School of Social Sciences

Masters Graduate explores the use of LinkedIn for recruitment in study

Ms Awo Quartey graduated with her Masters in Social Science. She is congratulated by her parents.
Ms Awo Quartey graduated with her Masters in Social Science. She is congratulated by her parents.

Ms Awo Quartey graduated with masters in social science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal for research that explored the use of LinkedIn for employment recruitment.

‘Professional networking sites have changed the recruitment process and brought benefits which needed to be explored in a South African context,’ said Quartey.

In her study, Quartey explored whether companies are moving away from traditional methods (e.g. newspapers) of recruitment to electronic methods. The benefits and challenges of using LinkedIn for recruiting were explored. She also raised issues of poverty and inequality in South Africa, which she cites ‘may prevent many from using the internet and accompanying devices and therefore not being able to realize its benefits.’

She connected with many Human Resources (HR) personnel who exhibited different views on the subject. Quartey found that companies were moving away from traditional methods of recruitment to electronic methods.

More companies were advertising vacancies on professional and or social network sites (54%), followed by company websites (46%) and job boards (41%). Fewer companies were using newspapers (19%) to advertise job vacancies.

A few reasons that were given for the transition to electronic methods were wider reach; it is the way society and businesses were moving; to get an accurate idea of potential candidates; easy access to information and that it saved time.

The main benefits of using LinkedIn for recruiting were professional profiles giving insight into candidates, limited costs, the ability to contact candidates, search for candidates and access to a large talent pool.

Challenges identified were representatives not getting feedback, the costs involved in its usage, overload of job applications, site not being user-friendly and incomplete profiles of candidates were among the responses.

‘I hope this study will create awareness of the benefits and challenges of using LinkedIn for recruiting, as well as the fact that representatives of companies use a site such as LinkedIn for advertising vacancies, screening, gathering information about candidates to be interviewed and sourcing new hires,’ said Quartey.

She thanked her family, friends and supervisor, Dr Moya Bydawell, for their support. She will pursue her PhD in social sciences.

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