Social Media / Online Recruitment

Recruitment in private online spaces such as a group page, chat room or discussion board requires specific permissions from the group or page moderators.  The ARISE application should explicitly outline the website or social media network that will be used to post online recruitment notices.  Where social media is used, it is recommended that you do not log in with personal accounts or profiles to post the recruitment notices.  Where possible (e.g., Twitter), a temporary account that is research-specific only should be used.

Researchers should seek out and be familiar with the data and privacy policies that any given social media platform has in place and in particular, know where data are stored and rules surrounding their use, etc.

When using Twitter or similar applications, the following should be provided:

  • Information about the Twitter account from which the recruitment notices will originate;
  • The 280-character tweet; and
  • Information about the landing page individuals will be taken to if they click on the URL link in the tweet.

Where Facebook or a similar application is used, the following should be provided:

  • The recruitment notice/ad;
  • Information about the pages/groups where the notice will be posted;
  • Information about whether the pages/groups are open or closed; and
  • Information about the account from which the ad is posted.

When recruiting on social media it is important to think carefully about the implications of the confidentiality of the recruitment process.  For example, individuals may comment on a recruitment posting on Facebook, or tag a friend they think might be interested in participation.  This makes it visible to others.  These postings should include explicit instructions that questions regarding participation should be via direct or private messaging instead of publicly online.

If you are using an online classified site such as Kijiji or Craigslist, care should be taken not to post in employment sections but rather in volunteer or research sections, if available.