Majority of employers plan to recruit via social media – but don’t make it personal, warns Lawspeed

Social media has come centre stage when it comes to recruiting new talent, says a new study from recruitment platform Jobvite – but employers could be on shaky ground if they use people’s personal information to do background checks.

The Jobvite social recruiting survey 2012 found that 92% of US companies plan to use social networks to find staff this year – up from 78% five years ago. LinkedIn is the most popular network for sourcing new talent – used among 93% of the 1,000 HR and recruitment professionals who responded to the survey – and two-thirds of organisations now use Facebook as part of their recruitment strategy. For the first time, employers are turning to Twitter to source talent, with more than half (54%) using the micro-blogging site to find new staff.

Social media is producing good results for employers, with seven out of 10 saying they successfully hired a candidate through social networks. The bulk of those new hires (78%) come through LinkedIn. A fifth report that social media has helped speed up the hiring process, and four out of 10 say the quality of candidates has improved.

However efficient social recruiting may be, UK employers should not delve into personal data, or use that data as a basis for selecting or rejecting a candidate. The Jobvite survey revealed that 48% of US hirers check social profiles even without being invited to, and that that hiring organisations are more likely to reject a candidate because of bad spelling and grammar on their social profiles, rather than for swearing or posts about alcohol or drug consumption.

Lawspeed provides employment law services for recruiters, employers and hirers of agency workers. Deborah Francis is the head of Employment Law at Lawspeed, and she warns that checking people’s personal feeds could put employers in difficulties with the Data Protection Act. Deborah says: “To protect their business, employers need to be strategic. Put social media policies in place, and clarify exactly how social platforms are to be used for business networking.”

Lawspeed contracts and policies can be tailored to protect both the employer data and the contact collateral from social networking by staff – call 01273 236 236 for further details.
This article was first published in AgencyZone.

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