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Social Media Helps Hiring Process

How Social Media Can Be a Powerful Recruitment Tool

Want another way to find job candidates or know more about current applicants? Search for them online. According to a recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than one-third (36 percent) of organizations disqualified a job candidate last year because of information like illegal activity or discrepancies with the application that they found on public social media sites or through an online search. The report, “Using Social Media for Talent Acquisition – Recruitment and Screening,” reveals strategies all employers, including home improvement retailers, can use to find quality job candidates.

The report indicated 43 percent of organizations said they are screening job candidates by using social media or online search engines, which is an increase from 2013. Employers say posts on social media sites can reveal much about a potential candidate’s work-related potential or performance. Two out of five of those organizations who research a candidate online also allow them to offer an explanation concerning the questionable information found on those social media sites. Most of the organizations use LinkedIn (93 percent), Facebook (63 percent) and Twitter (29 percent).

Home improvement retailers may find this method of screening job candidates a powerful tool, but only one of many methods of screening a candidate. They should also be wary of a couple of potential pitfalls. First, savvy applications will not post harmful information on their social media sites, and if they do, that will tell the potential employer something about their foresight and attitude.

Second, in addition, employers must be careful not to let information covered by non-discrimination laws sway their decision to hire or not hire the candidate. In fact, the biggest reason employers were likely to not use social media for screening candidates were concerns about legal risks and concerns about discovering information about protected characteristics. But if employers take care to observe laws regarding privacy and non-discrimination, online screening can add another dimension to getting to know the candidate. The best practice seems to be to wait until after the initial interview with the candidate to search for him or her online.

Use Social Media to Find Candidates

The SHRM study also showed that two-thirds of organizations have started to leverage mobile recruiting to target smartphone users. With many potential job applicants using their devices to search and apply for jobs, it’s important that retailers use job-posting sites that have a mobile-friendly app.

In addition to online job boards, social media is an increasingly effective way to find job candidates. Savvy retailers are always on the lookout for employees to work in their stores, even among those who aren’t actively looking for a job. According to the SHRM study, while many people are open to new job opportunities, they may not be actively looking for new job opportunities. Social media can be a powerful way of searching for and giving these passive job candidates an invitation to apply for a job. The majority of organizations state that finding passive job candidates is the chief reason they use social media for recruitment. Using social media also helps employers target their searches to candidates with specific job requirements. To see the complete study, click here.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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