Social Media and Recruitment


The tendency to recruit via social media is perhaps not as prevalent in South Africa as in other countries. However, according to MCI Consultants, one of the largest distributors of staffing software in Southern Africa, 58% of organisations use social media to recruit candidates. This is according to a SA HR Recruitment Trend Survey they conducted in 2013, which included the participation of over 1000 HR professionals from across the country.


People have differing views on the value of social media recruitment and the secret is to ensure that as you engage with the different mediums you build a large network of potential candidates.


At Sage VIP specifically, we have been making intensive use of recruiting via social media for more than a year now.


Some points to consider:


Social media is a real time tool

It provides an excellent opportunity for potential candidates to market themselves and to apply online. Connecting with candidates via social media also allows you to build a network of possible workers for the future.


There is a variety of mediums available

This includes mainly Facebook, LinkedIn, Pnet and Careerjunction. In the research study of MCI consultants, they have found that 69% of the organisations use LinkedIn, 18% Facebook, while only 7% use Twitter and Google Plus.


LinkedIn remains an excellent recruitment tool. At Sage VIP we use the medium mainly for the recruitment of specialist positions and to advertise management positions, especially in other African countries, where we do not have a relationship yet with recruitment agencies.


With LinkedIn there are two options available when it comes to advertising vacancies. You can either advertise in LinkedIn’s job function/tool or the HR manager can publish vacancies on their own profile. If the manager then connects with different and relevant groups in the industry, it provides the advertisement with much more visibility. For example, one can connect with other HR managers in Nigeria for the period the job is advertised and it also helps to connect with universities if you are looking for graduates with specific skills.


However to use LinkedIn to its best capacity you need to pay the premium rate to be able to advertise jobs on the LinkedIn advertising portal. This brings in a terrific amount of good calibre candidates.  A substantial benefit of this is that LinkedIn users will visit the site to get daily updates of all jobs available.  Using LinkedIn to headhunt does yield results although you are not guaranteed to find the perfect person.  


Facebook, unfortunately, is not an effective platform for finding the correct skills because people tend to publish more personal information. However, the site does have its own benefits. You can use Facebook to create a company page where you then publish all your ads. You also need to consider if this platform is a tool your company wants to use during the recruitment process and if it will align with your company brand. 


Our organisation does not really use Twitter as a recruitment medium, mainly because it requires constant attention and maintenance. To gain the best advantage on Twitter you can make use of a third party service like JobVine, which is then linked to both your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.


Perceptions about a potential candidate

Different social media platforms sometimes create different perceptions about a candidate. For example, you might not consider a person based on their Facebook profile, only to find that their LinkedIn profile paints a different picture.


Managers sometimes want to view a candidate’s Facebook profile to gain insight into the individual’s ‘personal brand’. This is something students need to consider. How do you want to portray yourself? How would your character be judged by a stranger viewing your profile?


If your company engages in social media recruitment, it is important to ensure you portray at all times the correct image of your company’s culture on social media. A company’s brand is enhanced through its presence on social media and potential candidates will definitely research your company’s social media pages.


Be creative

HR managers have to be creative and make use of different search techniques in order to find the right person. It takes considerable time and effort to develop this skill.


Always be careful of scammers and hackers, our world is full of them

For example,do not use yourpersonal Facebook profile to advertise positions. A LinkedIn profile is the safer choice as you can specify how candidates can contact you and what personal information you wish to reveal to them.


       By Anja van Beek, HR Director at Sage VIP, a leading supplier of payroll and human resource management solutions in South Africa and Africa


About Sage VIP


Sage VIP is a leading supplier of payroll and human resource management solutions in South Africa and Africa, having a comprehensive African partner network that comprises of 35 African countries.  Sage VIP’s extensive service offering and comprehensive range of products epitomises ease of use, stability and reliability.  The flexibility that the Sage VIP service offering provides is uniquely catered to each client’s company and legislative needs, whether it is an SME or a multinational corporation. 


About Sage


We provide small and medium sized organisations with a range of easy-to-use, secure and efficient business management software and services – from accounting and payroll, to enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and payments.  Our customers receive continuous advice and support through our global network of local experts to help them solve their business problems, giving them the confidence to achieve their business ambitions.  Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has over 6 million customers and more than 12,700 employees in 24 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil. For further information please visit


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