How “The Social Dilemma” Could Change Social Recruiting

Have you watched The Social Dilemma? What do you think it means for social recruiting?

What is “The Social Dilemma”?

This documentary pulls together interviews with some of social media’s innovators to explore what social media is doing to users. For many viewers, it was also a call to action to rethink how they use social media.

In general, the documentary suggests that people work harder to understand the effect that social media has on them. But some people took it a step further and have begun to delete their social media profiles.

The documentary clearly focuses on the dark and downside of social media. Despite a brief mention of the positive aspects at the start of the movie (families reconnecting, friends staying in touch with each other, etc.), the story revolves around the ways that social media is affecting our self-worth, attention span, and our real world culture.

Through talking head interviews and dramatized segments of a family dealing with the negative effects of social media addiction, The Social Dilemma attempts to dive into the ways that social sites contribute to the mental health issues that our younger generation is facing and the barrel of the disinformation gun we’re all staring down.

The Effect

If you’ve been working in social media or have been using it for a while, there have probably been times where you’ve felt less than pleased with the amount of time you spend scrolling Facebook or falling into a YouTube rabbit hole.

Many people have been wary of social media for years, but The Social Dilemma brings the credibility of the creators themselves. After all, if the co-creator of the Facebook Like button is saying, “Maybe this wasn’t the best idea…” you’re going to pay attention.

While there’s no way to know how many people will delete their social media, people have begun to question what role social media will play in their life.

How Social Recruiting Could Change

Social recruiting is a major aspect of most recruiting strategies. According to The Muse, “92% of companies are using social media for hiring.”

So what could The Social Dilemma mean for social recruiting?

In all honesty, probably not much. While The Social Dilemma is prompting social media users to be more discerning, it’s unlikely that there will be a mass exodus from social media. It does mean that there is a likelihood that users will be more cautious about their data and information.

As a recruiter, you can preempt those fears by not getting too personal when you reach out to candidates. Even if you can find really, really specific information about a candidate, keep it top-level to avoid concerning anyone.

Now is also a good time to consider how you can supplement your social recruiting efforts with your internal data.

Benefits of Using Internal Candidate Data

Any recruiter will say that social media is a great way to find new candidates when your internal database is lacking, but it’s important to know whether your internal data is really lacking first.

Your internal database is likely filled with tons of candidates who have expressed an interest in your company and employer brand. Utilizing that database effectively is easily going to save you time and money.


The Social Dilemma likely isn’t going to cause social media companies to drastically change their ways. In fact, Facebook already shared what the documentary got “wrong”. (Take that document with a grain of salt.) But it is informing users about the dangers of using social media too much. Expect people to still be around on social media, but be understanding if they don’t get back to you immediately. Always remember that even if you can’t find that perfect candidate on Twitter, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist…it just means the search has to continue in other places.

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