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Online social networks: an emergent recruiter tool for attracting and screening

Nickolas Ollington (AgResearch, Hamilton, New Zealand)
Jenny Gibb (Department of Strategy & HRM, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)
Mark Harcourt (Department of Strategy & HRM, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 5 April 2013

10840

Abstract

Purpose

The increased popularity in using online social networks by recruiters has received much positive attention, particularly in the popular press. Using social network theory this paper aims to examine how the structure and governance mechanisms of these networks can assist this process. The authors ask: how do recruiters use online social networks to effectively attract and screen prospective job applicants?

Design/methodology/approach

The semi‐structured interview approach is used to gather data from 25 recruitment specialists.

Findings

The connector role is identified as a specific attraction mechanism recruiters use to create numerous weak ties, where some are so weak they barely constitute ties at all. The authors then identify branding, transparency and data specificity as three mechanisms recruiters use to strengthen these ties when performing the attracting and screening functions.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to analyse online recruitment, using social network theory, and hence it has important implications for both academic and practitioner audiences involved in recruitment.

Keywords

Citation

Ollington, N., Gibb, J. and Harcourt, M. (2013), "Online social networks: an emergent recruiter tool for attracting and screening", Personnel Review, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 248-265. https://doi.org/10.1108/00483481311320390

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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