Social Media Recruiting

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Social Media Recruiting is dead. This was the result of two recent surveys*°. All hope seems lost. Well, not quite. As is the case with any innovation, the small sprout needs to be given a fair chance.

Companies complain about how hard it is to find suitable “high potentials”, although everything seemingly has become easier in the last ten years. You quickly dial into a “social platform” and get the desired candidate.
Today, regrettably, both sides are disappointed: On the one hand, job seekers remain undiscovered, and on the other hand, companies – and the headhunters and contractors that work for them – search without successfully finding what they are looking for.

What must I do to be found – and what to find the right candidate?

Matching is decisive

Social Media Recruiting describes the attempt to find suitable aspirants via social networks. As in many other e-commerce businesses, it works by platforms trying to achieve a 100% matching. But as it turned out, the problem is the same as on dating sites: One the one hand, applicants want to present as much as possible about themselves to come across as attractive. But on the other hand, people do not want to imprudently publish personal data in the Internet.

The right platform

To improve success rates, matching must take place where both, company and prospect, are advertising and/or seeking. At a first glance, one should think that ‘communities’ with the most visitors would be best.

But even if a larger number of people (applicants) are addressed about their interest in a certain job via Facebook, these are often no serious offers. Often, the Facebook users appear merely as alias, making a real search for recruiters difficult from the start.

Big isn’t always great

Large job portals such as are still a good try for finding a job. But with time, it ceased to be a real treasure source for leadership positions: Even if interesting positions are posted, companies neither maintain nor sufficiently support their ads. Sometimes, the vacancies do not even exist and the company wants to advertise by posting 20 different vacancies for one single real position! 

The right method for marketing oneself

More reliable, because perceived by the business world as business platform, is XING for the German-speaking D-A-CH market and LinkedIn for the international market. Both networks offer the opportunity of posting a CV along with focus of interest and new orientation. It is crucial, however, to always keep the CV updated. This includes indicating stays abroad as well as practical experience, specifying type of work, position and company, if possible.

From Social Media Recruiting to Social Referencing

In the meantime, evaluations and references are also published via the Net. The author, for example, has already posted several references, either directly via LinkedIn or (indirectly), via a subsequent phone call made with a contact. In the future, Social Media Recruiting will more and more develop in Social Business Networking. Participants not only foster their contacts, but they can also see who is in contact with whom in the business world and post so-called testimonials, which are important for professional success in the relevant career. 


In addition to classical e-market platforms of the Internet, business portals (such as XING or LinkedIn) will gain more relevance. But also platforms of professional associations, some of them free of charge, will serve as pin walls with member benefits for graduates and young professionals. Social Media Recruiting thus is developing from a potential mass platform into a more specific and elitist search hot point, where colleagues can act as business bailsmen and references. In parallel, paradoxically, Social Media Recruiting in the meaning of establishing personal connection by word of mouth will gain even more importance.

* Social Media Recruiting Study of 2014 by Eva Zils

° Social Media Personnel Marketing Study by embrander

MBS Prof. Dr. Arnd Albrecht
About Prof. Dr. Arnd Albrecht 29 Articles
Since 2010, Prof. Dr. Arndt Albrecht has been a professor for Human Resource Management and International Management at MBS. In addition, he is the Academic Program Director of the Bachelor International Business program. Prof. Dr. Albrecht is involved in research and consulting activities at MBS as well as in his consulting company where he supports industry projects in terms of HRM, leadership and change management. After completing his doctorate, he worked as an international senior manager in the pharmaceutical industry and as a strategic consultant for SMEs and corporations. Prof. Dr. Albrecht is a certified business coach and holds an MBA from Henley Management College.