Social media puts HR ethics under the spotlight

by Karen Sutherland, Monash University Social media has definitely changed the game for job-seekers and recruiters. Traditionally, HR recruiters placed an advertisement, sifted through the responses, and interviewed the shortlisted candidates before appointing the best interviewee with the best references. Those days are over.

The increase in social media adoption has provided recruiters with access to volumes of information about candidates that they were never before privy to. With this vast amount of candidate data at their fingertips, recruiters may struggle with the ethical implications regarding how much they let this information influence their decisions when appointing staff.

Limited research has been undertaken in Australia in relation to this issue. However, research from the Unites States suggests that HR recruiters are using social media in two ways: to find candidates and to screen them after receiving their applications.

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of social networking sites such as LinkedIn as recruitment tools, although, they have been described as a “shop window” for recruiters searching for suitable employees. A US study of 1000 recruiters found that 92% used or planned to use social media as part of their recruitment strategy and 93% chose LinkedIn as their most favoured tool for this process.

While the potential savings to time and costs may be enticing for recruiters using social media instead of traditional methods, this practice limits the field exclusively to social media users. If social media skills are not a key selection criterion, limiting the candidate pool to only those with a social media presence could be deemed as unethical and discriminatory. It is unfair for candidates to be excluded purely because they have not jumped on the social media bandwagon. Additionally, recruiters could be overlooking quality candidates by limiting the field.

EXCLUSIVE: disrupts recruitment industry with social power

by Herman Manson (@marklives) I often receive emails from friends with links to job posts and a note that says “this will be perfect for you” (just in case your business goes belly-up or you actually want to afford that new car – though that part goes unsaid). Greg Schneider, a rising star at digital agency Quirk, has launched a start-up that taps into networks of friends to bypass recruitment agents and crowd-source candidates for positions in the marketing and technology industries.

Schneider’s new recruitment platform,, allows businesses to place recruitment positions on the site alongside a bounty. The bounty, should a position be successfully filled, is paid out in thirds – 1/3 to HiringBounty, 1/3 to the person recommending the successful candidate and 1/3 to the person finally appointed.

So if the bounty next to the position says R5000 the cost to client is R5000 x 3. It pays HiringBounty and HiringBounty pays the other two parties. If you applied for the job without a recommendation from friend you are set to pocket the bounty x 2 (as referrer and successful candidate).

International adland recruitment consultancy opens in Jozi

Fabric, an international recruitment consultancy focused on the media and marketing sectors, has opened its doors in Johannesburg under the leadership of Jacqueline Rose. Fabric also has offices in London and Dubai.

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