Recruitment and Selection Using Social Network Sites

Recruitment and Selection Using Social Network Sites

Ralf Caers (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Belgium), Claudia Vigna (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Belgium) and Tim De Feyter (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0315-8.ch047
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This chapter looks at how social network sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can be used for recruiting staff members within or outside the organization and during selection procedures. The authors present the opportunities and review scientific literature to analyze whether these opportunities are already used by organizations and what effects their use may have. It thereby becomes clear that although much work has already been done in this field, there is still a critical need for a more profound understanding of matters and for more international research worldwide.
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The introduction and rise of online social network sites (SNSs) has been one of the most important trends of the years 2000. Boyd and Ellison (2007) define SNSs as “web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system”. SNSs are thus classified as a part of social media, a broader concept also including for example YouTube, Wikipedia and virtual game worlds (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).

Today, there are hundreds of these SNSs all over the world. Although it is difficult to find accurate and trustworthy data on the number of users (i.e. counting numbers of accounts being opened versus active accounts) for every platform, few will disagree that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the largest ones. Facebook reports having reached 750 million active users in 2011, 70% of which do not reside in the US, and having a broad worldwide reach (Facebook, 2011). LinkedIn and Twitter each report to have attained 100 million users worldwide in 2011. When so many users gather at only so few websites and disclose personal information, these websites are bound to attract attention from the business sector, looking for new ways to increase sales and brand awareness or to communicate with stakeholders. In this regard, organizations have started to create Facebook fan pages, LinkedIn profiles and Twitter accounts named after them, that can be liked or followed by individual users. But SNSs provide more than only marketing opportunities and selling products. Organizations also need to find new employees to fill their vacancies and, as individuals disclose personal information and visualize their networks, SNSs may provide opportunities for organizations to enlarge, diversify and optimize their recruitment and selection efforts. This chapter will present an overview of how Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be used in a recruitment and selection context and review scientific literature in this domain. As we do not pretend all readers should be familiar with these SNSs and the services available to their users, we first provide a short overview based on the SNSs’ current form.

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