Social Recruiting and Its Effect on the HR World

As our technologically-advanced recruiting world continues to progress, top talent is more easily accessible than ever before. With the click of a button you can find your next marketing specialist or c-level advisor. Well, that is, if you know where to look.

In recent news, social media sites, in particular social networking sites have seen extraordinary surges in usage levels. According to CNNmoney, usage on social networking sites is up by 82% worldwide from last year, with Facebook topping the charts. These same users are also accessing the sites from mobile phones (most likely, a direct correlation with the increase in Smartphone sales). reported a 31% increase in mobile phone usage for social networking sites. And, in a related study, 36% of social media mobile users are ages 35-54 and 34% are ages 25-34. Ok, ok, just a bunch of numbers. What does it all mean?

Well, at least it means good news for recruiters. These social networking sites permit direct access to millions of high caliber candidates. It’s a gigantic talent pool for recruiters to source from. And, don’t let those numbers intimidate you. Sourcing from that pool is as easy as 1-2-3 with today’s enhanced searching capabilities.

Now, it’s all a matter of using the right media to source the right talent. Many organizations are finding social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) to be some of their strongest tools in acquiring recommended talent. Why is that? To explain, let’s talk about employee referrals first. Historically, and even more so in recent years, employee referral programs often produce highly productive and loyal workers more so than other traditional recruiting methods. According to HR World, “Candidates referred by employees also tend to be of higher quality because the referring employee usually screens his or her referrals closely.” Companies can capitalize on the knowledge an employee can give on a referral, in order to understand better what the potential recruit has to offer.

So, think about it. What are these social networking sites really, but large employee referral programs. Let’s take LinkedIn, for example. This site allows users to recommend other users in their network. Organizations can then utilize these recommendations to quickly source candidates. After a candidate is sourced and inserted into the application and interview process, those online recommendations provide a strong foundation, almost as powerful as an in-house employee referral, in a company’s decision to hire. Additionally, social recruiting tends to remove or lower many time-consuming and costly pieces of a recruitment program, such as time-to-fill expenses.

Speculating on the future?

Ten years ago, applicant tracking systems revolutionized recruitment methods (and continue to do so, if I may add). These methods have evolved and progressed to reflect the needs of recruiters today. I believe that this will also happen with Social Recruiting (which many applicant tracking systems already incorporate). Social recruiting seems to be the recruitment tool of the future.

While social recruiting is still only in its beginning stages, some companies are taking the initiative and steering their recruitment program in that direction. And, by encompassing this type of sourcing into the recruiting function now, these companies will be one step ahead of the competition.

Well, only time will tell how these trends will turn, and of course, varying opinions are certain to arise. So, tell me. What do you think the future holds for Social Recruiting?

Views: 144

Comment by Hassan Rizwan on March 12, 2010 at 3:13am
Impressive read and so true!!! Social recruiting has now become a primary source in talent identification.Using social networks may provide your firm with a significant competitive advantage over other talent competitors. The net result may be that you can win more head-to-head battles with competitors over top talent. On the other hand, recruiters needs to be cautious. Just because someone was found through a social networking community doesn't mean they are necessarily qualified or accurately representing their skills/backgrounds.
Comment by Karen Bucks on March 12, 2010 at 9:01am
Thanks for your comment Hassan! And, I absolutely agree. Although, social networking sites provide a plethora of top talent now, those candidates aren't always the right talent for a company's team. With that in mind, I think some of the larger social networking sites will have to evolve their social recruiting tool for it to grow the way I expect it to.


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