Network: Manage your jump onto the online wagon

Updated: 01 Mar 2014

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, says recruiting experts Hays in Hong Kong.

According to the recruiter, many organisations rushed to incorporate social media in their recruitment process, even if they were not sure how to put their new tools to effective use.

“We’ve seen countless cases of organisations rushing into the online networking space before developing a proper strategy or thinking about what they want to achieve,” said Emma Charnock, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong and China.

“With the rise in popularity of Web 2.0 tools and technologies like Facebook, wikis and blogs, all the talk has been about how these online spaces could help firms find those elusive passive candidates, and many organisations - recruiters included - rushed to establish an online presence. Here was a medium that provided free access to thousands of potential candidates.

“But without thinking ahead, the increasing use of these mediums means employers no longer totally own their brand. We have to accept that allowing employees to blog and discuss matters on social forums isn’t without its risks and employees must remember that they are representing the company. 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.

“That’s not to say we should steer away from using social media. Technology has an important part to play in the recruitment process. 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, which remain central to the recruitment process. We need to look at it as just one of the attraction tools that we can use. Taking the time to get to know someone is still crucial in identifying the right role for them and picking up the phone to candidates or meeting them in person just can’t be substituted.

“Above all, technology and social media must be used to add value to the recruitment process. Used at the right time and in the right way, it’s a highly effective way of communicating. Used exclusively, at the expense of speaking to people, it becomes counterproductive. Nobody uses only one method of communication or interaction – it’s about using the right method at the right time in the right way.”

For any organisation considering incorporating social media into the recruitment process, Hays has this advice:

  • Research: Find out what is being said online about your organisation, and where it is being said.
  • Listen: Continue to listen to what is said about your organisation. You can also use the information as the basis for your future conversations with potential recruits.
  • Identify potential audiences.
  • Develop a strategy.
  • Involve the business – do not restrict your social media efforts to the HR department; candidates want to have peer-to-peer conversations with those in the areas of the business they could work in.
  • Select your social media ambassadors well and provide training on appropriate content that will engage potential recruits.
  • Do not become preoccupied with a single area of technology. Social media changes rapidly.
  • Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

- Ends -

For further information please contact Paula Tychsen, Marketing Executive – PR & Communications of Hays, on 02 8226 9739 or

About Hays
Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

As at 30 June 2011, Hays employed 7,620 staff operating from 255 offices in 31 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011, Hays reported net fees of £672 million and operating profit of £114 million and placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 190,000 people into temporary assignments. 31% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United Kingdom and the USA.

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