Veebipõhiste sotsiaalvõrgustike kasutamine töötajate värbamisel



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“Using online social networks in personnel recruitment”. Due to the development of internet and social software communities and social networks have become virtual and people can communicate in ways they could not even imagine before. Recruitment has become internet based: 45% of employers in the US use online social networks to find employees (CareerBuilder 2009). The present bachelor’s thesis studied on the example of Estonian enterprises how are online social networks used in the recruitment of employees. The main questions were how these online based social networks are used in the process of recruitment and what opportunities and threats do the recruiters see in the use of online social networks as a tool for recruitment. For the method of research I chose semi-structured informant interviews and I interviewed the representatives of different Estonian enterprises from different fields. The sampling includes personnel managers from bigger companies and also other employees from smaller companies that have had contact with the process of recruitment. The interviews were conducted mainly from April to May in 2011. On the basis of the results from the interviews it can be said that the employers in the sampling use online social networks as a tool for recruitment in different ways and there is no universal model for it. On the other hand some generalisations can still be made. Based on the results it can be said that the interviewees mostly joined online social networks due to personal reasons but later they started to partially use them for work related purposes. The most used online social networks both in private life and in recruitment were Facebook and LinkedIn which had the biggest numbers of users in Estonia from the beginning of 2011. In the process of recruitment online social networks were used in searching for candidates, performing background checks and in the context of employer branding. In the process of searching Facebook was mainly used for spreading the job advertisements and LinkedIn was used for head hunting. For the purpose of employer branding online social networks were less used - this option was connected more with the Facebook fan page of the company. In many cases Facebook was also used to perform non-formal background check. In these checks there were certain things that were considered: the general profile, photos and friends. The choice of an online social network in the recruitment process depends on the position and field as well as the possibilities and orientation of the social network. Each employer had a slightly different opinion about the possibilities and threats of using online social networks. Generally they shared the opinion that the use of online social networks in recruitment is not a crucial element, but to some extent it did influence their opinion about candidates. The additional value employers see in Facebook and LinkedIn is mainly an access to passive job seekers, but also the potential of having very many contacts, saving on time and money, and employer branding. Also the effectiveness of head hunting among qualified workforce in fields with bigger demand was mentioned both in Estonia as well as internationally. This was brought out especially in the case of LinkedIn which is considered to be a more trustworthy source when compared to Facebook. In addition to that they added that online social networks give quite a realistic picture of the candidate but the facts must still be checked. On the basis of the interviews it appeared that in the opinion of the employers people have become more conscious in using online social networks but still a lot of people can not draw a line between work and private life. This problem was not so much pointed out in the case of LinkedIn, since it is a professional network where the candidate has better possibilities to sell his workforce when compared to Facebook. Still, employers thought that the candidates underestimate their possibility of making themselves attractive in the labour market via online social networks. All employers agreed that the use of online social networks in recruitment process has its threats and deficiencies, such as erroneous information or finding the wrong person and the lack of information needed to make a decision about candidates. In some cases the employers also pointed out some legislative or ethical threats to the company (for instance in making the background check). The threats were mostly pointed out from the viewpoint of the user, for example when the access of personal information in internet is consciously not checked (leaving a trace in the internet). Still the use of online social networks in recruitment was estimated as having a prospect, pointing out that the more potential employees there are in Facebook or LinkedIn the more these channels will be used by employers. The growth in number of users was predicted to LinkedIn. The use of online social networks in personnel recruitment is a topic which in Estonia is becoming more and more relevant and it should be studied further. It could be interesting to do a quantitative research about how many of the recruitment personnel actually uses online social networks and what kind of problems arise. Key words: online social networks, recruitment, Facebook, LinkedIn