Original Research

The impact of social media on recruitment: Are you LinkedIn?

Tanja Koch, Charlene Gerber, Jeremias J. de Klerk
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 16 | a861 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v16i0.861 | © 2018 Tanja Koch, Charlene Gerber, J. (Mias) De Klerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 September 2016 | Published: 07 May 2018

About the author(s)

Tanja Koch, Department of Business Management, University Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa
Charlene Gerber, Department of Business Management, University Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa
Jeremias J. de Klerk, Department of Business Management, University Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa


Orientation: With many organisations vying for the same talent, it is important to ensure that the correct methods are utilised in identifying and attracting the best talent to an organisation.

Research purpose: This research investigates the impact of social media on the recruitment process in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: As the competition for qualified talent increases, organisations need to understand where to focus their resources to attract the best talent possible. The use of social media is growing daily and its use in the recruitment process seems to have grown exponentially.

Research design, approach and method: The sample comprised 12 recruiters, spanning a wide range of industries in South Africa. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and a thematic analysis was utilised to identify themes and subthemes.

Main findings: Despite still utilising some traditional methods of recruiting, South African recruiters follow their international counterparts, with LinkedIn being central to their respective recruitment processes. The use of Twitter and Facebook for recruitment was found to be substantially lower in South Africa than elsewhere. Without following a focused approach, the volume of work that emanates from using social media may overwhelm a recruiter.

Practical and managerial implications: Recruiters cannot execute effective recruitment without applying social media tools such as LinkedIn. However, training in the optimal use of social media is essential.

Contribution: This study indicates that LinkedIn has a major impact on recruitment in South Africa, but that social media is not a panacea for recruitment issues.


recruitment; social media


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Crossref Citations

1. As competências dos contabilistas certificados requeridas pelos empregadores: uma análise a partir dos anúncios divulgados no linkedin
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