Social recruiting has quickly become one of the hottest topics in the recruitment industry. Recruiters rely heavily on reaching both active and passive job seekers, and building connections. Social media complements the arsenal of tools and techniques used to source top talent, and recruiters are quickly harnessing the power of their social networks to share employment opportunities, source passive candidates, and research information about potential hires.
There is a strong indication that social media use will increase for recruitment purposes in the next few years. A study conducted by Jobvite in 2011 indicated that 89 percent of U.S. companies will use social networks or social media to support recruitment efforts. Social media sites such as Facebook with 950 million active users, LinkedIn with 175 million users, and Twitter with 500 million users (active user numbers reported on Wikipedia) provide recruiters with a bounty of active and passive candidates that just can’t be ignored. And never has it been easier for employers to reach potential candidates, even those who are passive in the job market, or even working for a competitor. According to stats from an infographic by CareerEnlightenment.com, almost two-thirds of organizations say they have hired new talent through social media, and 56 percent of HR professionals search for potential candidates using various networking websites. When it comes to hiring decisions, 79 percent of hiring managers and recruiters review online information about job applicants prior to making a decision.
With the widespread popularity and adoption by the general public of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and BranchOut, these sites have quickly become the most popular platforms utilized by employers to share their value propositions and advertise job opportunities. Recruiters are using these sites to share jobs with their online networks and to harness the power of social media by enticing crowdsourcing, whereby their engaged community members help to market the job posting by sharing it with their extended network. This quickly spreads and widens the poster’s reach to a relevant audience. A poster’s reach significantly influences their social-recruiting success and their ability to capture the attention of potential candidates.
Social media has quickly changed the way in which recruiters can engage candidates, build talent communities, and respond to recruitment and job search questions. It’s also easier than ever to follow candidates’ growth and development throughout their career and remain in communication. There’s opportunity to gain real-time insight into what the job market is saying about your employment brand, and share information with and respond to a board audience. With social media now commonly used by employers, there’s tremendous opportunity to engage your internal workforce, provide information for sharing, and empower your employees to also help recruit the best talent.
Your online profiles can share and say more about you than a traditional resume. In a world that has become entrenched with the online realm, a competitive advantage is having a great online presence and being able to demonstrate the “social” side of your career and real-life connections. There is great opportunity to provide a snapshot of who you are, your connections, interests, honors and other content you want to share with potential employers. For example, your blog can allow recruiters to gain insight into how you communicate your thoughts or interpret the world around you.
There’s a good chance that you’re already using at least one popular social media site, such as Facebook, to keep in-touch and communicate with friends and colleagues. Using your established friend network, you can use the same social media platform to engage connections for job search purposes.
As a job seeker, you can harness the power of your Facebook connections by using an online service like BranchOut, which is the largest professional networking service and social recruiting tool utilizing the Facebook Platform. Once engaged, it pulls information from your Facebook profile, allowing you to unlock career opportunities by leveraging your friends’ networks. You can discover first and second connections within a company of interest, and gain access to over three million jobs and more than 20,000 internship postings.
Another preferred site geared towards professional social networking and job hunting is LinkedIn. As a job seeker, you can easily use this site to build and manage your online professional identity and presence. You can connect with and engage your professional network and search for jobs. By joining and creating a robust profile with resume-like information, you also put yourself in a position to be head-hunted based on your attributes! Like Branch Out, LinkedIn provides an opportunity to find first or second degree connections you already know working in a company of interest.
Social media platforms are making it easier for job seekers to stay abreast of what is happening in the labor market and become savvier interview candidates. To gain an edge, it’s quite easy to conduct research on a site like LinkedIn to find out more information about an interviewer, or to log in to Twitter, a popular microblogging site, to find out about real-time industry and company buzz. Social media also helps job seekers gain a sense of public sentiment about a company and its current employee’s attitudes about them as an employer.
Social recruiting is still new, and most employers are still experimenting with what works for sourcing and engaging candidates. For job seekers, there are no set rules when using social media to find a job. The best practice at this time would be to use common sense and apply real-life rules for social engagement.
Social media will continue to shape how we connect with friends, colleagues, and those in our chosen industry. The accessibility and reach of our networks has never been broader, and the impact of online communication has never been more influential in our careers. Social media use has gained a lot of momentum in the recruiting industry. And, no doubt, it will continue to play a major role in the way employers, recruiters, and job seekers connect and relate well into the future.
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