Social Recruiting & Discrimination in Recruitment

Discrimination is a daily aspect of life. It comes in different shapes, size, ‘odour’ and colour. And this does occur in recruitment as well, and no denying that fact.

In several companies and countries, candidates may have been discriminated based on their gender, a disability, how strange their name is, how funny their accent sounds or their sexual orientation.

Age discrimination is also quite common, depending on what the company is trying to present itself as, with candidates not remotely considered for a role either because they are too old or too young.

The UK and several western countries have set guidelines regarding discrimination within recruitment. A lot of recruiters and companies follow this guidelines, not just because they are rules, but also out of moral reasoning.

And others just try to make things easier for themselves by hiring a Diversity & Inclusion Manager, often times after they could have had lawsuits filled against them or had issues with job seekers who may have experienced some sort of recruitment discrimination.

What do people know about a candidate they got his or her CV off a job board? Basically, his/her professional experience and relevance for the role. The CV usually doesn’t give a better insight on who that person may be or what they do outside of work or that they are just normal humans.

Evidently, Corporate Recruiters that apply effective Social Media in their Recruitment strategy will get a better chance to understand candidates more outside the strict codes of a CV.

Take for example that you got details of candidate A off LinkedIn, and on his profile he has a link to his personal blog. And while reading through the blog you notice things that he has been exposed to, which may not neccessarily be professionally or work related, but that could have a valuable bearing to the current opening you are trying to fill or projects. And the blog could help you learn more about the kind of people he relates with and you may be surprised to find comments from even persons you know and respect, on his site. And a quick google search also reveals more about his personality and thoughts; his voice and values. In effect, you are begining to know and see that potential candidate as an everyday person, regardless of their gender, age, race or sexual orientation. Or even disability.

This candidate might have a facebook or twitter profile, with an active contacts list and share common concerns and interests regarding life, that his CV may not have shown.

That is where Social Media comes in. It is changing how people communicate and see other people. And this same feeling, will have a huge impact on how recruiters and hiring managers attract talent in the future.

At the Social Recruiting Conference hosted by Google last month, one of the Speakers, Sacha Chua explained how just her blog and conversations online attracted recruiters at IBM and she made connections with them while still studying.

Hiring Managers at IBM have been reading her blog and can quite relate to her personality and their was a stronger connecting between the candidate and the hiring managers during the interview processes, as they already seem to know about each other from just interacting online. At the start of the interview, the hiring manager introduced themself and essentially said “it is great to finally meet you I was a bit nervous about meeting you face to face”! Sacha was in shock because that was exactly how she felt!

The profile she had developed online meant that IBM wanted her to join them and they were concerned that IBM would not be “good” enough!

While this case doesn’t neccesarily have strong bearing to discrimination (or non-discrimination) in recruitment, it shows how companies can seriously reduce hiring costs by connecting with candidates who have a passion to join their company and work for them.

That passion might not be felt from looking at CV and making a head judgement based on the job seekers name, age, gender, sexuality or any form of disability – but by the connections and engagements experienced from relating with them via social media.

Having said the above, a future post will highlight areas where social media may have a negative impact on discriminiation within recruitment.