The Use of Social Media within the Recruitment and Selection Process

Bachelor Thesis, 2015

32 Pages, Grade: 2:1


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction
1.1. Outline of problem being investigated
1.2. Research Aims & Objectives
1.3. Rationale for Study
1.4. The Phenomenon

Chapter 2 – Literature Review

Chapter 3 - Methodology and Procedure
3.1. Introduction
3.2. Research Methods
3.3. Demographic Sampling
3.4. Advantages & Limitations
3.5. Validity & Reliability
3.6. Ethical issues

Chapter 4 – Research & Findings
4.1. Introduction
4.2. Quantitative Results & Analysis
4.3. Interview Results & Analysis

Chapter 5 - Conclusion
5.1. Introduction
5.2. Conclusions
5.3. Recommendations
5.4. Areas of Further Research


Appendix A - Questionnaire Transcript
Appendix B – Interview Transcript
Appendix C – Extended Recommendations

Chapter 1 – Introduction

1.1. Outline of problem being investigated

Over the years, the extensive use of social media networking being the premise of people’s and organisations daily lives has increased, making everyone even more vulnerable, in one way or another, as each day goes by. The use of social media has risen significantly in the last few years and has become a day-to-day tool for many individuals for both communication purposes and to be able to make useful connections for both personal and professional reasons. The fundamental aim of my research is to explore the extent to which social media networking is being use within the recruitment and selection (R&S) process. In order to establish guidelines, it is important to outline some of the aspects, which will be further discussed in the following chapters.

This extract is designed to convey the implications of using social media networking, and how today’s generation hold an influential aspect in how its gets increasing exposed to the business world. In the pre-modern era, before the age of the Internet, our identities were purely defined by our characteristics seen on paper and during interviews. The option to place our-selves within various other sectors of society was, quite difficult, or almost unimaginable. However, we could say that all that has changed. The basis of this thesis, is to analyse the ways in which social media networking is having an impact towards how the R&S operates, and how these elements have made an impact on both the recruiters of an organisation and the applicants that apply.

As seen, major changes are currently happening within informational technology that affects Human Resources (HR). In addition to the notable number of published jobs on social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, they are all brought up as potential and useful recruitment channels (Pophal, 2009). The development of traditional communication channels has led to new communicative forms and a focus on strategic communication. Strategic communication means to lead, plan and implement communication processes in relation to the needs from society, stakeholders and other audiences (Falkenheimer & Heide, 2007).

1.2. Research Aims & Objectives

This research aims to show how the use of social media within the recruitment and selection process has been increasing over the years. These aims will be achieved by:

1. Assessing how social media is increasingly being used;
2. How it is being implemented in the recruitment process by organisations;
3. And how the use social media within recruitment is making an impact to both recruiters and applicants.

1.3. Rationale for Study

The decision to study the topic of the use of social media networking within the recruitment and selection process goes back to when I had become more interested in HR and in addition, it had dawned on me how social media has started making an impact on people’s daily lives, especially as I am not too far behind the steps as well. So I became interested in not only finding out how it is being used in HR but also how it has become a “necessity”, so to say, for department to use the process.

1.4. The Phenomenon

With this research, it presents a study which contributes to the knowledge of social media within recruitment and selection from different perspectives and it can give an insight for the HR department in a way that it can be used with the appropriate objectives and strategies when it comes to the potential use of social media within the recruitment and selection process. Everyday new technological discoveries are presented that aims to make our life more efficient and less complicated. Today, the Internet is changing the way that business is conducted (Joos, 2008). The development of new communication channels opens up for new ways of communicating and do so while reaching a larger number of people. Many of the tasks that traditionally require physical work has been replaced by Internet and similar technology.

New communication channels have been developed through the phenomenon of social media. Social media can be described as platforms where people can virtually meet, have a dialogue or spread information. Joos (2008) explains that social media often is used in marketing purposes where companies focusing on promoting products, services and their corporate image. The use of Internet and social media has created new conditions within HR-systems and processes, such as in recruitment. For example, Internet has opened up for better ways to spread information to the society and to specific applicants concerning the organization. Internet also makes it easier to find information and creates alternative ways for people to participate in social activities (Hong, 2007). Historically, recruitment has been about assessing candidates‟ qualifications legally and accurately (Ployhart, Schneider & Schmitt, 2006). Social media opens up for new ways of finding, attracting and selecting future employees.

These major changes in the environment affect the HR departments and how they conduct to business. All the activities in HR, such as reward systems, selection, performance management, HR flow, work systems and recruitment have an essential influence on organizational success (Beer, Spector, Lawrence, Mills & Walton, 1984). Therefore long-term strategic planning concerning policies and other activities are brought into focus.

Chapter 2 – Literature Review

Even though the use of social media has risen significantly over the last few years and has become a day-to-day tool for many individuals for both communication purposes and to be able to make useful connections for both personal and professional reasons, it still has a long way till it is penetrating the place of work to the extent in which it becomes implanted into every part of people’s lives. Social media in enterprise is distinct from the traditional communication technologies that is often used in today’s organisations.

This is due to those who use them, can see conversations occurring between others in the organisation who are not their communication partners. In addition, they can distinguish the social and work related connections that exists among them. So in other words, rather than functioning as a channel through which communication travels, social media within enterprise operates as a platform upon which social interaction occurs. Because this platform is digital, in contrast to the physical platforms of offices, conference rooms, and hallways that have traditionally been the stages on which most workplace communication is played out, anyone in the organisation can participate at any time from any place (Leonardi et al, 2013).

As an emerging field, there is little previous academic research or empirical study focusing on social media in a Human Resources (HR) context, and even less in the hotel industry. Of the few studies accessed, one had a broader scope addressing social media use for tourism business purposes with a small focus on social media for HR (CTHRC, 2011), whereas another looked at the phenomena from the job candidate’s perspective versus an employer’s perspective (Madera, 2012). Current research mainly illustrates the prevalence, benefits and detriments of social media and HR as a trend related to the recruitment and screening process of potential employees (Leonardi et al, 2013).

Research previously done by social recruiting platform Jobvite indicated that the vast majority of recruiters (94%) either already use or plan to use social media for recruiting, whereas the research done by firm Aberdeen Group stated that 73% of 18- to 34-year-olds found their last job through a social network. But despite its wide-scale adoption, there are still a lot of mistakes made when it comes to social recruiting. Andy Headworth, founder of Sirona Consulting, which helps organisations integrate social media into their recruiting strategies, thinks many recruiters make assumptions about such channels and fail to do their homework (Beagrie, 2015).

They also seriously underestimate the amount of time and resource needed. To start with, it is not Monday to Friday, nine to five situation, it is 24/7 and needs response coverage all the time. According to Headworth, too many companies get started with social media recruitment because competitors are using it. Organisations need to ensure that their target audience are actually on social media in the first place, and then more specifically which social media platforms they are on (Beagrie, 2015).

While LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter continue to be the big guns on the social recruiting landscape, it is important to look beyond them, so whichever channel organisations opt for, they need to keep in mind that each has its own culture. The type of messaging and engagement used is different from one social media network to another. For example, LinkedIn is primarily a professional network where people ‘expect’ communication around work subjects, whereas Facebook is much more personal and the same approaches would be met with negativity (Beagrie, 2015).

Social media recruiting is not merely about publicising vacancies. This misses some of its most important benefits, such as cultivating two-way relationships with potential talent and informing them about what it is really like to work within the organisation. It’s not just another ‘one-way’ means to push our vacancies out, it is about authentically promoting our employer brand. It is vital to hit the right tone with potential employees on social media, giving them a real flavour of what it’s like to work for you. There is no point in presenting a false version of the organisation as a whole as it will not help with new employees. HR and recruitment functions can learn a great deal about social media from other departments such as marketing and sales, so therefore they should also make sure that messaging around the employer brand is consistent across the organisation (Beagrie, 2015).

In 2013, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) had conducted a survey for their report of 'Social technology, social business?’. The aim of the survey was to foresee how social media was used within organisations. From the 2,000+ employees that participated, it was found that while three in four employees use social media for their own personal use, just one in four of them would use it for work reasons (CIPD, 2013).

The study percentages were that 53% of those employees were senior leaders whereas the 43% were from the age group of 18 to 24 year olds. There did not exist a major barrier to accessing social media as half of the employees admitted in having access to it while double to the amount of employees actually admitted to using it. With the research, it was presented that the key factors that contributed most were issues of organisational culture and perception. Half of the works that had admitted to using social media for work reasons on a day-to-day basis stated that they had seen it present real benefits for the organisation that they worked at (CIPD, 2013).

In addition to social media websites having a significant role within organisations, it especially plays a distinguished role within Human Resources when it comes to the recruitment process. Which is the case of the survey, over half of employers (54%) admit to using social media when it comes to recruiting and one in nine employees admit to using social networking to look for work and successfully having found a job this way. Both employers and job-seekers even use social media to check each other’s profile and be able to be informed of the choices that they have, even though employers do it more (38%) compared to employees (16%) (CIPD, 2013).

Following the research done by CIPD, another was done for a report done by Pratt (2013), which was with two questions. Firstly, “how has social media affect candidates?” and secondly, “what does this mean to recruiters?” In the 12 months leading to when the report was produced, about 44% of the participants said that companies had conducted them about a job opportunity via social media. In 2013, the vast common amount of jobs that had been advertised was done, not just on job board but also through social media (Pratt, 2013).

With the way that social media has been advancing, it seems that it has ultimately changed the way that candidates hunt for jobs. With candidates having the access to becoming more connected and becoming increasingly more familiar with sites such as twitter and Facebook, these networks are becoming opportunities to follow potential companies, seek advertisements of available jobs and also be able to pass along available jobs that are interesting to appropriate friends and colleagues. Of the global respondents, 16% had claimed that they were able to secure a job opportunity through social media (Pratt, 2013).

As candidates have more availability on finding information about jobs and employers in various online websites, more than a third of the global participants use social media to aid them in making decisions on employment, whether it is based on sharing the specification of a job online to friends or upon viewing the social profiles of potential employers/recruiters. Factors such as referrals, the presence of social media and the brand of the employer, are many that make a difference to process that a candidate goes through when deciding about what jobs to apply for and which ones to accept (CIPD, 2013).

Although, this could potentially be important to recruiters, due to social media having made a permanent effect on the techniques within recruitment. It has shown that candidates are now becoming more willing comfortable about sharing their views and information of themselves. But this has led to the point that employers never had the opportunity to engage and contact candidates with the many diverse and applicable ways of doing so as they did before. As individuals carry on freely sharing jobs with friends and colleagues, they go on to send to their peers, the job opportunities that they find extremely suitable to apply for the job. With candidates so easily sharing information about an organisation with their peers and being able to seek out those organisations online, employers need to make sure that the branding efforts being out there on social networking is strong (CIPD, 2013).

It is imperative that recruiters are able to contain a solid, reliable presence across a diversity of social media websites in order for them to able to attract the appropriate candidates as they have been becoming more fussier as time goes by. It is vital they can be able to attract the right applicants and also be alert of who and where people will go about sharing the job opportunities available (Beagrie, 2015).

Chapter 3 - Methodology and Procedure

3.1. Introduction

This chapter provides a detailed overview of the research methods developed and applied for this study, beginning with a review of the sampling methods used, a presentation of the instrumentation, a description of the data analysis, a statement of the limitations relevant to this study, and a review of the relevant ethical issues.

3.2. Research Methods

Instrumentation choice is another area of research which demands strategic decisions and appropriate applications; selecting and developing a research instrument is a critical part of any research effort (Holliday 2009; Kothari 2008). Here the researcher must consider the benefits and drawbacks of using the instrumentation, whether one or multiple types are used. The survey questionnaire has the advantage of being distributed across a wide range of people for data acquisition that is less time consuming and potentially more far reaching, but it is more challenging to address any respondent confusion, while it is also less personal if the researcher has any other reason to communicate with the respondent or assist them in their providence of data (Laurel 2003).

Meanwhile, interviews can be more personal, and often times researchers can ask follow up questions as needed in addition to being able to explain when any confusing issues arise; however, these interviews are less easily distributed across the same wide range of people, and studies with interviews thus commonly require smaller sample quantities if the study is conducted in the same time frame (Holliday 2009; Kothari 2008). It was realized that the most value and data could be obtained through the use of both the survey questionnaire and interviews, considering the access to the conference sample and remaining time available to conduct interviews; here the benefits from both could be gained while the candidate pursued multiple sample types to more fully address the research questions and objectives.

3.3. Demographic Sampling

Once the target samples were determined and the instrumentation was finalized, I went to distribute the instrumentation across the questionnaire and interview participants. For the questionnaires, the data was recorded electronically through Survey Monkey, while the interviews were conducted individually and personally. They were then transcribed for the purposes of this work. Following this, the survey results were compiled and the interview topics were considered in relation to each other for the purposes of data analysis.

For the target sampling, two different group were aimed at for the research. With the questionnaires, they were aimed at current employees and candidates who are currently applying for jobs or are just about to enter the job search market. This was to be able to get a perspective from previous and current candidates on the use of social media within the recruitment process. For the interviews, they were aimed for employers, i.e. the recruitment department of an organisation and recruitment agencies, in order to get the perspective and impacts of their use of social media within the recruitment and selection process. In the appendix has been attached transcript of both instruments use, one from the interviews and one from the questionnaires.


Excerpt out of 32 pages


The Use of Social Media within the Recruitment and Selection Process
London Metropolitan University
BA Hons Business Management
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
810 KB
social, media, recruitment, selection, process
Quote paper
Susana Guedes (Author), 2015, The Use of Social Media within the Recruitment and Selection Process, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: The Use of Social Media within the Recruitment and Selection Process

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free