Is Your Company Using Social Media to Recruit Talent?

Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Business News, Social Networking [ 5 Comments ]

Remember back in the day as an employer when you would sit down and look through a pile of resumes in order to fill a position?

Well, while companies still do that, and referrals still rank as the top means by which to bring on new talent, many others are incorporating social media into their plans as well, using the tool to both go after and weed out potential talent on the job hunting circuit.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of this push towards using social media tools to recruit talent is Facebook, which boasts some 750 million users, making it far and above the king of social media. While the site has not replaced LinkedIn and other venues as the top job recruiting site, it is steadily gaining ground.

While this mode of recruiting talent is not exactly new, it has taken on an ever-increasing role in the last few years as those companies hiring, look for different means to identify potential workers.

According to a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of employers have now made successful hires via social networks, and many of the companies plan to invest more in social recruiting in 2012.

Among the findings:

  • 64% of survey respondents have hired through social networks in 2011, vs. 58% in 2010.
  • 55% will increase their budgets for social recruiting and 30% for referrals, while only 16% will spend more on job boards.
  • Survey respondents continue to rank referrals as the most highly rated source for candidate quality.
  • Jobvite Index data confirms this quality assessment: 1 in 10 referral candidates are hired compared to 1 in 100 general applicants.
  • 47% percent of North American companies are spending funds to reach Facebook’s 700+ million users through PPC.

Slowly Saying Goodbye to Job Boards?

As more companies turn to social media as a possible way to recruit new employees one of the victims may very well be job boards.

With job boards, employers must pay money for each job posting, while a quick run through some Facebook pages only involves time and effort. Although no recent studies have indicated a major hit on job boards, it is safe to assume that some employers view job boards as the Blockbuster of years back to social media’s Netflix.

LinkedIn, meantime, while still a highly respected player in the job arena, may want to turn some of its attention to Facebook and other likewise venues to see the changing times in how some employers are going after new talent.

Is Facebook Worth My Time as an Employer?

Some employers may shake their heads when someone in their company, perhaps the head of human resources, comes to them and advises using Facebook to recruit new talent.

To some employers, why use a site that is more known for people wanting to hook up with old classmates or display countless pictures and tales of their first born?

Well, using Facebook and like sites can let you the employer track down individuals who may have recently been laid off, are recently graduated and looking for internships or full-time jobs, and who are connected to countless individuals. Maybe this person isn’t interested in a position with your company, but someone in their large network of friends is.

Whether employers want to believe it or not, many people use social media to blend their personal and professional lives into one. They may at one minute discuss their day at work, then switch over to talking about this evening’s social plans.

If you are not using a site such as Facebook to recruit new talent, consider setting up a company career or fan page on the site to post ads or list openings, discuss what your company does and so on.

Employers can also use a FB wall to share links to videos highlighting their company’s brand and products. Making things more interesting, employers can show a video of their employees at work, demonstrating what a fun and productive company they have to offer a recruit.

One of the biggest fears likely to resonate with an employer in using a site like Facebook is that too many people who use the site don’t think before sharing details with others.

Yes, you may think twice about hiring that 23-year-old mail who just graduated college with a degree in engineering, but posted five photos of himself and a female companion passed out after a beer bong. Quite simply, if someone is foolish enough to post stuff and list their Facebook user name in their resume, then let the chips fall where they may.

For today’s employer, social media sites like Facebook can and do open up a whole new world of job recruitment opportunities.

So, are you or would you consider using Facebook and other social media sites to find the next great employee at your company?

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5 thoughts on “Is Your Company Using Social Media to Recruit Talent?

  1. avatarDavid Fairhurst

    Great article, thanks. We’ve been using social media to good effect here and our latest recruit was hired via Facebook / recommendation from a friend.

    This has saved a fair amount of money in recruitment costs and gave an immediate and deep understanding of what we, as an employer, were getting into.

    The kind of background information you can get on prospectives for jobs via social media is most of the time way more detailed than you would get from a recruitment consultant or job board, so you’re more protected as an employer – if you think of the cost of traditional recruiting techniques then you’ll appreciate getting it wrong and employing someone with the wrong skillset or who doesn’t fit your company can be very costly, not only in actual outlay but in time spent for key staff members through the recruitment process!

    Thanks again, have forwarded this post on to my colleagues.

  2. avatarDave Thomas


    Thanks for the feedback. Just another sign of how our lives are revolving around the Internet, especially social media.


  3. avatarSeth Handler

    Dave, Our company partners have told us that social recruiting has enabled them to find better quality candidates with less work (seeing who candidates are connected to at a certain company is a great asset).

    For job seekers, many candidates feel like they get lost in the “black hole” of applications when they apply through traditional job boards. By making their search social, highly qualified candidates can really make themselves stand out from the crowd.

  4. avatarDave Thomas


    I agree with your feedback. While traditional job boards will continue to exist, it is almost unheard of now to regular mail or drop off a resume when searching for work. Given that 99 percent of applications go via email, an applicant who is social media savvy can definitely increase their chances of being noticed by a prospective employer.

  5. Pingback: Recruiting on Facebook: Is It Possible? | Social Media Magic | Optimized Marketing Strategies and Services

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