The role of social networking sites in recruitment


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The role of social networking sites in recruitment

  1. 1. The role of Social Networking Sites in recruitment (An Indian Perspective) Project submitted in partial fulfilment for the Award of the Degree of Post Graduate Diploma in Management (2010-2012) By Monika Roll No: 141 50 (B & ) , 60, Tughlakabad Institutional Area , New Delhi-110062, e-mail website : 1
  2. 2. Monika.15may@gmail.com2
  3. 3. PREFACEWith this thesis, I finalize my PGDBM, HR at the New Delhi Institute of Management. After a brief literature review, asurvey was conducted in order to find new insights about the role of Social Networking Sites in recruitment.First of all, I would like to thank my supervisor Mr. B.K.Dhup for his guidance during this project. I would like to thankall the respondents for their assistance and essential feedback.Also, I would like to express my gratitude to my family, my friends, fellow students and colleagues for their support andpatience and for keeping me motivated. This project was a great experience, with some challenging and manyfascinating aspects.MonikaApril 2012 3
  4. 4. Executive SummaryBackgroundCurrent challenges and changes in technology and the role of the Internet openup new opportunities for companies to communicate and work. The fact thatSocial Networking Sites entered the business landscape, and in particular therecruitment landscape leads to a demand for knowledge about recruitment trendsregarding Social Networking Sites. With this study the phenomena of SocialNetworking Sites in recruitment was explored. Knowledge was acquired bymaking use of primary research i.e. a survey, conducted in Indian companiesalong with a comprehensive secondary research. The following research questionis answered within this thesis: To what extent does the use of Social NetworkingSites lead to effective recruitment?To answer the research question and to detect the extent to which the use ofSocial Networking Sites leads to effective recruitment, a research model wasestablished in order to find relationships between the qualities of SocialNetworking Sites and effective recruitment. The chosen qualities of sites wereinformation quality, popularity, networking scope, ease of navigation andsecurity/privacy. Effective recruitment is characterized by the diversity ofapplicants, the quality of applicants/applications, the costs, the time and the targetgroup orientation. Furthermore, the type of the site (business-oriented sites versussocial-oriented sites) played an important role in this research. In addition, theusage frequency of the recruiter was of interest. 4
  5. 5. Research MethodA quantitative type of research was chosen. It was conducted by making use of asurvey among Human Resources (HR) professionals. To determine theperceptions and experiences of the HR departments, a questionnaire based on theconstructs that were derived from the literature review was developed. Conductinga survey is a very successful approach for exploring the perceptions of HRdepartments about Social media in recruitment.FindingsThe findings show that recruitment supported by Social Networking Sites is arelatively new topic in Indian companies. Most of them started using Web 2.0applications for their Human Resource Management (HRM) during the last threeyears. The majority of companies makes use of the business-oriented sites, inparticular Linkedin, for their recruitment and predict Linkedin to be the mostimportant Social Networking Site in the future alongwith Brijj and viadeo. In thisstudy, Facebook is defined as a social-oriented site. It is not often used forrecruitment at this point in time, but companies predict that Facebook will gainmore importance within the next three years. In order to detect the qualities ofSocial Networking Sites which mostly influence effective recruitment, a model wastested. The most significant finding is that among the tested qualities of SocialNetworking Sites the networking scope has the most powerful influence oneffective recruitment, in particular on the target group orientation. Indiancompanies estimate the networking scope as a benefit for recruitment. The widerthe networking scope, the easier to reach more people and to hit the right targetgroup. Furthermore, an interesting finding is that costs are not affected. According 5
  6. 6. to the findings, there is no significant relationship between the qualities of SocialNetworking Sites and costs. Findings show that companies do not spend much oftheir total recruitment time on Social Networking Sites. At the moment, they areusing it for recruitment activities on a monthly to semi-annual basis.LimitationsLimitations of the study can be outlined as the following. The research sample islimited to Indian context and it cannot be ruled out that certain cultural influenceshave affected the results. In addition, the amount of companies which are makinguse of social-oriented networking sites is small (n=64) which may limit thegeneralizability of the study. As a consequence, it may be difficult to draw definiteconclusions about social-oriented networking sites and recruitment. In addition,the study is only a snapshot in time and the usage of Social Networking Sites is afast moving topic which has to be monitored for a longer time period.Conclusions and DiscussionA combination of the theoretical background and the findings of the survey lead tothe conclusion that Social Networking Sites are an important and upcoming topicin Indian HR departments. Especially, the networking scope of the SocialNetworking Sites is the most predicting factor for effective recruitment, inparticular for the target group orientation. Interestingly, recruitment costs are notaffected by the qualities of Social Networking Sites. It can be assumed that HRdepartments cannot observe a cost reduction caused by the usage of SocialNetworking Sites because of the fact that they have recently started using them forrecruitment. A cost reduction might be experienced on the long-term. Inconclusion, HR departments enter a new terrain and gain their first experiences 6
  7. 7. with Social Networking Sites in combination with recruitment. The outcomesindicate a trend to use the sites for recruitment and it became obvious this issuewill gain importance in the future.Further ResearchAs the role of Social Networking Sites in recruitment is a relatively new topic for HRdepartments, it is difficult to compare new findings with old ones. With the currentstudy first results were detected which explain to what extent the use of SocialNetworking Sites leads to effective recruitment. It can be seen as an exploratorystudy, because there is a lack of studies about Social Networking Sites andrecruitment at the moment. As a consequence, further research is recommendedin order to see the long-term effect. A longitudinal research is necessary toobserve the possible changes over time. 7
  8. 8. “I had (and still have) a dream that the Web could be less of atelevision channel and more of an interactive sea of sharedknowledge. I imagine it immersing us as a warm, friendlyenvironment made of the things we and our friends have seen,heard, believe, or have figured out. I would like it to bring ourfriends and colleagues closer, in that by working on thisknowledge together we can come to better understandings.” — Sir Tim Berners Lee, 1995 (Inventor of the World Wide Web) 8
  9. 9. 1 Introduction “Right now, with social networks and other tools on the Internet, all of these 500 million people have a way to say what theyre thinking and have their voice be heard.” - Mark Zuckerberg1.1 BackgroundThe new world, which we have already entered, is a flat world with fast changingtechnologies and these changes open up new opportunities for companies tocommunicate and work. As a consequence of this constant change of technologyand due to the growing importance of the Internet, the phenomenon of Web 2.0has occurred. The idea of Web 2.0 was generated from a brainstorming sessionbetween Tim O´Reilly and MediaLive International in 2001. O‟Reilly, a Californiancomputer book publisher, is considered to be leading figure, a guru of the Web 2.0(Boersenblatt, 2008). The principle of Web 2.0 is the active use of the Internet andthe possibility to help shaping the Web. The user creates user-generated contentand doesn`t only surf the Internet. Most of today`s young people, defined asGeneration Y1, grews up with computers and view them as a part of their daily life.Generation Y spends plenty of time on the Internet, is connected 24 hours a dayand makes use of a variety of Web 2.0 applications. Web 2.0 is an increasinglypopular term, which describes an array of technical and social developments thatleads to changes in Internet user behaviour. As a result, companies hold the Web2.0 in high regard and use these applications e.g. for marketing campaigns and forrecruiting new employees. In particular Social Networking Sites have becomeextremely popular, and today hundreds of millions of Internet users interactthrough these Social Networking Sites. 9
  10. 10. Employers profit from the fact that Social Networking Sites becomes important.They can gain a lot of personal information about applicants “as a source ofapplicant data in an effort to improve hiring decisions” (Kluemper & Rosen 2009,p.567). Furthermore, in 2010 companies started a new trend of looking for qualifiedemployees on Social Networking Sites. These sites afford companies theopportunity to search for potential candidates. The variety of these SocialNetworking Sites is growing fast and there are national differences. According toKim et al. (2009) there is a diversity of popular Social Networking Sites bycontinent, region and country. Facebook is used on nearly every continent and isthe Social Networking Site with the most registered users with more than 500million active users (Facebook, 2011). The number of Social Networking Sites hasrisen enormously during the last years and still keeps on rising. The constantlychanging technology opens up new opportunities of communication, but at thesame time, it is leading to a jungle of applications and confusion. At this point intime, there are only a few studies about Social Networking Sites and recruitmentbecause many researchers have just started examining this topic and still try tofind a way through this jungle.1.2 Research ProblemIn spite of the global financial-and economic crisis and booming Indian economy,the war of talent is still an actual topic, and companies are confronted with theproblem finding the right employees. Looking at the Indian market, for example,there are still unfilled vacancies and companies have problems*Generation Y: born between 1979 and 1994 and just now beginning to enter the workforce. Generation Y or Millennialgeneration is the first to be born into a wired world. (Smola, Sutton, 2002) 10
  11. 11. regarding their staffing (Kelly Sevices, 2010). Companies need people to survive,talented people are a prime source for a company’s competitive advantage, andtalented people are scarce. The search for the best and the brightest people is aconstant battle between companies, and they have to develop strategies in order tofind the best employees. For that reason, the strategic question of finding, attractingand recruiting the best people has become a relevant issue for companies.Furthermore, the Internet has changed the way people communicate and work(Giles, 2010). Through the entering of Social Networking Sites into businesslandscape and the fast growing amount of these sites, a need of strategy for findinga way through this jungle of sites is required. Companies tend to be confused aboutwhich applications are the best for their recruitment process. Social NetworkingSites and its impact on recruitment is a very recent field which is fast moving andtherefore difficult to monitor up to date.The traditional job portals have been actively involved in integrating social mediato the portals as: 1) Info Edge owned job portal has tied up with - which has more than 12 million users in India - to make its content easily available or sharable on the social networking platform. 2) Brijj is a social networking initiative of Info Edge 3) All major job portals have integrated social mediaFor the Human Resource Management, the trend would mean to develop arecruitment strategy supported by Social Networking Sites in order to improvetheir recruitment process. Recruitment by Social Networking Sites is a new topicand there is a lack of studies about it.**In 1997 Mc Kinsey & Company coined the term war of talent, which refers to a competitive landscape for recruiting andretaining talented employees (Michaels, Handfield-Jones and Axelrod; 2001) 11
  12. 12. The main objective of this study is to identify to what extent the usage of SocialNetworking Sites leads to effective recruitment. An additional goal is to find outwhich Social Networking Sites companies apply and gain insights about theirexperiences with different sites. The previous explanations lead to the centralresearch question:To what extent does the use of Social Networking Sites lead to effectiverecruitment?In order to answer the central research question, different fields have to beexamined. The advantages and disadvantages of Web 2.0, in particular SocialNetworking Sites, are relevant. Social Networking Sites and recruitment are themain part of this study and hence, they are considered in detail. The surveyfocuses on Indian recruiters and HR personals and their perceptions andexperiences regarding this topic. The following sub questions are investigated inorder to answer the central question mentioned above.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of Web 2.0 for recruitment, with regard to Social Networking Sites?  Which Social Networking Sites are available and what are their particular qualities?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of online recruitment and what are important criteria of for recruitment via Social Networking Sites?  Which Social Networking Sites are used by Indian Recruiters?  Which qualities of Social Networking Sites lead to effective recruitment? 12
  13. 13. 1.3 Outline of the thesisThis report has been set up as follows. It includes the theoretical background,which investigates the main advantages and disadvantages of Web 2.0, focusedon Social Networking Sites and effective (e-) recruitment. Additionally, theresearch model is drafted. Chapter 3 explains the methodology of the study. It willdescribe the questionnaire, the subjects of study, the data processing and how theinformation was gathered. Chapter 4 will outline the results of the questionnaire.Further, the limitations of the study and implications for science research will beoutlined. Many aspects of this study are based on literature about the field ofonline recruitment and information technology which can be adapted torecruitment by Social Networking Sites.2. Effective Online RecruitmentReading the publications of Rynes (1991), Breaugh (1992) and Barber (1998) itbecome obvious that recruitment is critical to organizational success, and thatemployee recruitment has become a highly discussed topic in recent years.Previous research has shown that recruitment decisions have a significant impacton different factors of the recruitment outcomes, like the diversity of applicants.According to Breaugh & Starke (2000), recruitment is a set of activities whichorganizations accomplish in order to find the right people for their vacancies, theprimary mechanism to attract potential employees. Recruitment includes variousactivities and is a process which is characterized by different steps. Starting withidentifying the recruitment objectives, developing a strategy and recruitmentactivities like job advertisements, job interviews and so forth. This process is achallenge for any HR department because they have to establish recruitment 13
  14. 14. objectives first. But what is effective recruitment? According to Fletcher (2011) “theability to effectively recruit and select good quality people stems from anorganizational effort to hire the best people.” This research concentrates onelectronic recruitment (online recruitment) because Social Networking Sites are apart of online recruitment. There are different characteristics which are relevant foran effective recruitment process. The characteristics of an (e-) recruitment processare examined in the following paragraph.2.1 Characteristics of Online recruitmentPin et al. (2001) , Eisele (2006), Breaugh et al. (2008), Holm (2010) and Jetter (2008)have discerned the most important characteristics of an effective onlinerecruitment process. These characteristics can be adapted to recruitment bySocial Networking Sites, because there is a lack of literature about criteria for aneffective recruitment process by Social Networking Sites. Social Networking Sitesare a relatively new topic and therefore, the findings of the literature on onlinerecruitment are the basis for the assumptions in this study. The following tablegives a review of the recruitment characteristics from the selected literature.Potentials of online recruitment Literature ReferenceReduction of costs S. Eisele (2006)Speed (Time-to-Hire)Increasing number and quality of applicantsMatching quality (target-group-oriented)Benefits of online recruitment Literature ReferenceFaster information exchange A. Holm (2010)Lower costs of advertisingData accessibility and availabilityCost reduction of communicationsImproved organizational attraction 14
  15. 15. Advantages of online recruitment Literature ReferenceCost reduction per hire Jetter (2008)Reduction of the recruiting -process (time)Global distributionPresence of information for any length of timeInteractivityTarget-group-orientedRecruitment objectives Literature ReferenceRetention rate J.A. Breaugh and M. Starke (2008)Job performance and job satisfactionPsychological contract fulfilledCost/Speed of filling jobsNumber of positions filledDiversity of hiresNumber of applicantsQuality/Diversity of applicantsRatio of offers to acceptanceAdvantages of online recruitment Literature ReferenceFaster posting of jobs and applicant response Pin et al. (2001)Faster processing of résumésLower recruiting costsTime saving24 hrs a day, 7 days a week onlineGlobal access/access to passive CandidatesImage of being up-to-date and modernTarget-group-orientedScreening out of Under-qualified CandidatesMore opportunities for smaller companiesTable 1: Characteristics of online recruitmentAs previously written, the authors have found advantages regarding the use ofInternet during recruitment. In this study, Social Networking Sites are the focusand are a new tool, which organizations use for finding the right candidate for theirpurposes. The use of these sites offers new perspectives and advantages torecruiters. It is a recent topic and there is less material about the effect of the useof these Social Networking Sites on effective recruitment. Therefore, theadvantages and characteristics of online recruitment are adapted to the use of 15
  16. 16. Social Networking Sites in order to test the effect of these sites on effectiverecruitment. For online recruitment, the most important advantages are time andcost savings. Furthermore, target group orientation, enhancement of the numberof applicants, enhancement of the diversity of applicants and the applicantqualifications (matching) play an important role.1. CostsIn order to be able to use Internet technologies for a recruitment process,organizations first have to invest in it. In 2003, gartner research found out that 47%of the companies made use of online recruitment for reducing their administrationcosts and 50% of the companies expected a reduction of their costs in the future.When asked the 1,000 biggest organizations about their experiences with Internetand recruitment it was found that 67% saw the use of web-based solutions as animprovement of their recruitment processes and 49% of them practiced it andachieved lower recruitment costs. Data also shows that the use of some form ofonline recruitment methods reduced the hiring costs about 87% in comparison tocommon traditional recruitment tools like newspapers (Lee, 2005; Cober et al.,2000). Social Networking Sites are a dimension to online recruitment and arebased on the facts of online recruitment and cost reduction. It can be assumedthat using Social Networking Sites for recruitment can make a remarkablecontribution to the reduction of the recruitment costs as well.2. TimeThe support of online recruitment facilities reduces the time-to-hire by givingrecruiters the possibility to post jobs online with a click and by enabling applicants 16
  17. 17. to reply promptly by completing online forms and by simply attaching CVs toemails (Barber, 2006). Time-to- hire is the time for the whole recruitment processfrom the detected vacancy to the successful filling of these vacancies. By usingthe Internet, 67% of the biggest companies see potential to improve theirrecruitment process. They assume a significant correlation between the costreduction and the implementation of online recruitment regarding time-savingduring the recruitment- and administration processes. This can have a positiveimpact on business revenue. Pin et al. (2001) mention in their paper that,according to a survey carried out among 500 American companies, the mainadvantage of online recruitment is time saving. 86% of the asked companiesagreed on this. Through online recruitment, organizations have the advantages ofa faster posting of jobs, faster applicant response and a faster processing ofresumes. Therefore, it speeds up the recruitment process and shortens the time-to-hire. The time-to-hire is usually measured in days and reflects the total elapsedtime required to staff an open position (Dr. Steve Hunt, 2004). Social NetworkingSites as an issue in online recruitment can hence lead to time saving betweenrecruitment processes. Supported by these sites, recruiters can post jobs andscreen applicants in a short time period.3. Target Group OrientationTarget group oriented recruitment ensures that the message reaches the righttarget group regarding their qualifications for a vacancy. According to Pin et al.(2001, p. 41), 25% of the companies asked said that “online recruitment is anexcellent tool” and cited “the likelihood of finding target candidates as a major 17
  18. 18. advantage.” Especially job sites enable companies to screen information and touse the matching tools of these sites. Social Networking Sites can enhance theavailability of the right target group and can improve the matching quality of theapplicants. The site Linkedin and Xing for example, offers recruiters to filter thetarget group. In this study, the matching quality of the applicants is the extent towhich an applicant matches with the job characteristics of the respective vacancy.4. Quality of Applicants/ApplicationsThe scope of recruitment marketing via websites becomes wider and thereforethe employer brand establishes itself and leads to a better quality of theapplications. There is no indication as to the percentage of companies whichassume an improvement of the quality of applicants through online recruitment.Pin et al. (2001) cite a study, among 500 companies in USA, in which 20% of theparticipating HR managers say that the screening out of under-qualifiedcandidates is a main advantage of online recruitment and makes it possible toimprove the quality of the applicants/applications. According to both authors,online recruitment leads to a higher quality of applicants/applications and thus itcan be assumed that the use of Social Networking Sites has a positive effect onthe number of qualified applicants/applications as well.5. Diversity of ApplicantsAccording to Barber (2006), online advertising has a wider scope- locally,nationally and internationally- for enlarging the candidate pool and for improvingthe diversity of applicants. Consequently, employers have a better chance to find 18
  19. 19. the right candidates for their vacancies. In this case, the diversity of applicants ischaracterized by their different background and their geographical position(regional, national or international). Social Networking Sites have millions of usersand a variety of different backgrounds and geographical positions of the users. Asa result of this, the diversity of these people is high. Recruiters can use this benefitfor their recruitment in order to enhance the diversity of their applicants.2.1.1 Advantages of Online RecruitmentIn early days of using web-based technologies for recruitment, three mainadvantages of using the Internet were found. First, they investigate theinternational distribution with a global orientation as an advantage of the Internet.Second, the interactive character of the Internet offers organizations newpossibilities for interacting with applicants and third, the innovative and modernimage of the Internet can be adapted to organizations and will lead to a betterreputation of the respective organization (Riederer von Paar & von Braun, 1998).Lee (2005), who has studied online recruitment of Fortune 100 companies, foundout that online recruitment has changed the recruitment process and has becomemuch more important for organizations during the recent years. Generally, onlinerecruitment can lead to a more effective recruitment procedure, becauserecruiters are able to perform their recruitment tasks more efficiently and have anoticeable effect on the overall recruitment process (Holm, 2010). According toLievens & Harris (2003), Internet recruitment is based on five assumptionscompared to traditional methods. He states that the emphasis in Internetrecruitment lies on attracting candidates in order to assure candidates to apply for 19
  20. 20. accept job offers of an organization. Further, an assumption of Lievens & Harris(2003) is that the Internet makes it possible for candidates to react easier andquicker to a job posting. In the past, applicants have had to search moreintensively for a job and it was a more time consuming procedure. In addition, theInternet helps organizations to spread more information in a dynamicenvironment. Therefore, candidates can get information much more easily.According to Lievens and Harris (2003, p.4), “effective Internet recruitmentprograms will encourage applicants to apply and return to the web site each timethey search for a new job.” Therefore, applicants can be stimulated to return to aweb site again if the web site is designed attractively. Aside from these fourassumptions, another important assumption is that Internet recruitment is cheaperthan traditional recruitment approaches. The recruitment cost may be reduced byas much as 25% (Cober et al., 2001). Today, many people are searching jobs viathe Internet and it offers for organizations new possibilities, a global search forcandidates, background information about the respective applicant and,moreover, accelerates communication with respective applicants.2.1.2 Disadvantages of Online RecruitmentOnline recruitment offers a lot of advantages for recruiters, but it has been seencritically as well. Barber (2006) discussed the disadvantages and challenges ofonline recruitment and pointed out that the loss of personal touch is a danger. Pinet al. (2001) asked HR professionals about this in their study and 50% of therespondents agree with the statement that recruiters disregard the personalcontact or the building up relationships with the candidates. Following Pin et al. 20
  21. 21. (2001), the lack of human touch is also a pitfall of online recruitment. As aconsequence, qualified candidates can be eliminated by the procedure. In thestudy of Pin et al. (2001), 34% of HR professionals see a discrimination againstpeople who do not surf the Internet. According to Maurer & Lui (2007), the type ofjob determines whether online recruitment is suitable or not. They argue that low-skilled positions do not benefit from online recruitment. Regarding Carlson et al.(2002), online recruitment can generate a high quantity of applications whichseems to outline an advantage of online recruitment, but can lead to anoverwhelming and time consuming procedure as well. Therefore, companies haveto take these disadvantages into consideration when they are planning onlinerecruitment practices.2.2 Web 2.0 Applications and RecruitmentEvery research done on the topic suggests that Web 2.0 will play a leading role forrecruitment in the future. Web 2.0 poses a great challenge to recruitment, butsimultaneously a great chance. Career sites can be enhanced by Blogs, Podcastsor other innovative applications. Potential applicants can gather information whichis crucial for an application. A variety of literature discusses Web 2.0 and itstechnologies. According to different authors (Kennedy et al. (2007), Anderson(2007) and Graeme et al (2009)), the best-known Web 2.0 technologies are Blogs,Wikis, Podcasts, Virtual Worlds and Social Networking Sites. The following tablegives an overview of Web 2.0 applications and their potentials and limitationsconcerning recruitment. 21
  22. 22. Web 2.0 Application Potentials for Limitations for recruitment recruitmentBLOGS - can be used for internal and -Blogs are an extra expense,-a sort of web diary consisting of external recruitment marketing for have to be maintained/ updateddifferent texts (posts) monitoring blog entries continually-the user can publish messages, -comment potential obscurities -companies have to deal withtexts, photos and videos critics -can lead to an effective employer-users can write their personal branding strategy -companies have to create aexperiences blogging guideline in order to -information tool for applicants prevent sensitive data from-works chronologically about recruiting campaigns/ getting out. eventsWIKIS -used for knowledge - information tool where e.g.-collaborative websites management and not for teams can share information recruitment-allow end-users to create/update -not suitable for recruitmentcontent-Wikipedia is the most popular,has more than three millionentries- wikis include a history function,previous versions can beexaminedPODCASTS -used for recruitment marketing - -the market in India is not very-share audio files/video files spread information about the keen company -Podcasts are not that popular-YouTube contains many (video) -producing a podcast isPodcasts - addition to the career site or disproportionate to the benefit career newsletterVIRTUAL WORLDS - used for virtual job interviews -Virtual worlds are not real-online communities in acomputer-based simulated -contact possible candidates - job interview take place in theenvironment Web –possibility of preselecting- users can interact with each candidates -only with a 3-D Avatarother -saves time and costs, e.g. travel -does not correspond to reality-Second Life is the most popular costsVirtual World, several millionusers -user is represented by anAvatar, a 3-D character whichreflects the identityTable 2: Potentials Web 2.0 applications for Recruitment 22
  23. 23. Social Networking SitesAs mentioned before, Social Networking Sites are the main part of this study. Thefollowing paragraph describes Social Networking Sites more in detail. Additionally,it explains the advantages and disadvantages for recruitment and figures out themost important criteria of these sites.2.3 Social Networking Sites and recruitmentSocial Networking Sites have attracted millions of users all over the world andhave attracted the attention of organizations who plan to use them for their dailybusiness. Kaplan and Haenlein (2009, p.63) define Social Networking Sites as“applications that enable users to connect by creating personal informationprofiles, inviting friends and colleagues to have access to those profiles, andsending e-mails and instant messages between each other.”Facebook, Orkut, Hi5, XING, ibebo, Big Adda, LinkedIn, Slideshare etc. areexamples of Social Networking Sites which are used for different things likemessaging, presenting, sharing photos and so forth. The nature of theseconnections may vary from site to site. This study focuses on Social NetworkingSites regarding recruitment. The following paragraph describes Social NetworkingSites and their advantages and disadvantages for recruitment in detail. SocialNetworking Sites have become extremely popular in recent years. In January2010, Martin Giles states that “It is a world of connections”, which put an emphasison the fast growing phenomena of the Social Networking Sites in the last fewyears. Social Networking Sites have implemented a variety of technical featuresand enable users to connect to their friends and share videos, photos and textswith them, twenty-four hours around-the-clock. The concept of Social Networking 23
  24. 24. Sites is a topical subject and represents a revolutionary new trend in companies.Besides, they use it for branding or marketing research (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).Boyd and Ellison (2007) define Social Networking Sites as “web-based servicesthat allow individuals to(1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bonded system,(2) Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and(3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within thesystem”.Numerous sites exist today and employers have begun to use these sites for hiringdecisions (Kluemper & Rosen 2009). The sites become more important regardingcompanies and their Human Resource Management, especially in thecommunication with potential job applicants.The fact that Social Networking Sites have expanded on to the businesslandscape and especially to the Human Resource Management landscape leadsto the focus of this study on Social Networking Sites. Social Networking Sites arean ever-present and often discussed topic in the media. In 2009, a Swiss labourmarket study among 300 recruiters was conducted in order to examine theiropinion about Social Networking Sites regarding recruitment. They concluded thatthe use of Social Networking Sites for recruitment is a relatively new issue and thatrecruiters have a lack of strategy for using these sites (HR Today, 2009). This studyfocused on Social Networking Sites which Indian recruiters use for theirrecruitment in order to find the best employees for their vacancies. The variety ofSocial Networking Sites has to be limited to the market leaders of Social 24
  25. 25. Networking Sites in India. CNN IBN (with comscore) in India (2011) worked out aranking of the Top 10 social networking sites.Figure 1: Global Market Share of Social networking SitesFigure 2: Top 10 of relevant social Networking Sites in India (Source: Comscore) 25
  26. 26. Facebook, Orkut and Bharatstudent are the most important Social NetworkingSites in India (Figure 2). Based on this study, the relevant Social Networking Sitesfor this study were chosen. The Social Networking Sites can be distinguishedbetween business-oriented sites and social-oriented sites. Business-orientednetworking sites allow applicants to interact with one another through business-oriented information, endorsements, testimonials and reputations. Social-orientednetworking sites are built on personal information of members who participate inand contribute to the online network. These personal profiles contain informationfrom relationship status to a member´s religion and sexual orientation, and areshared with their friends and the extended community online (O´Morchu et al.,2004). The most important Social Networking Sites (in Indian Context) aresummarizes in the following table.Business-oriented networking sites Social-oriented networking sitesLinkedIn Facebook  World‟s largest professional network  Founded in 2004  Over 75 million members Globally  More than 500 million active users  Over 13 Million members in India  About 50% of them log on to Facebook  16.48%penetration (online population) every day  Connects people to contact a broader  Dominant global Social Networking Site network of professionals  People can communicate with their friends,  Build up a network of direct connections families and coworkers and the connections of each of their  Facebook registered 46 Million registered connections members from India in March 2012, which  Can be used for finding jobs or businesses - is over 50 per cent of Indias total Internet used for establishing international contacts. audience.  Most popular and used business-oriented  56.67%Penetration (Online Population) networking site in India.  Offers features that recruiters can use to find candidates who are matching their vacanciesSiliconIndia Orkut  Over 2 Million members  After a long reign as the most popular social  More than 50,000 new members added networking website in India for long, Orkut every week was finally pushed to the number two  Members post hundreds of blogs and news position. feeds related to careers, their industry  With only low double-digit growth (16 per updates, technology, sports etc. cent) over the last year, chances are this Google property might slide down even 26
  27. 27. further in India.  19.87 million unique visitors from India in July 2010.Brijj Bharatstudent  One of the most popular professional  The social networking site targeted towards networking sites in India young Indians  Info Edge ( group initiative , is ranked number three  Build an online profile and add all the amongst the top social networking websites companies you have worked in and the in India. institutes you have studied in  With Twitter catching up very fast,  Upload your contacts from different mail BharatStudent.coms 3 per cent growth in addresses and Invite trusted contacts. unique visitors since July 2011 will not be  The site is based on the philosophy that enough for it to hold on to the No. 3 position everyone in this world is connected through for long. six degrees of separation. 1st degree  The website had 4.4 million unique visitors. comprising people you know, 2nd degree are people they know and so on.Apnacircle (Viadeo) Yahoo! Pulse  Founded December 2006 acquired by  Yahoo! owns two of the top ten social Viadeo in 2009 networking sites in India:  Local content available on the platform with  Yahoo! Pulse and information in context to India.  Yahoo! Buzz.  Localization: Local MBA Institutions/Schools Yahoo! integrated and improved upon Yahoo! are available on ApnaCircle. Profiles and Yahoo! 360 to create Pulse. And the  Local Jobs/Employers/Job Seekers are pulse seems to be throbbing in India with 3.5 million available on ApnaCircle. unique visitors in July 2011.  Viadeo has over 45 million members globallyPeerPower Ibibo  Business networking site launched by the The Indian social networking website ibibo had 2.9 Times of India Group million unique visitors in July 2011 growing 89 per  Members of Peer Power can interact with cent since July 2009. their peers directly or in groups, and build new and profitable relationships with other senior-level professionalsXING  Important tool for career and business networking  People are actively using it to further their careers  Finding useful contacts, important information, new business opportunities, employees, jobs, clients and ideas  More than 9.6 million members worldwide 27
  28. 28.  Comperatively low penetration in IndiaTable 3: Business-oriented networking sites and Social-oriented networking sitesFurther relevant Social Networking Sites for this study are Ning and Video Ning isan US online platform for the world‟s organizers, activists and influencers to createsocial experiences that inspire action. Viadeo has about 45 million + active usersand comprises the brands Viadeo, ApnaCircle and Tianji. Twitter is not exactly aSocial Networking Site. It is a networking and micro blogging service whichinforms people all over the world about the current status or views(What are youdoing?). The user can only send short messages with a length of 140 characters.You can use it personally or for business. In this study, it is used only for business,for recruitment regarding job posting. YouTube is excluded from this studybecause they are no Social Networking Sites i.e. YouTube is primarily a video-sharing website.2.3.1 Advantages of Social Networking Sites for recruitmentThe use of Social Networking Sites for recruitment is a new field in HumanResource Management. Employers believe that using these sites for onlinebackground checks is an acceptable practice for making hiring decisions forgetting a quick character sketch of the applicant (Clark & Roberts, 2010). Profiles inSocial Networking Sites allow recruiters to gain information about their educationand professional career in general. In addition, recruiters have the possibility tocontact potential candidates and communicate with them in a noncommittalmanner. By using Social Networking Sites, recruiters can search for possible 28
  29. 29. candidates and build up long term relationships with them. Social NetworkingSites like Linkedin and Brijj can act as a talent pool with a variety of social capitalin the form of young professionals and graduates. Recruiters can filter candidatesand search for candidates with special backgrounds. This can lead to a timereduction for the search and can also improve the chance finding the rightcandidates. Besides this, companies can keep in touch with interns, alumni and soforth. Thus, Social Networking Sites can support the relationship managementbetween companies and possible applicants. Facebook is a social communitywhich offers a lot of features to recruiters for finding the right people for theirvacancies. According to Eldon (2009), Facebook is not the easiest way forrecruiters to search for candidates, but a great opportunity. The fact that Facebookis a social-oriented networking site makes it more difficult for recruiters tounderstand the function of Facebook for recruitment, but learning to use the sitecan be a great benefit for the recruitment of a company. Employers can create abusiness profile and can actively support their employer branding. Applicants useSocial Networking Sites as a source of information about companies. Companiesvice versa use them as a source of information about applicants. This has becomea common procedure for a recruiting process. The use of Social Networking Sitesfor recruitment can be multifunctional, but do Indian recruiters really make use ofSocial Networking Sites for recruitment at this point in time? This question reflectsone of the main aspects of this study. 29
  30. 30. 2.3.2 Disadvantages of Social Networking Sites for recruitmentClark and Roberts (2010) criticize the way employers make use of SocialNetworking Sites for background checks about applicants. They argue thatapplicants use Social Networking Sites for social interaction and they areunconscious that employers use these sites to collect character information.Therefore, employers have to be aware of this fact and take this into account. Newstrategies and approaches in recruitment lead to changes and challenges forcompanies and their Human Resource departments. Companies have to takecritical factors such as privacy of data and ethics into consideration. Additionally,recruiters have to spend a lot of time working with these new technologies so asto learn the ropes of them. One the one hand, technologically inexperiencedemployees have to be familiarized with the new technologies, and, on the otherhand, companies have to define data protection regulations and user regulationsfor the use of these sites. Another challenge for companies is the development ofknow-how and the time invested in active recruitment. This factor of financial andpersonnel resources must not be underestimated. Moreover, a monitoring of themarket is necessary in order to prevent the discrimination or exclusion of possiblecandidates. Companies have to consider carefully the information about thequalities of the Social Networking Sites, which is discussed in the followingparagraph.2.4 Qualities of Social Networking SitesAs mentioned before, Social Networking Sites are divided into business-orientedand social-oriented sites. The qualities of these sites are measured by different 30
  31. 31. characteristics. Considering that, Social Networking Sites are a relatively new topicand the characteristics of the sites are aligned with the information technologyliterature. Lee and Kozar (2006) investigate website quality factors in their studywhich can be adapted to the qualities of Social Networking Sites. In addition,Palmer conducted a study about key factors of website success. The followingtable shows an overview of relevant studies about this topic.Factors of website quality of the information Literature Referencetechnology literatureInformation content, cognitive outcomes, enjoyment, Wu et al. (2003)privacy, user employment, visual appearance,technical support, navigation, organization ofinformation, credibility, impartialityUsability, design, information, trust, empathy Barnes and Vidgen (2000)Quality of information and service, system use, Lui and Arnett (1999)playfulness, perceived ease of useEase of use, usefulness, entertainment, Loiacono et al. (2008)complementary relationshipNavigation, content, interactivity and Palmer (2002)responsivenessTable 4: Factors of website qualityBased on this table, the most relevant website factors which can be adapted tothe qualities of Social Networking Sites are information quality, ease of navigationand security/privacy. These three factors are indicators for a satisfactory websiteand can be adapted to indicators of Social Networking Sites. Lee and Kozar (2006)asked 156 online customers and 34 managers/designers of e-businesscompanies about the importance of website qualities. Different websites weretested and the preference of website qualities was different. Information quality 31
  32. 32. reached high scores and navigability and website security were also ranked highlyin this investigation. Based on this result, the following three website qualities arefactors in this study.1. Ease of navigationEase of navigation means that a site contains functions that help users to findwhat they need without difficulty, that it possesses a good search engine, and thatit allows the user to manoeuver easily and quickly back and forth through thepages. In this study, ease of navigation is measured by ease of use and usability ofthe sites which includes that the use of Social Networking Site is easy to learn anduser-friendly designed. Furthermore, the site should make it possible to easilybecome a skillful user. Palmer (2002) conducted a study about web site usability,design and performance metrics in order to find key factors for website success.One part of the study was the navigation of the websites and Palmer definesnavigability as “the sequencing of pages, well organized layout and consistency ofnavigation protocols”. Three studies were completed in a three-year period (from1997 to 2000) and hypothesized that “more navigable Websites will be associatedwith greater perceived success by site users” and this hypothesis is supported inall three studies. As a consequence, navigability is an important factor for awebsite`s success and leads to the assumption that it is a key factor for the qualityof Social Networking Sites.2. Security/PrivacyPrivacy is one of the most important and often discussed ethical issues ofinformation technology and the media in general. Trust and privacy concern withinSocial Networking Sites is a topical subject. Moreover, the fact that millions of 32
  33. 33. users are on these sites leads to the assumption that certain amount of trust isinvolved. Dwyer et al. (2007) found out that Facebook users have a greater amountof trust and share more information. But what is about companies? Do they trustSocial Networking Sites? Because security/privacy is an important issue in thearea of information technology, it is taken into consideration in this study.Security/privacy involves the degree to which the user believes that the site is safefrom intrusion and that personal information is protected. Especially business datais sensitive data and organizations strive for a maximal security of their data. In thisstudy, security/privacy is measured by improper access and unauthorizedsecondary use (intern/extern). Improper access considers that data aboutindividuals is readily available to people and who are properly authorized to viewor work with this data. Unauthorized secondary use means that informationcollected by individuals for one purpose is used for another secondary purposewithout authorization from same individuals.3. Information qualityInformation quality is the quality of information that the system produces anddelivers. It is characterized by delivering relevant, updated information and easy-to-understand information. The higher the quality of the information, the higher thenumber of online customers will be. Referring this to Social Networking Sites, thehigher the quality of information of Social Networking Sites is, the higher will bethe number of users. As mentioned before, information quality scored highly in thestudy of Lee and Kozar and hence, it is an important factor for this study.Believability, the amount of information and the completeness of information are 33
  34. 34. relevant indicators of information quality. Applied to the study, the informationquality of Social Networking Sites is referred to the information on applicants`sites. For recruiters, it is important that the information about the applicants fulfilsthese certain criteria in order to create a complete picture of the person.As mentioned before, Social Networking Sites have become part of therecruitment landscape and receive a high rating in companies. Ease of navigation,security/privacy and information quality are main qualities of Social NetworkingSites. What are further factors? Social Networking Sites are a special type of site,because they are dynamic and interactive. Therefore, two other factors arerelevant for this new field of web technologies. There is a lack of studies about thepopularity of Social Networking Sites among applicants and about the networkingscope of these sites, but for this exploration study they are critical factors whichhave to be taken into consideration.4. Popularity among applicantsPopularity among applicants is the degree of publicity of the Social NetworkingSite among the target group, the respective applicants. Chu et al. wrote in theirarticle that “a high popularity usually means that the information provided by thewebsite is useful or attractive for its visitors”. Referring this to Social NetworkingSites and recruitment, it means the more people make use of Social NetworkingSites, the higher the chance is for getting the best candidates. In this study,popularity among applicants is measured by registered users of the SocialNetworking Sites and the reputation of these sites. Reputation of the site is 34
  35. 35. measured by an estimation of the respondent about the popularity of the siteamong the applicants and whether the site is often discussed in the media or not.5. Networking scopeNetworking scope is the scope of the web of social relationships and the numberof people that is expected to be involved in this network. Referred to the study, thenetworking scope is defined as the connections which people have and thenetwork effect of the site. For organizations it might be important that the SocialNetworking Site guarantees a high level of valuable connections and has a widenetworking scope. In addition, a Social Networking Site makes it easier to reachinternational contacts (applicants) and therefore, leads to an increased networkingeffect. The networking effect is the phenomenon whereby a service becomesmore valuable as more people use it, thereby encouraging ever-increasingnumbers of adopters (, 2010). The use of Social NetworkingSites has intensified immensely: LinkedIn, for example needed 16 months to gainits first million users, while the latest million came only within eight days.2.5 Research ModelAccording to the theoretical background, Social Networking Sites have alreadyentered the recruitment landscape and become an important topic in HRdepartments. The sites, business-oriented or social-oriented networking sites, arecharacterized by different qualities. The chosen qualities of the sites are ease ofnavigation, security/privacy, information quality, popularity among applicants andnetworking scope. In this study, the effect of these qualities on effectiverecruitment is tested. Designing an effective recruitment process for attracting thebest candidates represents an enormous challenge for organizations. As 35
  36. 36. mentioned in earlier, there are characteristics which make online recruitmenteffective. The selected characteristics costs, time, target-group orientation, qualityof applicants/applications and diversity of applicants characterize effectiverecruitment. Generally, very little research has been conducted on this subject as awhole. Hence, this study is pioneering and helping to find an answer for the mainresearch question: To what extent does the use of Social Networking Sites lead toeffective recruitment?Social Networking Sites are a part of online recruitment and therefore, it can beassumed that the use of Social Networking Sites can have a positive influence onrecruitment. Consequently, the following hypotheses have been established.Hypothesis 1: There is a direct and strong relationship between qualities of SocialNetworking Sites and effective recruitment.Hypothesis 2: This relationship is moderated by the type of Social NetworkingSites: recruitment is more effective if it relies on business-oriented sites.Hypothesis 3: This relationship is moderated by the usage frequency: recruitmentis more effective if the usage frequency of the recruiter is high.The following figure presents the conceptual model, which describes SocialNetworking Sites and their characteristics, including the possible influence oneffective recruitment:3 MethodologyIn order to investigate the extent to which Social Networking Sites lead to effectiverecruitment, a research is conducted in order to obtain the data needed. Thisresearch takes on two different characteristics: firstly, it includes a descriptive partas it intends to specify the main characteristics of Web 2.0, focused on SocialNetworking Sites and effective recruitment. Secondly, this research is of anexploratory nature as it intends to design a new view concerning Social 36
  37. 37. Networking Sites and effective recruitment. There are several research strategiesthat can be adopted to gather the required data. Nevertheless, Saunders et al.(2007) say that the decision also depends on the circumstances of the project. Thefollowing chapter explains which decision was made concerning the researchdesign of the survey.3.1 OperationalizationTo test the hypothesis, the meanings of all variables have to be operationalized.The following table shows an overview of the construct, the definitions and thevariables of the tested model.Construct (Definition) Variables1st order construct 2nd order constructSocial Networking Sites 1.1 Social Networking Sites for recruitment1. A Social Networking Site essentially consists of arepresentation of each user, his/her social links and Social Networking Sites, which companies use fora variety of additional services. Generally, Social employee recruitment.Networking Sites are web based and providevarious ways for users to interact over the Internet 1.2 Business-oriented networking sitesvia e-mail and instant messaging services. (Malitaet al. 2010) Business-oriented networking sites allow applicants to interact with one another through business oriented information, endorsements, testimonials and reputations. (O´Morchu et al., 2004) 1.3 Social-oriented networking sites (Social Communities) Social-oriented networking sites are built on personal information of members who participate in and contribute to the online network. These personal profiles contain information from relationship status to members` religion and sexual orientation, and are shared with their friends and the extended community online. Some sites allow viewing of a reduced profile by anyone.Usage frequency 2.1. Usage frequency of Social Networking Sites2. Usage frequency is the number of usage within a The number of usage (in percent) of the respectivegiven time period. Social Networking Site within a given time period. 37
  38. 38. (Own definition)Social-oriented networking sites3. Social-oriented networking sites are built on 3.1 Facebookpersonal information of members who participate inand contribute to the online network. These  Facebook registered 46 Million registeredpersonal profiles contain information from members from India in March 2012, which isrelationship status to members` religion and sexual over 50 per cent of Indias total Internetorientation, and are shared with their friends and audience.the extended community online. Some sites allow  56.67%Penetration (Online Population)viewing of a reduced profile by anyone. (O´Morchu Offers features that recruiters can use to findet al., 2004) candidates who are matching their vacancies 3.2 LinkedIn  World‟s largest professional network  Over 75 million members Globally  Over 13 Million members in India  16.48%penetration (online population)  Connects people to contact a broader network of professionals Brijj  One of the most popular professional networking sites in India  Info Edge ( group initiative  Build an online profile and add all the companies you have worked in and the institutes you have studied in  Apnacircle (Viadeo)  Founded December 2006 acquired by Viadeo in 2009  Local content available on the platform with information in context to India.  Localization: Local MBA Institutions/Schools are available on ApnaCircle.  Local Jobs/Employers/Job Seekers are available on ApnaCircle.Information quality a. Believability1. Information quality is the quality of the the quality of being believable or trustworthyinformation that the system produces and delivers.It is characterized by delivering relevant, updated b. Completenessinformation and easy-to-understand information. the state of being complete and entire; having(Lee/Kozar 2006) Furthermore, believability, the everything that is neededamount of information and the completeness ofinformation are relevant indicators of information c. Relevancequality. (Lee et al. , 2001) the relation of something to the matter at hand d. Up-to-date (timeliness) 38
  39. 39. Informed of or reflecting the latest information or changes e. Easy-to-understand (clearness) free from obscurity and easy to understand; the comprehensibility of clear expression ( f. Amount of information Quantity of the required informationPopularity among applicants a. Registered Users2. Popularity among applicants is the degree ofpublicity of the Social Networking Site among the A registered user is one who uses a program or atarget group, the respective applicants. website and provides his credentials, effectively proving his identity. ( +user) b. Reputation Reputation is the beliefs or opinion that is generally held about someone or something. (Oxford Dictionaries) Here, the reputation of a company among respective applicants.Networking scope a. Connections3. Networking scope is the scope of the web of thesocial relationships and the number of people that People with whom one has social or professionalis expected to be involved in this network. (Own contact or to whom one is related, especially thosedefinition) with influence and able to offer one help. (Oxford Dictionaries) b. Network effect The phenomenon whereby a service becomes more valuable as more people use it, thereby encouraging ever-increasing numbers of adopters.Ease of navigation a. Ease of use4. Ease of navigation means that a site containsfunctions that help customers (users) find what they Ease of use refers to the property of a product orneed without difficulty, possesses a good search thing that a user can operate without having toengine, and allows the customer (user) to overcome a steep learning curve.manoeuver easily and quickly back and forth (Websters Online Dictionary)through the pages. (Tong et al., 2005) b. Usefulness/Usability The extent to which a product can be used by 39
  40. 40. specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use. (ISO 9241-11: Guidance on Usability 1998)Security/privacy a. Improper Access1. Security/privacy involves the degree to which thecustomer (user) believes the site is safe from Concern that data about individuals are readilyintrusion and personal information is protected. available to people not properly authorized to view or(J.P.C. Tong et al) work with this data. (Smith et al., 1996) b. Unauthorized Secondary Use (intern/extern) Concern that information is collected from individuals for one purpose is used for another, secondary purpose (internally within a single organisation or an external party) without authorization from the individuals. (Smith et al., 1996)Effective recruitment Effective recruitment includes the following variables. a. More diversity of applicants2. Recruitment is described as ―the set of activities b. Higher quality of applicantsand processes used legally to obtain a sufficient c. Costsnumber of qualified people at the right place and d. Timetime so that the people and the organisation can e. Target group orientationselect each other in their own best short and longterm interests.‖ (Schuler/Jackson)Effectiveness is the extent to which an activity fulfilsits intended purpose or function.(, effective recruitment contains the mosteffective set of activities and processes used toobtain a sufficient number of qualified people at theright place and time so that the applicants and theorganization can select each other in their own bestshort and long term interests.Diversity of applicants 10.1 Applicants with different background Applicants have different background regarding their3. A wide range of abilities, experience, knowledge, education and experiences.and strengths due to its heterogeneity in age,background, ethnicity, physical abilities, political 10. 2 National applicantsand religious beliefs, sex, and other attributes. Applicants from India, especially from other parts of India (Tier B and C) 10. 3 Regional applicants 10. 4 Applicants from other parts of India 10. 5 International applicants 40
  41. 41. Applicants from other countries.Quality of applicants/applications 11.1 Number of qualified applicants More qualified applicants, the number of qualified4. Applicant quality scores estimate each applicants has increased.applicants position in the distribution ofperformance potential for a given position. 11.2 Quality of applications/applications(Connerley et al., 2002) Quality of the incoming applications. (Own definitions)Costs 12.1 HR-marketing costs The HR-marketing costs which include all HR5. Costs savings-decision or action that will result in marketing activities for example job advertisement.fulfilment of the objectives of a purchase, at a costlower than the historical cost or the projected cost. 12.2 General recruitment costs General recruitment costs have decreased. 12.3 Costs-per-hire The formula for cost-per-hire: total cost of recruitment and selection process divided by the number of hires made (Thaler-Carter, 1997)Time 13.1 Time-to hire Usually measured in days, time to hire broadly1. Time savings- shortening the length of time reflects the total elapsed time required to staff anrequired for an operation, activity, etc. open position. (Hunt, 2004) 13.2 Time of the applicant administration Administration time has decreased. 13.3 Time for advertisement Time for advertisement has decreased.Target group orientation 14.1 Availability of the target group The availability of the target group via social2. Target-group oriented recruitment ensures that networking sites.the message reaches the right target groupregarding their qualifications for a vacancy. 14. 2 Tailored job advertisements The job advertisements are tailored to the needs of the target groups. 14. 3 Matching quality of applicants The matching quality of the applicants is the extent to which an applicant matches with the job characteristic of the respective vacancy.Table 5: Operationalization table 41
  42. 42. 3.2 Instrument developmentThe type of research is quantitative and the research is conducted by making useof an online survey. Using a survey has the benefit of allowing the collection of alarge amount of data from a sizable population (Saunders et al., 2009). Therefore,applying a survey in order to ask different Indian recruiters/HR personnels aboutWeb 2.0, focused on Social Networking Sites and recruitment, is the most suitablesolution for this research. According to Broekhuizen (2005), the large number ofitems which can be measured in a survey is a great advantage for the analysis ofdata. Consequently, the findings reflect the opinion of a large number ofcompanies and their experiences with Social Networking Sites and effectiverecruitment. The questionnaire consists of different parts: general questions aboutthe organization, Human Resources and Web 2.0, quality of Social NetworkingSites and recruitment supported by Social Networking Sites and is comprisesdifferent types of questions. The majority of questions are based on a 5-point LikertScale6 in order to reflect the opinion of the respondents. The questionnaire can befound in the appendix (Appendix 2). Construct Number of Items Diversity of applicants 5 Quality of 2 applicants/applications Costs 3 Time 3 Target group orientation 3 Information Quality 6 Popularity 3 Networking scope 4 42
  43. 43. Ease of Navigation 3 Privacy/Security 43.3 Data processing and AnalysisThe nature of the questionnaire is quantitative and the standardization of the datacollection represents strength of survey research. A standardized questionnairemakes it easier to analyse the data and to draw results. The data was gathered bythe returned questionnaires and was analyzed by making use of the programsGoogle apps survey.3.5 SampleThe units of analysis are Indian organizations/recruiters with minimal 100employees or 50 recruitments / annum, thus employees within the company haveprobably made experiences in using Social Networking sites for their recruitment.After a brief literature review, the study was constructed in form of a questionnairewhich was sent out to 460 HR/recruitment personnel’s . The participants wererandomly chosen and were invited to the survey on a voluntary basis. In total, 96 ofthe 460 asked HR personnels agreed to take part in the survey. This is a totalresponse rate of 20.86%. The respondents had the choice of filling in thequestionnaire online or by hand and email it. By giving this choice, the respondentrate was probably increased, because respondents could choose the mostcomfortable way of answering the questionnaire. Additionally, the respondentswere free to answer anonymously by filling in the online questionnaire.These experts have answered questions about Web 2.0, focused on SocialNetworking Sites regarding their recruitment. As a first step, all of the possible 43
  44. 44. respondents had been asked via email to answer the questionnaire. After a month,a reminder email was sent out to the personnel’s in order to obtain enough datafor the analysis. The research sample consists of employees of Human Resourcedepartments and the data are obtained from LinkedIn mainly.Number of employees Frequency %Less than 200 38 39200-500 26 27500-1000 24 24>1000 8 8Table 8: Number of employees (n=96)The respondent rate using Social Networking Sites for recruitment is 74companies.As shown in the table above, most of the companies (39%) are companies withless than 200 employees, followed by companies (26%) with 200-500 employees.Only 8% of the companies employed more than 500 employees. Furthermore, thecompanies were asked to classify themselves in a business. The results (Appendix5) show a variety of businesses. The dominating field of business is the IT andService industry (24.8 % of the companies). It is followed by banking andinsurance (13.1%).In a next step, the HR department were asked whether they use Web 2.0applications (Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts, Social Networking Sites and/or VirtualWorlds) for their Human Resources Management. This question was answered by92 of the 96 asked companies. The HR employees had the possibility for multipleanswers. In total, almost all the companies already make use of Web 2.0applications in one or multiple stage of recruitment. The outcome shows that 64out of 96 companies make use of Social Networking Sites for their Human 44
  45. 45. Resource Management. The following table shows the distribution of theapplications companies use for their Human Resource Management.Web 2.0 applications for Frequency %recruitmentSocial networking 64 100sitesWikis 6 9Weblog 42 65Virtual worlds 0 0Others 2 3Table 9: Web 2.0 applications for Human Resource Management (n=64)During the last three years, the majority of the respondents make use of Web 2.0for their Human Resource Management. In order to find out which type of SocialNetworking Sites companies use for their recruitment, the companies havechosen a type of site (n=92). As indicated in figure 5, most of the companies (85%)make use of business-oriented networking sites (like Brijj or LinkedIn) for theirrecruitment. Only 17% of the companies apply social-oriented networking sites(Social Communities like Facebook). 45
  46. 46. 4 FindingsAs mentioned earlier (paragraph 3.5), the total response rate of the 96 surveyedcompanies was 97% (n=94). The rate of companies which make use of SocialNetworking Sites for their recruitment is 66.6% (64 of the 96 respondents). Thefollowing paragraph reports on the general findings of the survey.4.1 General FindingsCompanies were asked to determine the fields of activities in which they make useof Social Networking Sites. For this question, they had the possibility to givemultiple answers. Table 10 shows the results.Fields of activity Frequency %Senior level management 58 90Administrative graduates 48 75Technical graduates 46 71Other graduates 32 50Other administrative employees 27 42Other technical employees 16 25Trainees 47 74Interns 47 74Apprentices 12 18Students 3 4Table 10: Fields of activity (n=64)As can be derived from the table, the dominating field of activity through SocialNetworking Sites as indicated by the respondents is searching for Senior/midmanagement (90% of respondents) and administrative graduates (75% of the 46
  47. 47. respondents). It is followed by the search for Trainees and interns (74%). The leastattractive activity as reported by the respondents is searching for students (4%).Type of sites used for recruitmentRespondents were asked about their perception about the extent ofsuccessfulness of Social Networking Sites for their recruitment. The majority ofcompanies make use of Linkedin for recruitment. Table 11 shows the distribution.Linkedin used for Frequency %recruitmentvery successful 9 14successful 26 40little successful 19 29not at all successful 6 9no usage 4 6Table 11: Linkedin used for recruitment (n=64)As table 11 illustrates, the majority of the asked companies successfully appliesthe business-oriented site Linkedin for their recruitment (14% very successful and40% successful). Further results show that the majority of companies do not useother sites for their recruitment. A bigger part of the companies does not use thesocial-oriented site Facebook for recruitment. Only a smaller proportion makesuse of Facebook in the HR departments.Future of Social Networking Sites for recruitmentCompanies (n=96) were confronted with the question of how they perceive theimportance of different sites for recruitment within the next three years. They wereasked to estimate whether the importance of the respective site will grow in thefuture or not (Likert Scale (1 to 6) from “will become much more important” to “will 47
  48. 48. become extremely less important or application unused / unknown). Figure 5shows the distribution of business-oriented sites and figure 6 presents thedistribution of social-oriented sites. Perceived importance of business-oriented networking 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% LinkedIn SiliconIndia Brijj ApnaCircle Peerpower Xing (viadeo) Much more Important more important Stay Constant Less Important Extremely less important Application unused/unknownFigure 5: Perceived importance of business-oriented networking sites for recruitment IndianRecruiters (n=96)As represented in the figure, the respondents value Linkedin as the most importantSocial Networking Site for the future. According to the HR departments, 48%suggest that Linkedin will become much more important and 38% predict that Brijjwill become more important within the next three years. In contrast, the majority ofrespondents (94%) does not use or even know about Xing. 48
  49. 49. Considering the opinion of the HR departments, Facebook will stay constant (36%)or will become more important (28%) within the next three years (Figure 6). Social Oriented Sites 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Facebook Orkut Bharatstudent Yahoo! Pulse IbiboFigure 6: Perceived importance of social-oriented networking sites for recruitment among IndianRecruiters (n=96)TwitterRespondents were asked whether they make use of Twitter in their company. Only18.4% of the asked HR departments make use of Twitter. Twitter is chiefly used forjob posting or for posting other information about the company. The majority ofthe surveyed companies do not make use of Twitter (81.6%).4.2 Effect of qualities of Social Networking Sites on effective recruitmentWhen analysing the relationship between Social Networking Sites and effectiverecruitment, it becomes obvious that there are significant relationships. 49
  50. 50. 5 Discussion5.1 Limitations of the studyThis study has some limitations. The research sample may raise somegeneralizability issues, because it contains only Indian recruiters and it cannot beruled out that certain cultural influences have affected the results of the research.Consequently, the results are based on Indian perceptions and their experiencesabout Social Networking Sites and recruitment. However, the generalization in thisstudy concerns the theoretical level, and not the countries. Furthermore, it isimportant to note that the sample size of companies which make use of social-oriented networking sites like Facebook for their recruitment is small. In order toensure the generalizability of the results in this study, more participants who makeuse of social-oriented sites would be necessary. In addition, Social NetworkingSites are a fast moving topic. New applications and sites are developedcontinually. As a consequence, the whole landscape is changing and has to bemonitored at regular intervals. At the moment, Linkedin is the leading business-oriented networking site for recruitment in India. Survey findings indicate that themajority the companies asked made use of Linkedin and assume that linkedinalong with Brijj will become much more important in the future, but this can onlybe a trend and has to be observed for a longer time.5.2 Discussion of the FindingsAs a direct consequence of the enormous growing of the Internet and the hype ofWeb 2.0 applications, especially Social Networking Sites, the recruitment 50