Why social media is vital in GCC recruitment

Author: PM Editorial | Date: 11 Nov 2015

New poll reveals 95 per cent of candidates use online networking to find jobs

Social media is a powerful recruitment tool that offers benefits for both employers and candidates across the GCC, according to a new survey from REACH Employment Services, which suggests the region is leading the way in the adoption of new recruitment practices.
The survey of more than 1,000 employers and jobseekers found that 95 per cent of employees use social networking sites to look for jobs, and almost half of hiring managers involve social media in the recruitment process at some point.
The trend looks set to continue, with recruitment companies and jobseekers agreeing that they turn to social media when searching for jobs or staff.
Matthew Lewis, partner for Middle East and Africa at Boyden global executive search, said: “We see social media as an important channel for companies to create an outbound information flow concerning their employer brand. This is important when trying to attract millennials and ‎graduates.
“For jobseekers, having a personal brand is becoming increasingly important to stand out and differentiate in a crowded and global talent marketplace. Using social media allows someone to position themselves with relevant commentary, follow companies and get more relevant intelligence on their target employer.”
The effect that a digital footprint can have on their employability was an issue that more than 85 per cent of surveyed jobseekers considered important.
The survey revealed that 48 per cent of hiring managers check the social media and digital footprints of job candidates, and 42 per cent frequently use social networking sites in the recruitment process. Many of these same managers (30 per cent) admitted to rejecting potential candidates because of questionable personal or professional traits they saw online.
Just over 68 per cent of people looking for jobs also reported checking out their hiring panel online before attending an interview, and 26 per cent said they had turned down interviews based on information they had read online.
Andrew Croft, deputy chief executive officer at REACH Employment Services, said: “Our latest survey clearly shows the growing impact of social media on recruitment decisions and activities across the GCC. Based on the results, job hunters in the region should be more responsible about their digital presence and the image they project, while employers should take advantage of the screening potential of the internet.
“Those responsible for recruitment should also be aware of the potential impact that their individual social media footprint may have on attracting top talent. Candidates, on the other hand, need to adopt strong privacy settings on their own social media profiles, and think before posting or sharing anything online.”