Social media has emerged like an errant piece of debris from a tornado, and has smacked the world of business in its metaphorical face. Depending on who you talk to, this emergence of no-holds-barred communication has resulted in either the apocalypse for privacy and internal practices, or the advent of a new dawn of profitability and success. In any case, the plethora of social networking sites has led to a reevaluation of business practices. It’s no mystery that the area with the most important long-term implications for an organization is recruiting and staffing employees. One of the biggest and oldest problems for companies revolves around acquiring a talented and creative team — and digital gives the old, traditional methods a new spin.
According to a Study [PDF] by the workplace psychologist group OPP, 39% of leaders said they still rely on gut instinct when making hiring decisions, and a quarter admitted that whether they liked someone personally was a major influence. These findings demonstrate that traditional hiring metrics, including quality of the cover letter and interview, compete in importance with the personal preferences of the hiring manager. Second, employers base hiring preferences on the applicant’s personality, sometimes even more than on the hard skills an applicant brings to the table.
Social media tools and applications can offer a glimpse into these more personal aspects of an applicant beyond traditional hiring materials. But are businesses actually using social media tools to hire?