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Times of Oman - 29.10.2014

Muscat: Around 82 per cent of employers research candidates online before interviews, reveals a poll by Bayt.com, the region's leading career site.

The 'Social Recruiting in the Middle East and North Africa' poll, recently conducted byBayt.com, also revealed that 65.6 per cent of people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are aware of the concept of social recruiting.

Also, eight out of 10 believe that social media platforms are a good way for employers and candidates to engage through industry-related discussions. Social media is also considered to be a great platform for employer branding by 79 per cent of respondents, with the majority of job seekers (79.8 per cent) stating that they will check a company's social media profile before applying for a job. 

Job postings
Two thirds of job seekers (65 per cent) have a strong desire to see job postings shared on social media platforms, while 67.6 per cent will click on a social media-posted job opportunities either 'very often' (33.7 per cent) or 'quite often' (33.9 per cent).

Adding to that, 21.8 per cent of jobseekers say that they would love to combine their job search activities with company research. 

Meanwhile, while 29.7 per cent of jobseekers believe that a dedicated jobsite will be very useful to them, a majority are starting to see the benefits of enhanced social recruiting, with 32.9 per cent saying that a jobsite with both social and career content dimensions would be most beneficial.

Online presence vital
Reacting to the survey, Tonia Gray, general manager, Competence HR, said that the survey highlights the importance of companies and individuals having an active, professional and appropriate on line presence. 

"At Competence HR we utilise various methods to identify suitable candidates both within and outside of Oman for the numerous vacancies we have for our clients. 

"Our recruitment team are all Omani and we have a huge network locally, but in addition, we utilise Monster, bayt.com and other portals to seek possible candidates," says Gray.  

She says that the Competence HR team is active on LinkedIn and they also have the Competence HR LinkedIn group where their vacancies are advertised as well as on their own website which is updated regularly.

Additionally they utilise their Facebook page and their team also uses its own personal accounts to advise and assist people in their own networks.  

"On line recruitment for both the employer and the potential employee is becoming more and more important as a tool and it is vitally important that both the company and the individual ensure their on-line presence is a positive representation of themselves," adds Gray.  

Hussain Al Rahbi, an HR manager of a company, where the Omanisation percentage is more than 80 per cent, says that it is always better to get a background check done of candidates before calling them for interviews. 

"Everyone needs to be double sure before recruiting," he says.

No longer enough
Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com, says, "Having a shiny online presence, whether for companies or professionals, has never been more important.  

"For employers in particular, simply having a static website is no longer enough, with almost 80 per cent of jobseekers checking a company's social media profile before applying."
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