Case Study Example: Recruiting Job Candidates via Social Media

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Vanderbilt University
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Case study
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The advance of social media has revolutionized communication both privately and in the workplace. Companies have started to utilize social media as a recruitment tool to replace or complement the traditional recruitment process. This has consequently impacted the HR roles both positively and negatively. One of the social media platform to be used by employers and jobs seekers for recruitment purposes is LinkedIn. The company was established in 2003 with the aim of creating professional networks where the users could find jobs. Over the years the company has grown improving its market share to include more than 300 million users in more than 200 nations. Its growth strategy can be seen in its acquisition of SlideShare to cater for customer expectations. Through the use of LinkedIn, users can find jobs and it has also developed to be a place firms can find the best talent. The company itself uses the sites in collaboration with their HR and business leaders to hire the best candidates in line with the company objectives. The company has faith in their system in that they use the platform to get potential candidates for various job openings. Such can be seen in its hire a data-center manager. Some of the issues raised in the case study include the impact of LinkedIn on the recruiting function of the HR and why firms should use their services instead of the traditional recruitment process. There has also been the evaluation of the firm's decision to use acquisition strategy instead of internal development. This research has detailed other methods that companies can use in recruiting new employees such as Viadeo, Twitter, Facebook, and Xing in addition to the use of realistic job preview in presenting the positive and negative aspects of the job offer.

How does LinkedIns growth strategy impact the recruitment function of HR?

Technology uncovers new recruiting trends each year to be used by the human resource. These trends have effects on the recruitment and retention of employees. For the acquisition of the best talents in the industry, the Human Resource must keep up with the changing trends in the recruitment world. In today's technological environment, social media recruiting has been argued as one of the most competitive strategies for the HR (Blacksmith & Poeppelman, 2014). The advance of social media has influenced and changed the traditionally know recruitment process. LinkedIn has developed to become a social media enigma, and research has shown it has profound effects on organizations. For the HR, LinkedIn has positive impacts, but there are also some negative implications.

The use of LinkedIn has impacted the HR in that it helps in cost-saving and targeting. It offers a cost-effective way of recruiting in comparison to the traditional ways. The aspect of cost saving and targeting are related in that using LinkedIn helps in the accessibility of a wider pool of people which leads to reduced costs. Some HR are using LinkedIn as part of their equality and diversity policies in that it allows access to online discussions and forms that are engaging potential employees (Broughton et al., 2013). LinkedIn also helps to foster realistic expectations since it plays a crucial role in the entire recruitment process due to the provision of recruitment information and fostering job expectations that are realistic. This can work in deterring unsuitable candidates who would save costs for the HR department. LinkedIn is also important for the company branding and retention. Since the brand is effectively promoted, it becomes easier for the HR to get prospective hires.

Despite the above mentioned positive impacts of LinkedIn on HR functions, it also possesses some negative aspects. For instance, the HR might find it hard to verify the accuracy of information posted on LinkedIn by prospective hires. This is because people choose the type of information they would like to share on social media. Potential candidates only provide information they are willing to share. The HR can potentially find it hard to adhere to the diversity employment policies since diversity is not ensured in the LinkedIn platform.

One way that LinkedIn has grown is through acquisition. From a recruitment viewpoint why use this method of growth rather than through internal development?

Acquisition can be described as the mode of entry in which a company purchases an incumbent from various producers offering their services in the target market of interest. This is in contrast to the concept of internal development which entails obtaining resources from other sources but the incumbent pool (Lee, 2007). The acquisition is the mode of entry that LinkedIn utilization in purchasing Slide Share. Solutions provided by the LinkedIn include the management of professional profiles, creation and management of professional networks and also accessibility to knowledge and insights. SlideShare is a site designed to enable the sharing of presentations in the form of PowerPoints and online slideshows. This is the main reason LinkedIn acquired SlideShare. Presentations are the main technique used in by professionals in capturing and sharing their knowledge and experience. This, in turn, leads to the shaping of an individual's professional identity. Also, this presentation discovers new connections possible and professionals gain more information necessary to improve their productivity and become successful in their careers (Broughton et al., 2013). This has aligned seamlessly with LinkedIn's mission. The company can, therefore, deliver more value to their users.

There exist some reasons as to why LinkedIn opted for an acquisition instead of internal development. One of the factors is speed since it is one of the most time efficient strategies a company can implement for growth (Lee, 2007). The acquisition of SlideShare offered LinkedIn a quick way of acquiring resources and key competencies it did not previously possess. By doing this, it would allow the HR of various companies to view presentations presented by prospective hires. Another reason for the acquisition is the ownership of new resources and competencies. The organization makes decisions to have acquisitions so that they can gain resources and competencies they did not previously have. LinkedIn did not have a platform for the user to present their work. Acquiring SlideShare enabled it to offer presentation capabilities to their users. Stakeholders have expectations which need to be fulfilled. For recruiters, the expected their prospective hires to provide their work and its assessment can provide information concerning whether the employee is qualified. This means LinkedIn need to acquire SlideShare to meet this stakeholder expectation.

Why would a firm use LinkedIns services rather than those of a traditional headhunter or their own-house recruitment specialists?

There are some reasons a company can utilize LinkedIn's services instead of the traditional recruitment process. This because it has revolutionized the art of recruitment benefiting both the employers and prospective employees. LinkedIn has become a platform for the quick hiring of potential talents. Recruitment through LinkedIn would help in saving time. It provides twenty-four hour a day presence for interaction between employers and prospective employees. HR can easily access information concerning prospective hires, and they can make prompt decisions (Broughton et al., 2013). LinkedIn also minimizes the hiring costs. The firm's HR department only need to post the job specifications, and they will be viewed publicly. There is also easy access to prospective employees. This is because there is no geographical restricted and therefore firm can get employees that fit the job specification. LinkedIn broadens the scope of potential hires who can be accessed by the company. This platform provides a state-of-the-art filtration tools which can filter prospective employees' qualifications to view what is required for the job vacancies. This allows the firm only to engage people who are efficient and have talents necessary for the jobs.

What are alternative methods that firms can employ to recruit new employees besides using LinkedIns services?

In addition to LinkedIn, there are social media sites that can be used by recruiters and they include Viadeo, Twitter, Facebook, and Xing.


This site has been mostly referred to as the rival to the LinkedIn in the area of professional social networking. However, this platform is profoundly used in Asian Pacific content as opposed to LinkedIn which is very well known in the United States. Viadeo was established in 2004 and is used in the creation of networks, management, and development of professional contacts (Wright, 2013). Research has shown that 54 percent of the users utilize the site in the identification of new career opportunities while 15 percent utilize it in searching for talent.


Over time, Twitter has been gaining popularity as a tool used for job search and hiring processes. It has been shown that employers use Twitter to gain information concerning potential candidates. The use Tweer Deck has assisted recruiters in taping to the Twittersphere to source professionals who can provide potential information. Twitter also provides immediate response when job specifications are posted.


It has been found that Facebook boasts more than 500million users with half of these users using the site daily. Social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn have been the sites most used in for hiring purposes. Companies are starting to use Facebook for hiring purposes despite it not being too popular in this aspect as compared to LinkedIn and Twitter.


This social media platform has developed e-recruiting and advertising. The company is focusing on improving growth on its major products and the target market. It has been valuable in supporting career planning in that users can find relevant jobs ads which are displayed on Xing Jobs (Wright, 2013). This site offers filtration tools that filter jobs according to the user's profile personal information. It is also possible to see jobs on offer and connect with recruiters.

What is a realistic job preview and how might LinkedIn be used by firms to provide such a preview to potential employees?

Realistic Job Preview is a recruitment tool utilization in communicating both the positive and negative aspects of a certain job role. It is essentially utilized in the provision of a realistic view of the job to a prospective hire. It works to give a candidate adequate description of the firm and the job. Such details include work environment, expectations, and duties among others (Powney, 2016). This helps the candidate in the making on their suitability for the job, and this is critical in the reduction of staff turnover. Prospective employees should use it as a self-evaluation tool. Realistic Job Previews also saves the firm's time to find matching candidates and helps in the prevention of inappropriate hires. In LinkedIn, there are a number ways firms can utilize in the provision of realistic job previews. Some of the ways that a company can share RJPs includes photos and video tours of the work environment. There can also be videos of internal company meetings and testimonials from the current staff.

Evaluate LinkedIns search for a data-center manager. How might they have handled this search differently in order to increase the number of potential applicants?

In the recruitment of a data-center manager, LinkedIn has various job specifications such as 15+ work experience in a managerial position, at least three years as a data-center manager, computer science Ph.D. and a leader in IT world. In their search, the company used the current job seekers options, and they on...

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