In keeping with our theme from the past few weeks, in this edition of the BRS Global blog, we are looking at the evolution of the modern recruitment process, the positive effects these changes have had on the business of internal recruitment and conversely the potential pitfalls they continue to represent for those in our profession. To help us we’ve chosen a selection of articles, infographics and quotes that we feel best illustrate the various stances taken towards this complex specialisation of recruitment!


How it has changed
We begin with an infographic from Spark Hire, which although US centric and focussed more on candidate experience, gives a useful chronological overview of the major advances in technology relevant to the recruitment process. Progressions such as the telephone (1876), mobile telephone (1970), the World Wide Web (1989) and YouTube (2005) enabled huge steps forward in how candidates and internal recruiters contacted each other. The advent of jobs boards in (insert date) were a major advance and online networks such as LinkedIn seem to be their natural progression. Recruiters can only expect these types of services to evolve as technology further advances and social media becomes ever more pervasive in our professional lives.

Regardless of the time period, the ideal method/process for recruiters, whether internal or external, has been to source the best possible quality candidates with the greatest efficiency. Not only have technological innovations allowed recruiters to do exactly this, but they have also made it easier to find talent over a greater distance and increased the candidates’ own ability to gain access/approach directly these previously hard to reach departments.

As an example, the Undercover Recruiter recently evaluated a statistics video by TweetMyJobs and their findings were rather interesting. According to their study only ‘29% of job seekers use social media as their primary tool for job searching’. This represents not even a third of job seekers yet this number is expected to grow exponentially and as a result internal recruitment functions are required to advance right alongside their talent pools.

“Innovative, industry leading companies are embracing the technology. Smaller companies are investing more and getting involved”

It is perhaps unsurprising then that certain companies, such as Sirona Says, have dedicated themselves to mastering the art of social recruitment, with articles detailing such tips as Top 7 Twitter Tools, 101 Types of Content to Share on Your Social Networks and how to optimise your LinkedIn headline.

While these advances have undoubtedly proved advantageous to the recruitment functions that are able to make the most out of them, by increasing their resources and thus improving the quality of the hires available to them, there are still notes of caution to be found within most of these articles.

For instance, PaySale have created an infographic entitled ‘Why Employers Love Social Recruiting’ citing advantages such as the potential for ‘instant’ results, however, the tone of the piece is far from as encouraging as is title would suggest. Primary amongst these concerns is employee use of social media and the way their perceived misuse of these tools could then in turn reflect poorly upon the company brand. It stands to reason that a brand with a poor social reputation would as a result see less of those high potential quality social hires that internal recruiters are so excited about. Wholesale trade, construction and real estate are quoted as the least likely to engage in social recruitment with retail, manufacturing and business support most likely to have a concrete employee social media policy in place.

Indeed, as Grant Saw Solicitors is keen to remind us, the potential for social misuse is far from restricted to just candidates and employees. Even the recruitment functions themselves risk facing criticism if they unfairly reject a candidate based on details which they have found online that would ‘not normally be made available on a cv or application form’ despite candidates’ continued (mis)belief that this widely available information would be unlikely to affect their job search.

‘41% of UK recruiters surveyed said that they rejected candidates on the basis of their online reputations…[while] less than 15% of candidates believed that information about them online could affect their job prospects’

So what can recruiters take away from these confused and often completely contradictory messages? Is social recruitment the next logical step in the profession’s long history of evolution? Or will it prove more problematic than it is worth, causing instead a regression towards more traditional, and potentially more controlled, methods of hiring?

To paraphrase the Undercover Recruiter: ‘this data shows an industry that is well publicised, but still in its early growth stages’.

Social media has clearly become an important tool for internal recruiters, but there are obviously still a lot of conflicts to be resolved within this rapidly changing field. Social recruiting as a specialisation is still evolving and yet remains to be seen to what extent each of the various online platforms will provide useful access to candidates. The issues outlined above will be among the biggest problems facing internal recruiters on a daily basis in the near future, so as always feel free to fill us in via the comments section about your own experiences, opinions or predictions.