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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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 10, 2009 2:29 PM lina yao lina yao  says:

Yes,i think social power is tremendous.

Jul 10, 2009 6:15 PM Vicky Williamson Vicky Williamson  says:

Yes, definitely.  Our clients are experiencing great success using social networking sites and on-line job portals for finding candidates.  Our recruiting tool AccuRecruiter uses a widgit that a candidate clicks on - then the candidate leaves their contact information before answering a short survey customized by the client so that the client can determine if this person is one they would be interested in.  It also gives the candidate a short preview of the job and the value proposition of the company.  They can decide if they would be interested.  A win-win situation for both. We have found the majority of today's professionals are searching for jobs via social networking sites.

Jul 11, 2009 8:44 AM lina yao lina yao  says: in response to Vicky Williamson

you told the truth.

Jul 21, 2009 7:37 PM Patrick Tien Patrick Tien  says:

Cachinko has patent pending technology for social recruitment methods.  We allow companies to tap into their employee's personal contacts.

Aug 12, 2009 6:16 PM Chris Pomeroy Chris Pomeroy  says:

LinkedIn is certainly turning into an online rolodex it seems, and as the numbers increase so does the difficulty in wading through results to find teh candidates recruiters are looking for.

The advanced Search is great but there's still room for LinkedIn to build a more robust search interface.

In the meantime, I've had a lot of recruiters say the web application I made for this purpose has been really helpful.  http://www.peopletoucher.com/search

It gives recruiters the ability to save and share searches, store keywords in an inventory format, and search global cities without looking up postal codes.

Aug 21, 2010 8:17 AM Ranjan Kumar Ranjan Kumar  says:


Did you try this Google Chrome Extension?


1. Targeted to help recruitment professionals in segregating profiles from LinkedIn.

2. Bookmark public profiles (you do not have to request for a connection).

3. Assign categories to profiles. This is helpful in order to review/keep track of filtered profiles.

4. Add notes to profiles (e.g. number of years of experience).

5. Ease of maintaining candidates' info by saving their email and contact numbers.

6. Delete profiles from your list if you don't need them.

7. Offline access to your saved data. You can access your saved data without internet connection.

8. Remember Search button is not the ultimate solution when you have better tools available like this!

Click on the extension icon after you have browsed a LinkedIn public profile.

It will take you to the options page where you can enter the data you want to save.

Once you are done with your changes click on the save button(Close this new tab and continue with LinkedIn for more candidates).

Too good app for google chrome users!

Thanks and regards,



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