Overview: The ability to post job openings online coupled with the surge in the popularity of social media has greatly increased an employer's ability to recruit new talent. Other recruiting methods include employee referrals; traditional press advertising (newspapers, trade publications, magazines); professional organizations; and job fairs.
All of the above methods may prove fruitful for an employer. Word-of-mouth referrals can be effective, but relying too heavily on them also can lead to an applicant pool or workforce that is not particularly diverse. Press advertising is the oldest and most tried-and-true form of advertising job openings, but by its nature will reach a more limited number of people than does the Internet.
LinkedIn, Facebook, employer websites and other online resources offer wonderful opportunities for employers. For instance, LinkedIn users can search for open positions on the website and apply directly with their existing LinkedIn profiles. In addition, employers can post openings on external websites that provide users with lists of open jobs at numerous companies.
However, these new recruiting methods also bring a few risks because an employer now can learn an applicant's age, race and other characteristics fairly easily. And, as is true with more traditional recruitment methods, HR must use gender-neutral language to avoid running afoul of discrimination laws while also ensuring that its postings do not discourage members of protected groups, such as disabled individuals, from applying.
Trends: A hot trend employers should be aware of involves the proliferation of social media password protection laws. California, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan sparked this trend in 2012 by passing laws that ban employers from asking job applicants for the usernames and passwords to their personal social media accounts. Several other states have since passed similar measures.
Author: David B. Weisenfeld, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect forthcoming law pertaining to disclosures in postings for job openings.
Updated to include amendment to veterans preference law, effective May 14, 2019.
Updated to include forthcoming Westchester County 'ban the box' law.
Updated to reflect regulations expanding national origin protections, effective July 1, 2018.
Enhanced to include information about salary history inquiry restrictions.
Updated to reflect law banning discrimination in hiring based on veteran status, effective October 1, 2017.
The growth of contingent workers in the digital marketplace is one of the biggest trends of 2016 and has spawned a new term, the "gig economy." On this podcast, Fisher Phillips employment attorney Rich Meneghello discusses what the gig economy means for employers.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Illinois employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to recruiting.
Employers seeking to advise employees of incentives available to those employees who refer high caliber applicants should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Maine employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to recruiting.
HR guidance on job applicant recruiting methods and legal risks.