The New Norm in HR: Social Media Recruiting

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Sure, some may argue that HR professionals are late-adopters when it comes to anything technology related, including social media. But the popularity and possibilities that social recruiting have brought to the profession have caused HR and recruiting pros to take notice.

Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey 2011, released earlier this week, reports 89% of the respondents to its poll said they are either already using some form of social media in their recruiting or will in the next year.  The survey was conducted online between May 2011 and June 2011 with over 800 human resource and recruiting professionals in the U.S. participating in the survey.  The survey indicates that there has been overwhelming success in social media recruiting efforts, particularly, 64% of those surveyed said that they had actually hired people through a social network. 70% report that referrals are a better fit – which must account for the reported 55% that plan to increase budgets for social recruiting in 2012.

The survey reflects what most HR professionals and recruiters have known for the past few years.  There’s simply no denying it – social media recruiting has become an integral part of sourcing and hiring.

The majority of qualified candidates are actively involved with social media, making social recruitment a clear path to hiring. The Pew Research Center recently reported that in 2010, 48% of those over 35 are on a social network – with a whopping 92% using Facebook.

However, LinkedIn apparently has a better-educated demographic, but a lower number. LinkedIn members are reportedly better educated with 75% holding a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Whereas, Facebook only has 35% with that level of education. While it is generally perceived that LinkedIn is an older crowd, the gap is closing with the average age on LinkedIn at 40, and 38 for Facebook.

Similarly, social media referrals and use of mobile devices have a direct relationship. One third of all American adults have a smartphone, according to a recent Pew survey, and 87% of them use it to access the Internet or read email. According to a Google survey, almost half the smartphone owners use them to access a social network at least once a day.

Recruiters have been taking advantage of that capability using custom apps, tweets, or vendors to make it easy for company fans, employees, and followers to refer jobs to their own friends and followers.

With 1 in every 10 referrals being hired versus 1 in every 100 applicants, social recruiting has become the overwhelming preferred method for both recruiters and job seekers. Whether you are in a high-tech organization or a bricks-and-mortar operation, the way you leverage social media directly impacts the quality and availability of your candidates.


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