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The use of linkedIn for recruitment: an exploratory and descriptive study of telecommunications companies listed on linkedIn (South Africa)

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The internet has brought benefits and challenges to society. E-recruitment is among the benefits. This present study explores the recruitment trends of Telecommunications companies which are online as well as the benefits and challenges of using LinkedIn when recruiting potential employees. In order to explain the findings, the study uses Giddens’ theory of Late modernity, with his focus on the institutional dimensions of modernity and expert systems. A quantitative methodology was used in this study. Fifty-four (54) Telecommunications companies completed an electronic survey. Findings from this study reveal that companies are moving away from traditional methods of recruitment to electronic methods, particularly Professional Social Network Sites (PSNSs) or Social Network Sites (SNSs) (P/SNSs). LinkedIn is a Professional Social Network Site (PSNS) used the most for screening, advertising and recruiting. Representatives from Telecommunications companies tend to use LinkedIn via their laptops in order to access the site. Moreover, they realize the benefits involved with using LinkedIn such as the ability to view potential candidates’ profiles, contact candidates and have access to a large talent pool. The research findings for this study indicate that LinkedIn is used by 93% of employers for work purposes. Thirty percent of representatives always use LinkedIn when recruiting job candidates, while 54% advertise job vacancies on LinkedIn and 31% have used LinkedIn to source new hires in the past twelve months. Thirteen challenges were identified: all with responses below 7%. These include incomplete profiles, an overload of job applications, employers’ complaints about limited responses and the expenses involved in LinkedIn usage. All indications are that there are no major problems: however, in order to ensure that such problems will not intensify in the future, it would be advisable to attend to them in their “budding stage.” This study did not collect data on inequality and poverty: however, these have been identified as challenges which may possibly prevent many South Africans from using the internet and LinkedIn and hence not being able to realize its potential benefits. The present study is exploratory and descriptive in nature and is the first study, to my knowledge, to reveal the benefits of LinkedIn by South African Telecommunications companies.


Master of Social Science in Sociology. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2017.


Theses - Sociology.