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Social Recruiting: A Primer

Social recruitment, the newest darling of the acquisitive set, is still a relatively baffling interloper in the hoary old hallways of hiring — but it behooves employers and employees alike to come to terms with it.

A new bit of research out of Jobvite, a prominent recruitment platform for the social web, reveals that social recruiting has become nothing less than an essential in the job-hiring game. Its annual Social Recruiting Survey finds that a full 92% of American companies are employing social networks and media to find personnel this year. That’s up from 78% just five years ago.

And why not? Some 73% of employers have successfully hired through social media, says the survey, up from 63% in 2011 and 58% in 2010. More than that, say the survey’s respondents, 49% say they’re getting more candidates than ever and 43% say their quality has improved.

Of those social hires, 89% came by way of LinkedIn, 25% from Facebook and 15% from Twitter. Two-thirds of companies now recruit via Facebook, more than half use Twitter and almost all use LinkedIn. LinkedIn, says Jobvite, is by far the dominant recruiting channel, dipped into by 93% (versus 87% in 2011 and 78% in 2010) of the 1,000 human resources and recruitment professionals who responded to the survey in June.

Facebook, meanwhile, jumped 11 points in usage this year over last, to 66% in 2012; and Twitter rounded the halfway point, with 54% of recruiters now employing it to find talent.

But as swift and painless as these electronic methods might render the business of hiring (interestingly, 71% of HR and recruiting professionals consider themselves “moderate to exceptional” social recruiters), it’s key for would-be employees to note that this reality does nothing to diminish employers’ expectations of them.

Almost three-quarters of respondents say they check out candidates’ social profiles before taking the next step. They like evidence of membership in professional organizations and charitable activities; they dislike profanity and references to illegal drug use and alcohol consumption.

And among the worst social recruitment offences? Grammar and spelling mistakes on social profiles. Eyes are on you, job seekers, so be carful!

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