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Perhaps it was inevitable that the mobile phone app craze drifted from pure social media into the professional world. Companies have their own apps, and now it seems that Snapchat and Tinder have inspired new methods of recruitment.

Recruitment is expensive, which is why you should always ask yourself if it’s necessary before paying for all that advertising space in newspapers and on job boards. Some SMEs have great difficulty finding talent due to the prohibitive costs.

People Management magazine recently wrote about an ice cream SME called Wheyhey which asked applicants to get in touch via Snapchat. It optimsied their meagre budget and positioned them at the forefront of modern recruiting.

In recent times Snapchat has become the preferred social platform for under-25s. Although images disappear in five seconds, using the Snapchat Stories feature, you can still have content that can be viewed for 24 hours. At its most simplistic level, it can be used to take a shot of a job summary and post it as a ‘Story’, visible to your connections for a day.

Well done, recruiting on social media platforms give a number of advantages. You’ll be doing the unexpected and that makes you stand out as an innovative brand.

  • You can establish your difference
  • You can attract Gen Y candidates.
  • You can show your personality.
  • You can grow your audience.

We’ve also heard about companies using a Tinder style system where members upload a picture of themselves plus a short CV in the form of a few bullet points. Companies can “swipe” left or right depending on whether they want to take the candidate to the next stage of selection.

The great advantage of the Tinder approach is that it does make candidates focus on the most important aspects of why they could be right for the role. Instead of sifting through two or three pages of CV (and some are much longer than that), the recruiter judges the candidate on the key points. Since CVs are rarely much of a guide as to candidate suitability, it could be am efficient time saver. It also tests whether the candidate can follow instructions and focus on what is required. If not, the candidate has put himself himself out of the running.

It sounds good and might be a quicker way to get past that annoying first stage where you have no idea if the candidates you pick from the CV trawl are any good. And saving time saves money.

Of course. it works both ways. Adding cheaply produced company videos helps candidates work out whether they feel they fit into the firm’s culture before making any big commitment.

But what of the risks? Recruitment is by definition a risk, principally taking on the wrong person or a candidate dropping out at the last minute after the second best has found another job. Less obvious, but equally important, is the risk of discrimination. Candidates who have never even met you can try to claim unlawful discrimination if you do not give sound justification as to why you did not invite them for interview. No justification could mean trouble.

Many companies anonymise CVs to ensure that a person’s name or other personal details could not have any effect on whether the candidate is selected for interview. It would be purely on merit. This new social media app style of recruiting completely reverses that approach. Candidates are required to send pictures of themselves. In a world of bounty hunters who make their living from suing unwary recruiters, this could be something of an open invitation. Equally it is much more difficult to provide clear feedback on a very short CV such as a few bullet points. How are you to prove you made a fair selection if everyone writes similar things? With that problem and the photograph, you could end up with a discrimination claim and no evidence with which to fight it, or you might take too many candidates through to avoid the risk and waste a great deal of time.

Taking a creative approach can really pay dividends and this sort of quick app recruiting may work for some companies. Perhaps given time it will be perfected to make bullet point CVs easier to distinguish. In the meantime be careful with these methods. Speed and low costs may seem attractive, but that won’t be the order of the day if you end up in ACAS Early Conciliation or a tribunal.