How social media is impacting recruitment

Offering you the recruitment and selection support you need

It’s no surprise that social media’s becoming increasingly prevalent in recruitment. In fact, 92% of recruiters say they now use it as part of their process*.

For better

Social media can override some elements of more traditional routes of recruitment – which is why many employers turn to it.

Some of the most popular recruitment benefits cited by employers include:

  • It’s more cost-effective
  • It increases the pool and quality of candidates
  • It allows more specific targeting
  • They can gain an insight into a potential candidates’ character
  • The ability to screen candidates before the interview stage.

And for worse

With its benefits though, comes many pitfalls…


Although employers cite this as a benefit, you must tread with caution. Protected characteristics are protected by law, and if you refuse to interview or recruit someone because of one, you could face discrimination claims. Protected characteristics include: age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, race, pregnancy and maternity.


There’s no way of knowing what you’ve read on a prospective employee’s social media page is accurate. Information contained could be doctored, a prank, edited or posted to conform with their followers. Ask yourself, can job-relevant characteristics really be measured on social media?


Social media isn’t necessarily a level playing field. Some people might have their profile set to private, others might not, and some just aren’t on social media full stop, so there’s no standardisation in terms of how much, and what kind of information you can access from person-to-person.

As such, social media should supplement your recruitment efforts – not replace it. We’d recommend you use at least two channels when recruiting.


Ask yourself, is an individual’s social media antics really relevant? According to research**, employers are put off by things like vanity, drunken photos and over-sharing of content. But does any of that really impact someone’s ability to do the advertised job? Odds are, it does not.

Equality and diversity

During a ‘standard’ recruitment process, you can’t ask a candidate questions around their age, religion, marital status or sexual orientation (to name just a few), but social media snooping side steps this right – offering a route for undocumented discrimination.

Roles reversed

With great power comes great responsibility. According to research***, 62% of job seekers research businesses on social media before applying for a job.

What does this mean? Your social media profiles need to make the grade to avoid putting people off. Here are a couple of quick tips:

  • Post regularly
  • Make sure everything you post, share or like is representative of your values
  • Share internal activities that show off your culture
  • Shout about the positives
  • Ensure your posts are engaging – use pictures!
  • Portray yourself professionally at all times
  • Make sure your Glassdoor profile isn’t littered with negative reviews.

We can help

For help on how to make the most of social media and your recruitment process – while staying on the right side of the law, get in touch with our Employment Law experts on 0345 844 1111.

*According to research conducted by Jobvite.

**Research conducted by YouGov.

***Research conducted by Betterteam.


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