Five social media recruiting pitfalls to avoid

Consider the benefits and risks of social networks when using them. The advent of social media has been an advantage for search consultants and recruiters as it drives professional background information onto the web – therefore making our job of finding people with particular expertise somewhat easier. However, don’t forget the risks too.

There is a lot of buzz in recruiting circles about the benefits of using sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter for social media recruiting. However, few are talking about the risks involved in using social media channels to recruit.


Here are five social media recruiting pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Have a search plan so you don’t go off on tangents and waste time. Searching sites can be time consuming unless you know how to search effectively or have the technology to retrieve the relevant information.
  2. Be tactful, respectful and provide a full explanation when approaching candidates through social networks. Contacting prospective candidates through social network sites may be unexpected and possibly unwanted by the recipient.
  3. Verify the information you find online. Information on the sites can be out of date or inaccurate.
  4. Double check the content before you post or list anything on the internet. There is no way of guaranteeing you can delete something once it is out in the web, make sure you thoroughly review your work before hand.
  5. Don’t rely on only those candidates you can find on social networks, a more thorough search method is required. You are only seeing part of the market through social networks.

To discover the system leading search firms use, find out in the newly released book The Executive Search Process: A Step by Step Guide to Finding the Right Candidate. Further details and sample pages can be found at

About the author

Shireen DuPreez is an executive search consultant, recruiter and author

This article was also published in Human Capital Magazine

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