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Social media can help mitigate risks and save costs in recruitment

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by Suruchi Pande , Research Analyst, Recruitment - HR Services
29 March 2016


Continuous developments in technology is providing various solutions to the elements of the market and growing rapidly across all the industrial segments. With growing trends of social media, technology provides a platform where connections can be developed over communication between individuals across the globe. Companies are realizing the potential of social media in recruitment and marketing segments. The two major purposes of using social media for HR activities are quality of hire and employer branding of the organizations. Even recruiters working in recruitment agencies explore social media for the desired job roles and search candidates’ profiles which influence the decision of screening the candidates.

Social media enables an organization to recruit the right candidate and enhance employer branding. However, there are risks involved in recruitment practices with social media. Selecting an appropriate channel reduces the risks to half. Evaluating the implementation process of social media in recruitment enables the client to understand the success parameters such as quality of hire and employer branding. While adopting social media for recruitment services, companies face difficulties in implementing the social media in an appropriate way. In case of wrong selection, companies face high risks and increase in costs incurred by hiring an unskilled workforce. This article helps us understand how social media can be used effectively to mitigate the risks involved in implementing a successful hiring process.


The rapid growth of technology has evolved social media to enhance the external communication and to strengthen the employee relationship with the organization. Technological changes are increasing the use of internet and online services for various activities. Recruitment through social media activities is the latest trend adopted by HR managers and HR recruiters. According to survey reports, 92 percent of HR recruiters use social media for recruitment services worldwide.

Traditional recruitment delivery channels have transformed with evolving technologies in the information and technology industry.

  • Companies such as SAP, Oracle, Taleo provide web tools for CRM, HRIS, ATS, employee engagement and storing CVs of passive candidates for future job opportunities.
  • Software companies offer various applications for recruitment activities such as ATS (Applicant Software system), eLearning portals for self-paced learning programs for self-assessments and prepare employees in psychometric assessments.

Regional Analysis – social media in recruitment – adoption rate and job seekers

The various channels of online sources offer job opportunities for roles in financial and accounting, sales and marketing, human resources, and staff support. Social media helps in finding qualified candidates from sectors such as software, IT, operations, sales and marketing, and human resources.

Latest market trends in social recruitment:

Clinical trial recruitment through twitter

Impact on pharmaceutical industry

  • Cancer care organizations use twitter for health promotion and education about cancer clinical trials.
  • Social media helps in recruitment for job roles such as scientists, researchers and physicians and interaction with public to stimulate clinical trial methods.
  • Social media is becoming a useful tool for clinical researchers.
  • In upcoming years, it is predicted that social media will promote accrual to clinical trials.

Source: Magazine - Pioneers post and Medscape

Cost saving opportunities:

Many organizations such as Deloitte are establishing an e-recruitment HR team to recruit candidates through social media. Currently, suppliers such as Adecco, Manpower and Randstad provide e-recruitment tools that are cost-effective while providing job opportunities to a wider audience. Generally, companies use significant amount of the organization’s marketing budget.

Integrating social media in recruitment costs provide huge scope for cost savings through job boards, job search or career portals such as CareerBuilder, Monster and Naukri websites. Cost savings depend highly on the number of jobs a company wants to post and the number of CVs accessible and the number of emails accessible for a specific duration.  

Some career portals provide subscription for duration of 3 months or annual basis offering tremendous cost savings up to 90 percent but may vary due to job posts, emails and CVs accessible for the specific time period.

Social media in recruitment: benefit or disadvantage?

Selecting appropriate channels for implementing social media in a hiring process is difficult to deploy in manufacturing, construction and retail industries. Due to different market dynamics, key success parameters such as quality of hire, employer branding and lack of skill shortages in particular geographies are difficult to measure for employers. They should consider legal trends such as policies and metrics of success before selecting the channel of social media for successful recruitment process.  

Industry Geography Challenges faced by companies
In manufacturing sector, shortages in skilled workforce exist to a great extent. Countries such as Mexico and the UK have shortage of workforce having desired skill sets and qualifications. Due to mismatch of skilled candidates versus unskilled labor, social media fails to solve the challenges faced by manufacturing companies.
In construction sector, companies are recruiting talent from different geographical locations. International talent pool for recruitment requires immigration norms and work permits. Additional costs incurred for hiring and managing expatriates.

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts

L’Oreal, the largest cosmetic and beauty company, uses social networking websites for recruitment. Also, Garnier, Maybelline New York and Body shop use social media for recruitment worldwide (specifically in India and Philippines). “The best employees refer the best candidates”, were the few slogans L’Oreal uploaded on social networking sites such as LinkedIn as an employee referrals strategy.

Recruiting from a low talent pool in countries such as the Netherlands, social media plays an important role to find an appropriate talent. “Spot the green spot”, was a contest ran by e-recruitment HR team of Deloitte on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to improvise the internal communications and enhance the employer brand by using green spot as a logo of Deloitte. 


  • Factors driving the growth of social media in recruitment will change or remain consistent. This is a major challenge for companies engaging with social networking sites. Companies should focus on market trends across geographies and benefits of using social media for recruitment practices.
  • Organizations to include nature of online services used in social media to be a part of HR policy to reduce conflicts.
  • Choosing an effective social networking site should be based on the metrics of success. Quality of hire and employer branding are the two major metrics of success.
  • Previous employer information and background verification can be verified over social networking sites through content posted by individuals on length of average job tenure, length of job tenure with current employer and mutual connections.
  • Risks associated with social media can be resolved through applications such as ATS or CRM which will keep a record for passive candidates for future opportunities. Return on Investment can also be improvised by using ATS or Client relationship management (CRM) system.


  • Data analysis is expected to grow significantly and extensive use of visualization is expected in the coming years. Candidate’s evaluation over social networking sites is focused by most of the fortune 500 companies. For job roles such as software developer or salesforce, it is difficult to recruit through social networking sites, as only visualization is not sufficient to perform the job responsibilities. Further assessments and technical round of interviews are essential for different job roles in IT or marketing services.
  • Considering the Fortune 500 companies, social media does create a value proposition for the businesses as well as enhances the employer branding. News updates, market trends and technology insights should be considered while interacting on social media. Utilizing social media in an appropriate way will generate higher gains and lower risks for any organization.
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