Technology offers employers, recruiters and hiring managers powerful new recruitment tools, but the pace of change can be an obstacle, and face-to-face methods need to remain central to the process.
We've seen many organisations rushing into the online networking space before developing a proper recruitment strategy.
With the popularity of technologies such as Facebook, Wikis and blogs, all the talk has been about how these online spaces could help firms find those elusive passive candidates. Here was a medium that provided free access to thousands of potential candidates.
But the increasing use of these mediums means employers no longer totally own their brand. This is where a clear strategy and policy around what employees can and cannot do comes into play.
There is more to consider than simply broadening your search base. As we all know, its quality not quantity that matters. If companies want to be active in online communities, their image and reputation have to be carefully managed and monitored, and they need to act quickly to address any issues because they can become widespread very quickly and have a significant impact on candidate attraction.
With many candidates now being much more strategic in their approach to online networking, taking advantage of the sites linked to career-related groups and forums is a sensible move.
But this form of networking must not be done at the expense of face-to-face methods. We need to look at technology as just one of the attraction tools that we can use. Technology and social media must be used to add value to the recruitment process. Used exclusively, at the expense of speaking to people, technology becomes counterproductive.
For any organisation considering incorporating social media into their recruitment, Hays has this advice:
Eyes and ears Research and listen to identify potential audiences and develop a strategy. Find out what is being said online about your organisation. You can use the information as the basis for future conversations with potential recruits.
Involve the business Do not restrict your efforts to the HR department. Candidates want to have conversations with those in the areas in which they might work, and don't become preoccupied with a single area of social media. It changes rapidly.
Friendly face Finally, select your social media ambassadors well and provide training on content that will engage recruits.