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Social Channels Already Popular Recruitment Tool

Ann All

When I gather information for a story, there is invariably overflow. Some of it isn't relevant, and some is too repetitive. But a fair amount of stuff gets excluded in the interest of keeping stories down to a more "readable" length. When that happens, I like to write more here in my blog as a value-add. (Sheesh, I've been writing for business publications too long.)

 

I was all over social recruitment via social channels earlier this week, talking to recruiters with mixed feelings about the practice and to a couple of companies experiencing success with their social recruitment efforts. What I didn't include were results of a Jobvite survey of human resources and talent management professionals that show these folks have a growing interest in using social channels for recruitment. Yes, Jobvite has a vested interest here since it sells software that helps workers scour their social network contacts for possible employment referrals, but it's still pretty interesting stuff. (You can read the survey for free on the Jobvite site, but you'll have to register first.)

 

The survey's biggest takeaway is that lots of folks (68 percent of respondents) already use social networking or social media to support their recruitment efforts. Another 13 percent plan to begin doing so this year. Sixty-six percent of respondents already using social channels or planning to do so had successfully hired a candidate through an online social network, while 22 percent hadn't and 12 percent weren't sure.

 

LinkedIn was by far the most-utilized channel, cited by 95 percent of respondents. This bears out the remarks of several folks I interviewed for my stories. Tracy Cote, executive director of talent for digital advertising agency Organic, called LinkedIn "the single most valuable recruiting tool I have ever encountered." She said:

 

LinkedIn may not be as sexy or as fun as Twitter but many, many people are out there and it's really easy to find folks, see what their background is, and get in touch with them that way.

 

Even Shafiq Lokhandwala, CEO of human resources software provider NuView Systems, who told me he thought traditional recruitment methods were more effective than social channels, praised LinkedIn. He said:

 

LinkedIn is more of a professional network than a social netowrk. People put forward a more professional face and information more relevant to recruiting.

 

Trailing LinkedIn in the Jobvite survey were Facebook, mentioned by 59 percent of respondents, Twitter (42 percent), "other" (13 percent), MySpace (11 percent) and Ning (10 percent). LinkedIn was also popular as a source for researching candidates, mentioned by 76 percent of respondents. Other popular research tools included search engines (67 percent), calling references (61 percent), Facebook (44 percent), Twitter (21 percent) and other social networking sites (14 percent). Of course, there are potential pitfalls in using social sites to source and research talent, as IT Business Edge's Lora Bentley wrote earlier this week.

 

The reasons cited by survey respondents for using social channels also reiterated what I heard from my story sources. The most popular reason, mentioned by 77 percent of them, was connecting with passive job seekers, followed by the channels' low cost (74 percent), source of hard-to-find skills or experience (72 percent), good source for target candidates (72 percent), way of identifying potential candidates before a position opens (60 percent) and promoting an employment brand or jobs (59 percent).


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