As a recruiter, you can’t avoid social media for much longer, assuming you still are. Forty-three percent of recruiters use social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to source, research and contact candidates. These networks are great at creating relationships with candidates outside of email, and the right social recruiting presence can do wonders for your employer branding. But it’s possible that social media overload could be damaging your mental health.
A Fear of Missing Out
The Fear of Missing Out (abbreviated as FOMO), is a common mentality which prevents us from being satisfied with our own lives. People with FOMO tend to regularly think about how the people around them are living better lives and how they’re missing out on social interactions. As they continue to judge every decision they make by its opportunity cost, they find that they’re always missing out on something. This eventually leads to a chronic dissatisfaction with their lives, as studies have recently shown.
What does this have to do with social recruiting? Well, as recruiters who are constantly checking out candidates’ social media updates, it would be difficult not to get caught up in all the ways those candidates are socializing, going to events and posting updates about all the fun things they’ve done. When recruiters expose themselves to this on a regular basis, it’s hard not to catch a case of FOMO. Your recruiting team might begin thinking about how much better those candidates have it, and begin considering their own decisions about work and life. This ties into a bigger problem with using networks such as Facebook: they tend to make us feel worse about ourselves.
Dissatisfaction and Engagement
This dissatisfaction eventually affects performance in the workplace. And right now, employee dissatisfaction doesn’t need another reason to be lower. Employee satisfaction with their jobs reached an all-time low in 2010, at 43%, and has only risen to 48% since then (as of last year). And exposure to social media isn’t helping; when recruiters spend hours looking at social media updates, they become less satisfied with their lives, and this could end up bleeding into their job satisfaction.
Eventually, this lack of satisfaction with their job will lead to lower employee engagement, since the former affects the latter. They will begin to act more aloof at work, distancing themselves from projects and people, while thinking about what could have been.
A Penny for Your Happier Thoughts
Of course, not all is lost! Though social media could affect your employee’s mental health, that doesn’t mean you should stop recruiting through social media. It is, after all, one of the most powerful recruiting channels at your disposal. Instead of giving up and thinking the grass is always greener, recruiters need to understand, and employers should teach them, that most people's social media profiles skew overwhelmingly positive, to the exclusion of just about everything else. This is especially true for candidates who want to get the job; you don’t want to seem like a downer to an employer. So they play up the positives in their lives and leave out all of their troubles. This makes their lives seem better than they really are.
Employers, again, need to take charge of social media’s potential impact, and teach recruiters not to mind other people’s social lives so much. Have them practice not looking around on a candidate’s page too much beyond trying to find key information. By all means, let them be one of the 51% of recruiters who deny someone a job because of objectionable content on a candidate’s social media profile. But also emphasize that who a candidate really is will show up in the interview, not their profile.
So while extensive exposure to social media can affect your recruiting team’s mental health, there are enough ways to work around and through this problem that it shouldn’t affect your ability to use social networks to recruit. Once you properly train your recruiters to understand how social media works (and how it doesn’t), they’ll be able to recruit socially, and be happy as well.
Broadbean knows jobs. With access to over 40,000 job boards and an extensive network of social tools, we’ll make sure your recruiter’s job is happy as can be. Sign up for a demo today to get started!