter to shortlist for you - letting you pick from the best selection of applicants.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been a titan of networking for quite a while now. But, where it's really made waves the last year is recruitment; the advent of LinkedIn Jobs in 2014 changed recruitment. Now not only could you network yourself to potential employees, and vice versa, but jobs could be posted, suggested, and applied for through LinkedIn's Website and App. As a social network, it overcomes the issue of social media not listing relevant history and experience, so why use anything else? Because LinkedIn profiles are public, outward-facing - candidates seeking new roles will list all their skills and attributes from all industries - you won't get the specialised address a CV or cover letter would have. LinkedIn is a fantastic way to attract talent and build contacts - but when recruiting, it serves best as a booster - strengthening recruitment rather than replacing it. Head here for our guide on how to use LinkedIn effectively.

Using Social Media as Part of Your Recruitment Selection Process

If it comes to light that in using the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc., to screen candidates, you have discriminated against a candidate, you could have a few legal issues on your hands...

As a recruiting organisation, you should address the following:

    • You should seek professional legal advice immediately, whether or not this is part of your formal recruitment process. As with all aspects of the law, your company can avoid being tarnished with the highly undesirable 'discriminating' brush if you play by the rules. Even if you don't intend to use social media to recruit, it is still worth checking what records you may need to keep to prove you didn't use social media to recruit.
    • Do you really need to screen candidates using social media? What does Facebook or other social sites add to your selection process? Your integrity as a business rests on what you do when people aren't looking, so just because it's free and convenient, don't assume that it is necessary to use it.
    • Keep records of how you found the candidates and anything that supports the fact that your hiring decisions were fair and based upon consistent, objective and job-relevant searches.
    • You must also bear in mind that social media information can often only be available for a short period of time, so do not rely on finding supporting evidence of your hiring decision too far in the future.

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

Social media can be a double-edged blade. A candidate can present a fantastic portrait of themselves online only for them to turn up on day one and be the complete opposite of expectations. Similarly, a  candidate may look like they go out too much or have non-compatible interests on LinkedIn or Facebook - and you pass them up when their professional actions might be truly impressive. Recruiting through, or using, social media needs to be done in a way that fits your business' interests - ensure they have the skills and won't negatively impact your brand in their behaviour online.

Keep it Simple

Keep recruiting reigned in; it can be tempting to go out and search for new professionals on social media - but leave it to the experts, don't have people outside of your HR department, or recruitment, searching for candidates. If everyone starts searching, it can become addicting and overflow you with many unqualified candidates. Leave it to the pros - like us, and here's why Aaron Wallis is the best recruiter for you.

Top Tips for Social Media Recruitment

Are all parties involved in the recruitment process aware of your policy on social media screening? If not, you could find yourself clashing with opinions on 'social media recruitment' within your team or with external bodies...ensure there is congruency within your team, and they know what your company's stance is on it.

    • Be upfront and honest with your candidates. Consider informing the candidate of your intentions to check out their profile. Should you discover anything about them that would (according to you) make them unsuitable for the position, this will give them the opportunity to dispute the information and provide their perspective.
    • Use all of your resources! Yes, whilst Facebook is free, easy and convenient, it shouldn't be your sole method of recruiting for positions.
    • Facebook does not always provide an accurate picture of a candidate or a balanced cross-section of the population.
    • Combining your recruiting efforts on Facebook (if you must use it) with the more traditional channels provide a much better solution to finding that perfect candidate and give a more balanced cross-section. Doing this will also then be viewed as fair.

Social media is now crossing over into different sections of businesses. It is essential that employees are clear on the most appropriate ways to use these channels in the content of their work. Learned social network behaviours are likely to be inappropriate for the workplace. It is your responsibility as the Managing Director, HR Manager or the hiring manager etc., to establish clear policies for your team and promote them as necessary. These policies need to be clear and actionable to avoid any misunderstandings or grey areas.

Follow these tips, and you should be fine, but remember, social media is an end-of-cycle process - let a recruiter do the shortlisting for you, and go from there. If you're looking to hire new sales professionals,  check out our recruitment page.

Further Reading: The Dangers of Social Media When Searching for a Job - Protect Your Data

Date published: 5th March 2024

Rob Scott, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, Author Photo

About the author

Rob Scott

Rob is the Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, a national recruitment agency specialising in sourcing sales and marketing staff for businesses across a broad range of commercial sectors. Before setting up Aaron Wallis, Rob spent ten years at a specialist Sales and Marketing recruitment division of a £0.5BN recruitment group, leaving in 2007 as Marketing & Sales Director to establish Aaron Wallis.
 
With over 24 years of experience in sales recruitment, Rob is a History graduate with an MBA (Merit) and a PgCert in Management Practice.  In 2007, 2009 and 2013 Rob conducted the most extensive surveys of sales professionals in the UK and is a trusted authority in the sales industry. From guiding employers through the recruitment process to helping candidates find their dream job, Rob's advice has been quoted in leading publications such as Business Insider and The Independent, as well as OnRec, which host The Online Recruitment Awards every year.

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Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

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Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

George is a rare find in the world of recruitment - communicative without being pushy or over-bearing. He listens and understands what the customer needs as gets to know the business to ensure he provides fully competent candidates who fit.

HR Manager, Big Dug

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Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.

Managing Director, Medicash

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process. 

UK Sales Manager, BTS Holdings Limited 

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.

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UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

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Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd

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HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd

As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.

Managing Director, Speck & Burke

George came recommended by a colleague and has been a pleasure to work with. He was great at updating us on his progress and ensured a great experience for both client and candidate.

HR Manager, Annapurna Recruitment Ltd

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

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Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

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Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!

O. Oladejo, Candidate

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R. Speakman, Candidate

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M. Crisp, Candidate

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K. Pearce, Candidate

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M. Wyer, Candidate

The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.

D. Bermant, Candidate

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A. Kirkland, Candidate

Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.

P. Fitzsimons, Candidate

I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.

J. Ostermeier, Candidate

George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.

C. Beaugie, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

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T. Ashbourne, Candidate

I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!

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Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.

J. Tooze, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate 

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

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E. Fry, Candidate

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S. Bartlett, Candidate

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A. Callaby, Candidate

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K. Craggs, Candidate

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N. Leney, Candidate

The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.

M. Owusu, Candidate

I would highly recommend thank you to Darren for helping me secure my new job role! Excellent service all round!

G. Thompson, Candidate

Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress

J. McGrattan, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

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C. Caine, Candidate

The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.

K. Peacock, Candidate

I have to say using Aaron Wallis Recruitment has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. I've used many agencies over the years as the client and the candidate and its not always been a pleasurable experience!

L. Knowles, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.

D. Bretherton, Candidate

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