Social recruiting becoming a mainstream practice among American companies

By September 11, 2012
Hand coming out of a computer

LinkedIn, Facebook and others are now commonly utilized to give employers more candidate insight. Referrals and behavior are both important factors in hiring decisions that become increasingly informed by social media.


While social networks were originally considered only for casual uses, their data and behavior collection provide premium insight into the lives and personalities of potential employees. Companies and recruitment agencies now nearly universally use these sites in some way to preview candidates before contacting them. The Jobvite 2012 Social Recruitment Survey showed that among US companies, 92 percent have looked to various social network sites to find talent in 2012, and 72 percent of employers have successfully hired someone through social media. This hiring rate is increasing at a healthy rate - 63 percent of companies hired someone in 2011, and in 2010 that level was only 58 percent.

Employers use professional and mainstream social networks

The social networks that companies most often use to recruit are LinkedIn, of course, at 93 percent, Facebook at 66 percent and Twitter at 54 percent. But other websites are being leveraged - about 1 in 5 employers use each Blogger, Google+, and YouTube. While they may use these different sites to research different aspects of a potential employee, the professional infrastructure of LinkedIn provides specific benefits to a job seeker. Its built in referral mechanic decidedly helps increase hiring odds, as do referrals through the other networks. While only 1 from 100 general candidates has been hired, 1 out of 7 people referred has been hired.

And are sensitive to specific online behaviors

Social network presence and referrals were shown to be important to hiring choices, behavior is important too. Employers react negatively to posts that include the following content: doing illegal drugs (78 percent), sexual behavior (66 percent), profanity (61 percent), grammar mistakes (54 percent), and pictures of the candidate drinking (47 percent). In contrast, there are subjects that employers react positively to - 80 percent like to see membership in a professional organization, and 66 percent value indications of charity work or volunteering. Social networks provide this type of character information in a unique form that is easy and inexpensive to access. We can expect this practice to continue to grow as it has within each of the top 3 networks for the last few years.

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